Looks like the warming of relations between the U.S. and Cuba could spur something beyond cheap cigars and rum: flights to Cuba are about to get ridiculously cheap.
According to research by Hopper, flight prices from the U.S. to Cuba could drop by 50 percent after alltravel restrictions are lifted. Currently, travel between the two countries requires either a tertiary country like Canada or Mexico or pretending you’re a marine biologist researching Cuban coral—or any of these 12 sanctioned criteria. Either way, none of these flights come cheap. The cheapest current—albeit illegal—route to the island will cost $576; however, legally, within one of the sanctioned programs, the cheapest flights run for $717.
If Cuba’s opened for free-range travel, Hopper predicts flight prices will drop to $364, with nonstop flights from Miami to Cuba projected at $275.
The current state of relations between the U.S. and Cuba has generated unprecedented interest in traveling to Cuba. Search traffic for flights is up 500 percent from last year. Airlines, notably American Airlines and JetBlue, are pushing for more daily flights to the island, which will almost assuredly result in lower and more competitive fares.
That said, swimming—totally, kind of possible—or simply sailing the 90 miles from Key West to Cuba would still be the cheapest route.
Tom Burson, Paste Magazine
March 29, 2016