Cuba Tourist Card - American flying from Europe
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jul 11, 2011 1:07 PM Last Post By: BeardoUK
Jul 15, 2010 10:29 AM
First - thanks to all ahead of time for everything posted so far. And I appologize if I missed the info I'm looking for on previous posts, but I still haven't been able to find a clear answer on my situation.
I am an American, living in Milan and I will be flying to Cuba via Paris on Air France. I have been told by friends that the tourist card thing is a non-issue, and I expected that I would receive it at the airport upon checking in or something. I even called Air France and the woman didn't sound too confident but said that was probably accurate (I think she just didn't find information to the contrary).
Has anyone been in this situation? I bought the tickets online through the Air France website with no problem. Also - I do not have one of the legal tourist visa's. Is there something I need to do ahead of time? Will I be able to buy a travel card in Milan, Paris or Cuba?
Thanks so much! Maybe I'm overreacting but of course I don't want any problems!!
Jul 15, 2010 12:49 PM
1A travel card / tourist card / tourist visa is all the same thing.
I dot not think that Air France will sell you one - and I am sure they won't let you board without one ! I have no idea whether you can get one in the airport in Paris.
How long will you have in Paris ?
You may be best to contact the Cuban consulate in Italy - I am sure they can sell you one.
Jul 15, 2010 12:51 PM
Jul 15, 2010 5:08 PM
3Please understand you had better make your own arrangements for a Cuban tourist visa/coupon.
Air France normally has no clue, since that flight in essence sortof operates as a regular charter with the vast-vast majority of passengers deaprting Paris booking a complete Cuba package thru a travel agent (including travel visa).
People who have used this Air France segment as their connecting flight to Cuba, in transit thru Paris, often make the same mistake but the boarding gate has often let them board since their bags were checked thru, then those passengers purcahse visa's on arrival in Havana.
However, off and on across several years it has been noted passengers have been refused check in with lack if visa/coupon in hand.
Also, noted you should bring your own water and snacks, as reportedly in-flight service could be spotty.
Cuba travel insurance also highly recommended:
Keep the faith and have a great trip !
Jul 16, 2010 12:33 AM
4No no they did not fly with air france. And at the time I did not realize it could be different by airline, and neither did they. I believe they all flew through Mexico or Canada and got their travel cards directly at the airport. I have learned quite a bit in the past couple days!
It sounds like since we're connecting in Paris we might have ended up in the same situation, accidentally having to get our travel cards in Havana. But clearly I do not want to take any chances!!
We did already read up on the travel insurance issue and we're both covered by international plans luckilly and have proof of that. The only mistake was the tourist card!
Edited by: terrberr
Jul 16, 2010 3:45 AM
GREAT NEWS! Upon freaking out about the possibility I would not be able to travel, we rushed to the Milan Cuban Consulate (they of course do not answere the phone) and we were able to sucessfully get our tourist cards from them. There was no problem, except for the waiting which of course is to be excpected.
I am SO relieved and happy I didn't show up at the air france desk expecting to buy my travel card and being out an expensive plane ticket and an entire summer vacation! That you all so much for your help!!!
Jul 16, 2010 5:43 AM
6The situation is much the same for all airlines from Europe except charter flights,
On this occasion, I must respectively disagree with my friend fabbrisd - Air France does not operate as a sort of regular charter - they are the same as Virgin, Iberia etc. They see it as your problem, not theirs, to arrange the tourist cards. (Or they think there passengers have enough initiative to sort out the issue themselves).
OP - Canada and Latin America are different sitautions to Europe.
Jul 16, 2010 4:07 PM
7I might have mis-staed, in Europe generally travel agents take care of the visa issue as the majority of travelers are going on "packages".
Due to the reoccuring baggage issues with that specific Air France routing, glad you have travel insurance in place.
Have a GREAT trip !
Jul 11, 2011 6:30 AM
Sorry for the 1 year late response, but I figured I should go ahead and inform everyone of my result in case anyone else has a similar situation! The travel card must be obtained independently by the traveller from the cuban consulate in whatever city you live in. Air france did not provide this service in advance and they did check that we had travel cards (similar to a visa) before getting on the plane. It was 25 euro's per travel card if I remember well and fairly simple to get from the cuban consulate after waiting in the very colorful waiting room in Milan. I recommend doing the same if you travel independently and not with a travel agency. I do not know if this process is the same coming from the US as I flew directly from Paris to Havana.
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