The U.S. just made it even harder to travel to Cuba
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.
The U.S. is ratcheting up its restrictions on travel to Cuba, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday.
Cuba is already on a Level 4 travel advisory (Do Not Travel), and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump administration had already prohibited general tourism in Cuba for U.S. citizens unless your visit meets any of the 12 categories for authorized travel. But starting on October 13, 2020, select private charter flights will also be prohibited.
Here’s what that means for travelers.
|If you aren’t a part of our email list, you can sign up for our newsletter here.|
Select charter flights banned from visiting Cuba
You may remember last October when the U.S. suspended all commercial flights to Cuba, save those going to Havana. That ban is still in place, meaning it’s no easier to get to Cuba than it was 10 months ago.
This new private charter ban won’t affect the vast majority of people still eligible for traveling to Cuba. Though similar to the October travel suspensions, the new ban is likely aimed at Americans who want to invest in Cuba. As relations between the U.S. and Cuba are strained, the Trump Administration wants fewer U.S. citizens patronizing the island nation. Now, private charter jets owned by affluent investors can no longer negotiate the 90-mile journey above the Florida Strait.
Secretary Pompeo stated on Thursday:
This action will suspend all charter flights between the United States and Cuba over which the Department of Transportation exercises jurisdiction, except for authorized public charter flights to and from Havana and other authorized private charter flights for emergency medical purposes, search and rescue, and other travel deemed in the interest of the United States.
Note that charter flights are not banned full stop. The Miami Herald shares that a State Department spokesperson confirmed: “authorized public charter [flights] and scheduled air service to Havana remains.” That means Americans visiting Cuba under one of the authorized categories of travel still shouldn’t have much trouble entering.
This restriction enforced on private charter flights should have little to no effect on tourism, but it’s another limitation in a long series of actions the U.S. has put on travel between the two nations since President Barack Obama started to allow tourism in 2015. In June 2019, the Trump administration barred cruise lines and smaller boats from visiting Cuba, a popular method for Americans visiting the country.
However, the factors outlined by the U.S. Department of State are enough to keep many U.S. citizens away for the time being — unless you meet one of the 12 categories of authorized travel.For more travel news, deals and analysis, sign up for our newsletter here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)