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air fares cuba

quebec
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air fares cuba

i am not alone in noticing the apparenty good deals for all inclusive one week vacations in cuba that cost no more than the price of air only. i have met other tourists that buy thse packages then pay extra to change the return tcket date. ihave done this twice on Cubana at 150CC p/p a shot! Transat rep in Varadero told me thier charge was $250. Canadian travel agents tell me it is illegal!!

the practice is well known to long term visiters. What is your experience ?

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: air fares cuba

"... Canadian travel agents tell me it is illegal!!..."

==========================

Fire your Travel Agent because that's completely false. I've done it through several different agents, no big deal.

Cheers,

Terry

Regina, Canada
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2. Re: air fares cuba

Terry can you provide more info? Usual costs, whether it's easier/any difference to detach the flight from the beginning or end of the AI package, etc? I assume you would at least have to fly out of the same place you flew into in order to keep costs down? This is something I was thinking of for future, since I do enjoy the AI beach vacation for 7 days, but then it would be great to detach the flight from one end of it and spend 4-7 days elsewhere or travelling around for cheaper than booking 2wks AI and leaving it behind.

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: air fares cuba

KatCanuck, Once you are in Cuba and are thinking of staying longer, then seek out your tour rep. and ask them what the costs will be for staying longer at your hotel or even purchasing a "return flight only" so that you can travel around some.

As for how much it will cost, well that will depend on where you are staying, of course. The only problem with this, that I can see, is if the return date you want is booked up and no seats are available.

Flying out of a different city is possible with the same company, depending on travel dates. Also consider that the tour rep. would only offer what is available from his company. Switching to a different company for your return could get more costly indeed.

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"Canadian travel agents tell me it is illegal!!"

What poppycock!!! Thanks for the laugh of the day. Tell this dude to get off the can and do his job properly or give him the boot, as Terry Martian suggests.

Edited: 29 December 2011, 02:21
Regina, Canada
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4. Re: air fares cuba

CW - Sorry, I meant how much it would cost to detach the flight from one end of the package. I'm not interested in staying longer at the initial hotel. Just taking the 7 day package as is, but then leaving Cuba another week later (doing whatever in between). Not an on-site decision, but pre-planned 1 wk at beach resort + extra week before boarding the plane home. I think it can be set-up from the get go with a TA when booking at home (but I've only ever booked online), although the OP mentioned the rep in Varadero...

Pretty sure you don't have to completely forfeit your initial flight home and buy a new "return flight only" from scratch? vs. just a fee to "detach" one of the flights from your 1wk package and take it at another time. That is what I think the OP was talking about - I've heard of this casually in the past, and it seemed Terry had frequent direct experience that might add to the OP's initial post...

Nova Scotia, Canada
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5. Re: air fares cuba

There are ways of doing it economically. For example, one option that friends are doing is flying from TO to Varadero on Jan. 12, booked into Kawama for $785. (AI for 2 weeks!). They intend to stay one week at the resort, then hop the Viazul bus to Havana for the next 4 nights, then to Vinales for 2 nights. They have budgeted $75. each per day f&l, drinks, entry fees, transport, etc while they are away from the resort. After Havana & Vinales, they will return to Kawama for the last day & night, and get the transfer to the airport for the flight back.

They have budgeted about $1200. for 2 weeks (they are very modest travellers). They booked the 2-week package because it works out to be cheaper than ditching the return flight & getting another one on their own, even though they won’t actually be staying at the resort for the second week (although it is included).

Anyone planning on doing something similar should be sure to notify the resort (on arrival) of the dates that they will be away from the resort, so that there isn’t an APB issued!

Be careful about changing flights from Cuba if you are on a charter flight – you MAY end up paying a penalty, or be required to purchase a whole new ticket. Regular carriers (Air Canada, Cubana, WestJet) may just have a change fee. Ditto for walk-in rates at resorts – “rack-rates” can be higher than prebooking through a Canadian tour operator (ie: Sunwing).

quebec
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6. Re: air fares cuba

i have only done it twice, cubana both times 150CC.i don't know if the revised ticket was "worth" more or less..first time it was done by TMR rep, second time directly at Cubana office in Habana because Hola Sun rep advised that flights available to him were more limited, Always told that agents in Canada cannot or will not assist, be considerate and let them know so that the driver won't be searching for you. you have lost your free ride back to the airport in any event..once saw a couple that paid the $150 fee to leave one day early and were refused tte bus transport to the airport!!

another game that is played by some Quebec snow birds is to buy TWO packages.back to back for fall and sprng trans portation seems risky to me but they say it works.C.anjet has a curious requirement that you show how/when you got to cuba.WHY?

Montreal, Canada
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7. Re: air fares cuba

"Pretty sure you don't have to completely forfeit your initial flight home and buy a new "return flight only" from scratch?"

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This is something only your travel agent or dealing directly with your tour co./carrier can answer. You can not book it that way on-line without forfeiting one flight. I really doubt that with the low cost of package deals that they would Not charge you for one way but you never know without asking I guess.

I would keep your AI week for the end of your trip so as to rest up and assure that you have free transportation to the airport.

I'll give you an example of what I have done a few times. I have flown Air Canada (one-way) to Holguin, spent the first part of my trip traveling around and then have pre-booked a resort in Santiago with SunWing for my last week, whether I stayed there much or not just to make things easier for myself on the journey home. I can not exactly recall but I am sure that SunWing would not lower my price because I was not on their plane flying to Cuba.

I never thought of flying into Holguin and out of Santiago with just SunWing but I like the comfort and assurance of going with AC to start my trip. It might pay to ask but IMO, like I said, I doubt with the already cheap prices of AI package deals that they will cut you any slack.

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: air fares cuba

#6 -"another game that is played by some Quebec snow birds is to buy TWO packages.back to back for fall and sprng trans portation seems risky to me but they say it works"

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It's no problem, man. I know people who have done this and I would not hesitate to do the same if I had at least 3 or 4 weeks in-between the 2 AI resort stays. Of course, at this point I can only dream of having that many weeks in a row off. Just be courteous and let the tour company know if you won't for sure be on any of their flights. As long as you have your voucher papers then you are guaranteed (gulp) a room and transportation.

Regina, Canada
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9. Re: air fares cuba

It was a travel agent who once mentioned to me in passing that it is possible to "detach" (her terminology) one of the flights from a package, but I didn't pursue the thought at the time. Sounded like it was possible to do this from the outset, would be interesting to hear from someone who has done it.

Sounds like doing it when already in Cuba works, but that makes it difficult to plan ahead of course (whether it will work, and unknown cost).

Let's say 1 wk is $700, 2 wks is $1200. Just getting the 1 wk package that you need, and paying a fee to detach one of the flights (especially if only $150, but could be more with other airlines...? or more/less if in Canada vs. in Cuba?), and then staying in casas for the other 7 nights, could be a whole lot cheaper than booking the 2 wk package and dumping the 2nd week hotel to then go and pay accomodation elsewhere.

quebec
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10. Re: air fares cuba

seems to me that flight and hotel are detached. you don't have to use your return ticket, but you can use it for apartial credit on another, later fllight. e.g.for 150 cuc on cubana or250 cuc on transat. but you can't do it from here, have to wait and do it in cuba.,so you don't know for sure your return date before you leave. I believe the 150 charge om cubana applies to tickets purchased through a tour operater, tickets issued directly by cubana hae a $50 fee.T A seems to be the best source of info. I have never found a travel agent i could trust.

any comment on the wierd Canjet rule about proving with boarding pass that you really did fly to cuba???