Domestic flights in Cuba
During your vacations in Cuba, you can also reach some cities by plane. Domestic flights within the country are operated by two state-owned airlines: Cubana and Aerogaviota. Havana Airport, specifically the terminal 1, is the hub for all these flights. In comparison with international standards, the prices of the tickets are relatively high. In addition, there are no discounts for return flights and one-way trips can also be booked at identical prices. Keep on reading to know all you need to consider for domestic flights in Cuba.
Traveling by plane within the Caribbean Island is not actually reliable. It means that you have to expect changes in flight times at short notice and often delays of several hours. In exceptional cases, there can be massive delays or even cancellations of flights. What’s more, if there are onward international flights, it is not advisable to book domestic trips in advance. A time reserve is appropriate if you can still get to your destination in an emergency by bus, taxi or rental car.
Depending on the route, you may be flying with such an outdated propeller aircraft. The fleet includes French ATR72, Italian Aerospatiale, Brazilian Embraer and Russian Antonov aircrafts. The plane and service are the same as those of a communist Third World country, so travelers shouldn't expect a 5-star airline. Flying is generally more for the adventurous and not necessarily for safety fanatics.
From Terminal 1 of the capital's airport there are regular flights to Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Baracoa, Camagüey, Guantánamo, Nueva Gerona, Cayo Coco and Cayo Largo. Another connection is a direct flight from Varadero to Cayo Largo. For some destinations, it is also possible to purchase combination tickets that include the transfer to hotels.
Connections & Prices (one way):
How to reserve a domstic flight
The tickets can be booked directly on the Cubana official website. The site is available in Spanish and English. Despite a recent update, the website of the Cuban state airline is still not very user-friendly. In general, the site does not seem particularly trustworthy.
In most cases it is also so, that Cubana does not offer the cheapest fares. Some flights, for example to the Cayos, are operated by this airline, but cannot be found on its website. Overall, booking with Cubana on the Internet can't be recommended.
Alternatively, it is advisable to use a page for airfare comparisons. But you need to take in account, that US-providers do not display Cuban flights in the search results due to the embargo. The idealo flight price comparison page is quite suitable for searching for domestic flights in Cuba, where the best offers can be found.
Another option is Cubajet, a tour operator established in Cuba, where bookings can be made comfortably and with a contact person (free hotline). However, Cubajet flights are around 20 USD more expensive, whereby the surcharge applies per route and per passenger.
Tickets for all destinations are usually available at short notice, but to guarantee your flight, it is recommended, to book in advance. It is also possible to make reservations in Cuba. During your stay in Cuba, you can visit one of the Cubana offices (see below) or ask the state tour operator Cubatur.
Good to know before flying in Cuba
If you booked a domestic flight, you have to reconfirm at least 24 hours before the planned departure. The ticket includes 10 kg hand luggage and 23 kg checked baggage. Check-in begins two hours before departure.
Since items can be stolen from suitcases, it is highly advisable to carry all valuables in hand luggage. In the best case, you also travel with a lockable suitcase.
Many airplanes leave Havana early in the morning and return to the capital during the day. Therefore, some flights in Havana start very early in the morning. If you consider the 120 minutes waiting time, you should keep in account, that you may have to go to the airport in the middle of the night.
Cubana Offices in Cuba
- Terminal 1
Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí, Terminal 1.
Telf: (537) 266 4732
- Terminal 3
Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí, Terminal 3.
Telf: (537) 6490410
- Centro Habana
Representada por: Paradiso
Calle Prado #551 esq. Teniente Rey, Centro Habana.
Telf: (537) 8615849
5ta. avenida Esq. 110, Playa.
Telf: (537) 202 9367
5ta. Avenida entre 76 y 78, Edificio Barcelona, Playa.
Telf: (537) 204 0171
Calle 23 No. 64 esq. a Infanta. Vedado.
Telf: (537) 8344446 - 49