plane wing in the foreground looking over Cuban countryside

Yes, You Can Still Book Flights to Cuba from NYC

Embarking on a journey to Cuba from New York City is a time honored tradition. In the 1800’s, Cuba’s founding father José Martí regularly made the 7-day journey by steamboat. Fortunately, we now have planes to speed up the trip!

The past decade of U.S.-Cuba travel has seen lots of change, both advances and setbacks. Just a few years ago, there were direct flights from New York City to Havana on multiple airlines. While that is no longer the case, it’s still pretty easy to book flights to Cuba from NYC. 

So whether you’re drawn to Cuba’s music scene, colonial architecture, or pristine natural areas, this guide will explain everything you need to know to book your NYC to Cuba flights and have a memorable trip.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support in helping run this site.

Which Airlines Fly to Cuba from NYC?

Several airlines currently offer flights from New York City to Cuba, all with layover connections in the US. Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines operate flights to Havana. American also flies to Santa Clara, Varadero, Camaguey, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba. (Check out our full guide on flights to Cuba for more details.)

Most major flight search engines (like Kayak) don’t show Cuba flights, so we recommend going to the website of the airline to find your options. Each airline has its own unique process, so it’s worth exploring the options before making a booking.

Confused about visas?

Our mission is to provide clear, accurate information on Cuba travel for Americans. Check out our article on visas or visit our site for more!

Booking a Flight on American Airlines

American Airlines provides the most expansive service from NYC to Cuba via Miami International Airport (MIA). With departures from all three NYC airports (JFK, LGA and EWR) passengers can choose from a range of departure times to suit their schedules. American is the only major U.S. airline to fly to cities in Cuba other than Havana. 

For morning flights, connection times are short, so total trip durations are around 6 hours. Unfortunately, the last flight to Havana out of Miami departs around mid-day, so any arrival after that will require an overnight. 

Booking a Flight on United 

United Airlines also offers flights from New York City to Cuba, but they all have a layover at United’s largest hub in Houston, Texas (IAH). Departing from both Newark (EWR) and LaGuardia, flight times can be as short as 8 hours if the first leg departs early enough. Otherwise, you’re stuck with an overnight layover, so this isn’t a great option for NYC-to-Cuba travel.  

Booking a Flight on Delta 

Delta Airlines is the third option for travelers flying to Cuba from NYC. Flights are routed through Miami International (MIA), and similarly to American, if your departure is in the afternoon, your layover spans the night until the first morning flight the next day. But if you make it out of NYC on a morning flight, you can be in Havana by 3:15pm. 

Booking Lodging? Taxis? Activities? Restaurants?

We provide Americans with resources for independent Cuba travel. Our private business guide connects you directly to Cuban shops, restaurants, planning services, activities, and more!

Acquiring a Right Visa for Your Cuba Trip

Before embarking on your journey to Cuba, it’s essential to obtain the necessary visa to enter the country. As a U.S. citizen, you will need to apply for a Cuban Tourist Visa, also known as a “Tourist Card,” which allows for a temporary stay in Cuba for tourism purposes.

There are two types of visas: pink and green. Regardless of your citizenship, if you are flying from the United States, you’ll need to purchase the pink visa.

United, Delta, and American Airlines all sell visas to ticketed travelers on the day of departure at the check in counter or departure gate. Travelers can also obtain the visa through online visa processing agencies like Online Tourist Card

The process typically involves completing a form with information about your arrival and departure, entering passport information, and paying the required fee—typically $85 to $100 USD. Once you have obtained your Cuban Tourist Visa, you will need to carry it with you throughout your journey and present it upon arrival in Cuba. 

Still have questions about visas? Check out our complete guide to Cuban Visas

Completing the Online Customs Form

In addition to obtaining a visa, travelers to Cuba are required to complete an online customs form before their arrival. This form collects essential information about your travel itinerary, accommodations, and personal details, which is used for customs and immigration purposes upon entry into Cuba. It must be completed within 72 hours prior to your departure.

Once completed, travelers are emailed a QR code to present at Cuban customs. To avoid any issues, we recommend taking a screenshot of the QR code, since accessing email upon arrival in Cuba may not be possible.

Creating a Support for The Cuban People Itinerary

The only other thing to figure out after purchasing your NYC-Cuba flights is your itinerary. All American citizens visiting Cuba must follow U.S. regulations for Cuba travel, set forth by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC lays out 12 categories of travel that are permitted under U.S. law.

One of the approved categories for legal travel to Cuba is the “Support for the Cuban People” category, which requires travelers to engage in activities that support the Cuban people and promote positive social and economic change. To comply with this category, travelers can create an itinerary that includes cultural exchanges, interactions with local residents, and support for local Cuban businesses and independent entrepreneurs

By immersing yourself in the local community and contributing to the welfare of the Cuban people, you can ensure that your trip is not only enjoyable but also meaningful and enriching.

So pack your bags, prepare for adventure, and get ready to discover the beauty and charm of Cuba firsthand. Safe travels!

Scroll to Top