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Flying to Cuba with QFF points

fjh79

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Jun 13, 2014
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Hi all, I am looking at heading to Cuba from Sydney for a holiday in early December but it appears that Qantas does not fly there. I was hoping to use up my points on either tickets or upgrades so what are my options going forward? I saw mentioned somewhere that my cheapest options may be to fly through Germany as there is direct flights from a few cities there. Anyone any experience in this?
Cheers,
Frank
 

kelvedon

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Using points, Qantas should get you to Toronto, but you’d have to buy a ticket from there to Havana with Air Canada, alternatively you could fly via Spain on Iberia ......but that’s a long way round.
 

Lynda2475

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You can use points to get to Cancun i.e. SYD-DFW -CUN (QF+AA) return, then just buy a separate cash fare with Air Cubana online from CUN-HAV (its a 60 min flight with 60 kg checked luggage). You can pick up the entry card for US$25 at the counter at Cancun airport (cheaper and easier than buying one in Aus before you leave).

Note that flights out of Havana have been known to have terrible delays (mine was 10+ hours, friends the next day connecting via MEX were delayed even longer and missed their flights back to Aus and NZ) so I always recommend not trying to connect from Cuba to an international flight in Mexico or Canada on the same day. Build in a 1 night stop-over in Mexico or Canada.
 
Last edited:

fly2much

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May 17, 2011
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I did it a number of years ago via Madrid of all places. It worked well!.

I walked into an Amex office for Cash however and as soon as I told them that I was going to Cuba - they did not serve me. Called the other offices all in the city - no luck until the next day :)
 

Lynda2475

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Yeah I was wanting some CAD to take to Cuba, as you need cash in Cuba and CAD/EUR is best, as no conversion fees you lose 20% if you take USD (and they wont convert AUD to CUC in Cuba). The Westpac cashier (i used to get a staff discount) overheard me talking about cuba to someone else in line then refused to sell me CAD as i was going to spend them in Cuba! I walked over the road to amex (where we also got staff rates), didnt mention Cuba and just asked for CAD, said i was going to Canada and no issues.

Funnily enough though, when you buy Air Cubana tickets online at their official site it charges you in USD and processes the credit card payment elsewher ein the Caribbean no issues.
 

Jacques Vert

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Hi all, I am looking at heading to Cuba from Sydney for a holiday in early December but it appears that Qantas does not fly there. I was hoping to use up my points on either tickets or upgrades so what are my options going forward? I saw mentioned somewhere that my cheapest options may be to fly through Germany as there is direct flights from a few cities there. Anyone any experience in this?
Cheers,
Frank
Qantas doesn't fly there but some Oneworld partners do.

I believe there are some unique issues relating to redeeming Qantas points to/from Cuba.

Paging @Jacques Vert to the white courtesy phone ;)
I visited Havana in 2010 flying in from MAD and flying out via MEX on a Oneworld Award. Unfortunately, the airline I flew HAV-MEX (Mexicana) went into bankruptcy not long afterwards so that routing is no longer available.

Despite some suggestions that things may have changed, the rules seem to be the same as in 2010, that is: if Cuba and a US port, or any US airline (read AA), are included on the same Oneworld Award (or Qantas Classic Award) ticket, AA will cancel the ticket without notice (within a couple of days). This may be why Havana will not show on the QF website.

You can buy a separate revenue ticket to Cuba as a side trip from the USA, provided you can meet one of the special categories that will qualify for a permit (in addition to Visa requirements). Note: tourism is not one of the 12 allowed categories. Some basic information here: Can a non-US citizen fly to Cuba through the US? - Why Not Cuba?

However, you can still include Cuba on a Oneworld Award, provided there are no US airports or US Airlines (AA) anywhere on the same ticket; therefore, the options into Havana (using a Oneworld Award purchased with QF points) are with IB from MAD, LATAM from LIM, and a twice weekly seasonal flight from HEL.

Alternatively, as @Lynda2475 says, you can buy a separate revenue ticket from somewhere outside the USA.
 

ronlon

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Aug 27, 2015
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Unless things have changed, several years ago my wife and I flew Melbourne to Havana return via Santiago on QF award seats with Lan (now LATAM)
 

JohnM

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Don’t try to get there or back via LOTFAP.

I bought whY tix CUN-HAV-CUN on Interjet. I was impressed with them - good legroom in whY.
 

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