Now you can fly to Cuba from the west coast

There have been celebrations galore as U.S. airlines have begun flying to Havana and other Cuban cities from various cities in the east.

But on Thursday, January 5, Alaska Airlines rounded out the renewed schedule of commercial routes from the US-to-Cuba with a flight that starts at Seattle -Tacoma International Airport, stops at Los Angeles International Airport and then continues on to Havana.

I was fortunate to be able to go along for the inaugural ride.


The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the flight took place at LAX and, once on board, passengers found little flags and an inaugural flight certificate at their seats.

Among the passengers onboard the inaugural flight were 50 political, business and cultural leaders from California and Washington state and ‘regular’ customers taking advantage of the new service – and good fares.

While Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight to Havana was a “first,” it actually wasn’t the first time the airline has flown to Cuba.


According to an airline blog post,  in the early 1970s, Alaska Airlines flew U.S. Military Airlift Command charter flights to the base at Guantanamo Bay.

The the modern route is being served by a Boeing 737-900ER with this daily schedule:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Jan. 5 Seattle-Los Angeles 5 a.m. 7:39 a.m. Daily
Jan. 5 Los Angeles-Havana 8:50 a.m. 4:55 p.m. Daily
Jan. 5 Havana-Los Angeles 5:55 p.m. 8:45 p.m. Daily
Jan. 5/6 Los Angeles-Seattle 11:45 p.m. 2:35 a.m. Daily
Flight times based on local times zones.

Here are some pics of the cool vintage cars you’ve heard that still exist in Cuba. More details about other sights tomorrow.

Party alert for Miami International Airport

Some airports are pulling out the stops this summer and throwing parties for travelers.

One example: Miami International Airport is hosting themed weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) events from noon to 3 pm through the end of August.

Miami Airport Havana-themed party to feature dominoes tables

Havana-themed party at MIA to feature dominoes tables

This weekend’s theme is Havana Nights and will include domino tables, mojito demonstrations, a DJ, rumba dancing and cigar rolling.

Miami Airport Havana-themed party to feature cigar rolling

MIA Havana-themed party to feature cigar rolling

August 6-9 it will be a Miami-themed Kids Weekend.  August 13-16 will focus on music. And from August 20-23 get ready for a flamenco dance show, Latin food sampling, photo opportunities, games and more.

Flamenco dancing coming to Miami Airport

Flamenco dancing coming to Miami Airport

Photo courtesy National Endowment for the Arts Millennium Project, via Flickr Creative Commons.

All photos courtesy Flickr, via Creative Commons.