Best and cheapest way to get to Cuba from US
Replies: 36 - Last Post: Feb 10, 2010 7:01 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Feb 9, 2010 11:19 AM
15I agree that Cancun or Nassau are usually cheaper but there are often specials available from TACA or COPA. I have twice flown from PC (PTY) to Havana for less than $325. I even flew on frequent flyer miles (FFM) on one trip. Now both COPA (American) and TACA (Continental) have sistered themselves with airlines that honor the FFMs I have an ample supply of. It's most likely I will never set foot in Cancun again, and I like that thought.
In terms of hassle-free flying, I will take TACA out of PC every time, or Nassau. Cancun was a nightmare the two times I used it. The TACA people even upgraded me to 1st class for $25 more which saved me a $75 fee I fully expected to pay for the bike box I was bringing. It also made me wish I was a rock star so I could fly that way every time. That level of service would never exist in Cancun. Customer abuse is more the order of the day there.
I'm ill-equipped to compare US-Panama costs because I always use FFM for the US-Gateway leg. The same number of FFMs are required for US-any gateway city. I've used them to Nassau, Cancun, Panama City, the DR and Medellin..
Feb 9, 2010 2:27 PM
16I don't mean to be argumentative Pelo, but the OP wants to visit Cuba, not Mexico. She/he is looking for the easiest and cheapest gateway to Cuba and I assume wants practical, objective advice. Your experiences at the Cancun airport do not mirror mine and I would bet most travelers to Cuba breeze through there without incident.
Cancun airport is not a vacation destination, it is a transit point. It is not complicated or difficult to navigate and nothing about the airport is so peculiar or unusual that it should be avoided, if it otherwise is the easiest and cheapest springboard to Cuba.
Cancun is an attractive gateway because it is a popular vacation destination. There is usually competition on the route, many flights and discounted fares. I have nothing against Panama City, San Jose or any other place in Central America as a gateway, but just looking at a map and comparing distance should tell you that in most cases it is going to take longer and cost more to use one of them as a gateway to Cuba from the US.
Feb 9, 2010 3:40 PM
17#17, you are right!. Using a CA gateway is not the "cheapest". But often it is about the same price and I find the schedules and convenience of being able to purchase your ticket on line with a US Credit Card is worth looking at.
BTW, I'm going GUA/HAV next Tuesday for $339 which I bought ob line with my US Citibank Visa.
Feb 9, 2010 3:51 PM
18I don't mean to be argumentative Pelo
People who start off with that phrase are almost always being argumentative, Alta, and you are no exception. You always want to have this meaningless argument whenever this silly little question comes up.
The OP asked.....
what is easiest and cheapest
I have acceded the fact that Cancun is usually the cheapest gateway with my every post. That doesn't mean that I, or everyone else, would find it to be the "best" or the "easiest". The OP didn't ask what was the fastest, btw, as you keep pointing out, but had he done so I would have said that about Cancun, usually, is the fastest as well. I would add that there are occasionally deals available through TACA and COPA which bring the fare down below the fixed Cancun rate and I have taken advantage of that on a couple of occasions.
At the risk of offering my opinion on any subject here, having been ravaged for having it with some fequency lately, Cancun is, for me, the most difficult and unpleasant transit point to wade through of any of the other options. I am abundantly clear that you don't share that opinion as I have heard it ad nauseum from you over time. In my world, you are free to present whatever point of view you wish but please grant me the option to respond just as directly to his question, even if my point of view is in variance to your own. You don't do that well and always reduce this to a whose right and whose wrong kind of an issue. I don't understand why people react that way to such things.
There seems to be some considerable reluctance to granting authenticity to the opinions of others here as of late, even when the subject is unknowable or strictly a matter of taste and preference.
Cancun remains my least favorite gateway city and that's an opinion shared by more than just a few people. Why are you unable to allow me that perspective, Alta? Why must you insist that I abandon my opinion in favor of yours? I really don't understand the predilection of some here to assume that what they think or feel is what is so, are the facts, and any other opinion is invalid.
