Delta’s New Service to Havana, Cuba

Travel Requirements for International Travelers Originating or Connecting in the U.S.

Delta Air Lines will begin serving Havana, Cuba with flights available for sale in the U.S. from New York-JFK, Atlanta, and Miami, resuming operations of daily, nonstop scheduled service to the Caribbean island for the first time in almost 55 years.* There are industry-wide changes to how Cuban-bound travelers are booked for scheduled air service on U.S. flag carriers, compared to historic charter service to Cuba.

Travel Requirements and International Travelers

Anyone traveling to Cuba from the United States, whether U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, are required by U.S. law to comply with the same requirements as U.S. citizens. All passengers traveling on U.S. carriers may only travel to Cuba for one of the following 12 OFAC authorized travel categories:

  • Family visits
  • Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  • Journalistic activity
  • Professional research and professional meetings
  • Educational activities
  • Religious activities
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  • Support for the Cuban people
  • Humanitarian projects
  • Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  • Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  • Certain authorized export transactions.

All passengers, including foreign nationals, will be required to certify their reason of travel is within one of the 12 travel categories authorized by OFAC. Leisure travel is currently prohibited from the U.S, and thus, is not one of the OFAC categories. Foreign nationals traveling to Cuba for tourist purposes should not attempt to book travel on a U.S. carrier.

Initially, Delta will restrict international connecting traffic from flights to/from Cuba to avoid any potential lapses in communication regarding the U.S. law restrictions. After Delta’s Cuba operations are satisfactorily established and communications processes for foreign travelers are developed and verified, Delta will remove the international connection restrictions.

Medical Insurance Requirement

All passengers traveling on U.S. carriers will be required to purchase medical insurance from ESICUBA (the Cuba government insurance provider), which will be sold as part of the cost of the ticket. If a foreign national has medical insurance that is accepted in Cuba, they may request a refund directly from ESICUBA. Delta will not issue refunds for Cuban medical insurance.

Visa or Tourist Card Requirement

Travelers will be required to have a visa or tourist card to enter Cuba (with the exception of Cuban citizens or dual citizens born in Cuba). Delta will make tourist cards available for purchase at the U.S. gateway departure gates prior to boarding on the day of departure. Travelers may also obtain a visa prior to the departure date through the Cuban Embassy or third-party vendors.


A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the new scheduled service to Cuba is now available. These FAQs will be updated periodically as the processes and policies for travel to Cuba change, to better address the needs of our customers.

For additional information, view Delta’s announcement for the new Cuba service “Delta to serve Havana, Cuba, from New York-JFK, Atlanta and Miami.”

*All routes are subject to Cuban regulatory approval.

Delta Professional, November 9, 2016

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