Cuba Flights Coming to Airport ‘Within Minutes of Downtown Detroit’

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.21.08 | 11:18 AM ET

imageHow you Canadians tempt us poor Americans. Canada’s Sunwing Airlines has announced plans to offer flights to Cuba from Windsor, just across the border from Detroit. Company officials predict that half the passengers will be American, even though the embargo all but forbids U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba. A State Department spokesman tells The Detroit News that the trip is “risky.”

Meanwhile, reporter Nathan Hurst observes that “[F]or those willing to go, Cuba’s tourism ministry promises miles of white sand beaches, clean Caribbean waters and luxurious resorts with the distinctive flair of old-school opulence made popular in the 1940s and ‘50s by American travelers to Havana.” Oh, Mr. Hurst, you just had to point that out, didn’t you? You’re not helping.

The service is scheduled to start in December. (Via USA Today)

Photo by zorilla via Flickr, (Creative Commons).



5 Comments for Cuba Flights Coming to Airport ‘Within Minutes of Downtown Detroit’

Dave H 07.21.08 | 2:27 PM ET

Hmmm. Considering the embargo, there seemed to be a hell of a lot of Americans wandering round when I was in Havana, last year.  The guide said one of the big hotels actually belongs to an American.

Jim Benning 07.21.08 | 2:32 PM ET

You aren’t suggesting that some Americans ignore the ban, are you, Dave? That would be shocking.

But seriously, The Detroit News story had an estimate of 20,000-30,000 Americans who defy the ban annually. I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual number was higher.

Dave 07.21.08 | 6:22 PM ET

Do people even know or remember about a ban?  I bet most of them don’t even know about it and are just going there for a quick vacation.  Maybe they are all doing something illegal there anyways, like smuggling item across.

Scribetrotter 07.26.08 | 2:49 AM ET

I would suspect the number is far higher than reported. Last time I was in Havana (1999), the marina was chocked by rows and rows of vessels flying the US pavilion. The streets were crowded with Americans, as was every single tourist attraction such as anything linked to Hemingway.

I asked a number of Americans about the embargo. Most answered they simply flew to Montreal and out from there. No worries, no concerns. And a little more surprisingly, a few didn’t realize they were doing anything illegal!

As always, those with money will circumvent the law. If you can afford to sail to Cuba on your own boat or fly to Canada first, you’ll get there easily. Although I have heard that US authorities have begun to crack down…

Cuba 08.06.08 | 8:12 AM ET

This ban is the easiest ban to crack. US government has no way to know if you have been to Cuba if you do the following:
1.  Fly from Canada or Mexico.
2.  Do not use your plastics in Cuba.
3.  Take lots of cash.
4.  and lastly smoke all Cuban cigars in before going back to US.

The Cuban authorities will welcome Americans and they will not stamp your passport.

So really I can not think of any possible way the US Gov can detect someone that have been to Cuba unless there is some kind of Intel exchange between Cuba and America which I doubt very much.

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