I'm sure you will take away from this that it is I who is the obstinate one but that simply isn't the case. I always grant others their opinions as i have granted you yours about this and a myriad other issues over time. The obstinacy here is on your part, Alta, not mine. I don't pretend to know what is in the mind of the OP or what would float his boat best in terms of a gateway city. All I can do is respond to his question based on my experience and honestly describe to him what I know and what I prefer and why. I never turn my posts towards those who like different things and attempt to convince them that they are wrong and I am right. Why do people do that? I really don't understand that compulsion. Why do some people need to convince you they are right about an issue which cannot have any sort of an absolute "right" or "wrong" attributed to it? I only care about what is right for me. I grant you freedom to like whatever you like and to think whatever you think. Why can't you grant me the same?
I didn't mean to get so long-winded about this but it has come up on a couple of threads lately and it really is amazing to me that people need to be right all the time. I'm sure someone will pick up on this and explain to me, in all too personal terms having nothing to do with the point I am making, how some character flaw on my part causes all the problems. Bring it on, as my hero once said.
Feb 9, 2010 3:56 PM
Feb 9, 2010 4:06 PM
20p, I'm flying on Copa and bought the ticket in December. On both Taca and Copa you can sign up to be notified of specials. Copa has three flights a day which is nice. I went to Argentina in November for $600.
Feb 10, 2010 4:29 AM
Feb 10, 2010 8:46 AM
22I agree with Pelo on the issue that regards denigrating other peoples' experiences. As one who is constantly told by the "Faux Unquestionable Collaborative Krew" group that I should get off this forum because my Cuban experience is four years old (they said five, but that is incorrect) --- I will state that most personal experience is valuable to someone in some way or another. And if it is irrelevant, they can ignore it. This is a forum - an expression of opinions. Some questions do sometimes require one exact answer, but those are pretty obvious.
Since we really don't know the OP -- and sometimes questions are asked that have more behind them than what they are really asking (I know that from years of experience trying to get to the bottom of what people really want to know when they ask a question at the library. Half the time is it not what they say first) -- reading what Poster X might write, the OP may develop a totally different travel plan - regardless of what his initial question was - like, "hey, I've never been to Panama. I could easily combine that for an even more interesting trip." So all related replies should be seen as relevant, and on-topic.
In addition, sometime the OP has framed his question in a way that is open to different interpretations from different people, and sometime, of course, the OP has posted simply for the reason to get the group here riled up and arguing. Do people really do that? Hard to believe, eh? To be fair, I don't think this one has.....
The only real "not so helpful" replies are when Poster #1 says "Black is white" then Poster # 2 says "Agree with #2" and Poster #3 says "Agree with #2 and #3, ad nauseum, when added without further detail/clarification/example, etc. It's as if each poster believes that the OP could not simply believe the first reply without a further expert opinion for himself!!!
Feb 10, 2010 12:18 PM
23the BEST and CHEAPEST way to Cuba??
As in many things in life, the BEST is often not the cheapest...
Feb 10, 2010 2:00 PM
24The OP asked for the EASIEST and cheapest way to get to Cuba. The options have been discussed. Using COPA, TACA and MEXICANA websites and one of the online services like Kayak.com she should be able to figure out for herself what works best for her.
Feb 10, 2010 2:14 PM
25I couldn't agree more. All of my posts were directed to the OP and intended to answer their question, from my point of view. At the risk of seeming argumentative, your diatribe to me was not a response to the OP but rather a lecture for me. As always, I only respond to others when they take it upon themselves to stop responding to the OP and turn instead, to lecturing me.
Feb 10, 2010 2:39 PM
26It was hardly a diatribe, but whatever. . . I was simply expresssing a different opinion about the Cancun airport as a gateway. Your experiences nothwithstanding, it is simple for a traveler to make a connection for a Havana flight at the Cancun airport in my opinion. I don't like Cancun either, but when I was travelling to Cuba I wasn't going to fly a 1000 miles out of the way because of that.
Feb 10, 2010 3:08 PM
27Who in the world would try to use Kayak.com for a trip from the US to Cuba??
#27, Taca and Copa are good options to Cancun and if I was anyone traveling from the US, I would like to know what options I have. Some people like to buy their ticket with a Credit Card in advance and both Taca and Copa give you that advantage without difficulty. You can leave Lax at 1am and be in Hav by 3pm the same day and have your complete ticket in hand when you leave. To me, that is a good option.
Feb 10, 2010 3:19 PM
Feb 10, 2010 3:21 PM
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