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In case you missed it, Eastern Air Lines is back in business — well, kind of. After filing for bankruptcy, the Miami-based carrier stopped flying in 1991; this reincarnation is unaffiliated with the old ownership, but acquired the intellectual property rights, reports the Miami Herald. The first step to reviving the brand? Launching Eastern's first revenue flights, now soaring twice-daily between Miami and Cuba. There are plans to add more flights to Cuba from other cities in the United States, but it will be a couple of months before those begin.
And don’t just assume that you can jump over to your favorite travel website and get booking, because flights are currently being operated through a partnership with HavanaAir Charters. Eastern sounds like it's taking the time to reheat its brand before launching its own regularly scheduled flights, a process that "could take a year once started," according to the Herald. In the interim make your way over here, and you might just find yourself aboard an Eastern flight to Cuba.
[Photo: Twitter / Eastern]
[Photo: Twitter / Eastern]
Just as we all thought the border between the U.S. and Cuba was beginning to soften for good, members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a Department of Transportation bill this week with a caveat that could put the brakes on the momentum.
According to Reuters, the bill, if passed, has a section included that "would effectively keep the U.S. government from recertifying any airline or cruise line if it were to travel to Cuba." This measure of the bill was introduced by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a Cuban-American Republication and a major opponent of the changing relationship with Cuba.
Good news for cigar lovers on a budget: Via CheapAir.com, travelers can now book direct flights to Cuba from both New York City's JFK and Tampa to Havana, and from Miami to six Cuban destinations: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Camaguey, Cienfuegos and Holguin. Prices range from $400-$500 roundtrip from Tampa and $800-$900 from New York.
But the question is, do you qualify under one of the 12 categories of authorized travel per the U.S government? They are:
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Heads up Airbnb users planning your summer trip to Southern California.
The LA Times reports that the city of Malibu has negotiated with Airbnb for them to charge their guests 12 percent hotel tax starting on April 20. At the same time, Airbnb has pulled listings from vacation rental companies in Los Angeles from their site as contention grows about the taxes and fees that hosts and the vacation rental companies are able to avoid paying.
This struggle is GDFR in many cities all over the world, but it hasn't slowed down Airbnb's expansion
. The company has recently announced properties in Cuba as well as that it is the "official alternative accommodation services supplier" for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Airbnb is also responsible for making love connections.
So yeah, we don't think "little things" like taxes will stop the company from being everywhere. But bad experiences--for both hosts and guests--might. Here are just a few to read through.
What do you love or hate about Airbnb? Sound off in comments below!
Conan O’Brien made history last night when he aired an episode of his late night talk show that was filmed entirely in Cuba, making him the first American late-night talk show host to broadcast from the country since Jack Paar interviewed Fidel Castro for The Tonight Show in 1959.
O'Brien, along with a small crew, spent four days in Havana, Cuba over Presidents' Day weekend with no real plan, other than trying to meet the people of Cuba and "make friends."
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The new year has barely been around for 48 hours and already it's brought two big surprises when it comes to Cuba travel. Firstly, January's onboard issue of United's Hemispheres magazine shows Havana added to their "where we fly" destination map, albeit in the color of a codeshare and not a forthcoming United nonstop. Secondly, Cuba welcomed the arrival of Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The 787, flown by Dutch airline ArkeFly touched down just before midnight on December 31, meaning that planeload of passengers no doubt celebrated the arrival of 2015 with their own arrival to Cuba's popular beach destination.
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It's true. US visitors to Cuba are now allowed to bring $100 worth of Cuban cigars back into the country and it's all thanks to a little speech this morning by President Obama, to announce the resumption of US-Cuba relations for the first time since 1961.
This major development, which will see the reopening of a US embassy in Havana and easing of travel bans, came about thanks to talks orchestrated by Canada and Pope Francis in the Vatican. According to the NY Times, the final step occurred just this morning, when two world leaders picked up the telephone:
It wasn't too long ago that travel to Cuba was near impossible but, slowly, opportunities are opening up for Americans.
Group IST has been granted a license by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets allowing the travel agency to offer an exclusive eight day People to People exchange program of Cuba throughout 2015.
If you've ever wanted to immerse yourself into the sights and sounds of old school Cuba, a la Jay Z and Beyonce, there is a new tour created just for you.
Insight Cuba, the longest running operator of legal people-to-people trips to Cuba, is launching a new six-day itinerary this fall, aptly called Vintage Cuba, for those who want to go back in time on a journey through the country’s colorful and complex history.
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We’re not sure if there’s a tourism boom taking place down in Cuba, but there must be an influx of cash from somewhere. That’s because the country’s main airport—the one over in Havana—is scheduled for quite an upgrade, as it looks like officials are getting ready to shell out around $10 million to upgrade, improve, and update the airport.
The main international terminal—Terminal 3—over at Jose Marti International Airport is the one scheduled for the facelift and renovation. New airport goodies include around eight new footbridges for boarding, and they’re even adding a whole bunch of new parking spots outside the terminal. More check-in capabilities, better air conditioning, and some energy saving features round out the renovation plans.
In late February Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea, a hellish country so batshit crazy that its President for eternity has been dead for almost 20 years. For providing a propaganda boon to North Korean leaderswho routinely torture and starve their citizensRodman was roundly and justifiably criticized [trigger warning]. After Rodman left, North Korea put the region on a path that now risks actual nuclear war.
Evaluating the controversy, Beyonce and Jay-Z apparently said to themselves "inserting himself into a hopelessly complicated, politically tangled geopolitical controversy worked out really well for Rodman; let's celebrate our wedding anniversary in Cuba!"
Spending a Caribbean vacation in a damp, dark cave might not be for everyone, but there is no doubt those who are up for it leave with a new perspective on the region.
The Canadian-based voluntourism organization Animal Experience International is on a mission to help animals around the world by matching clients with animal-related volunteer opportunities at sanctuaries, hospitals, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and conservation projects, including a bat conservatory in the Caribbean.