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12 Ways to Get to Cuba on Southwest


Southwest will soon fly to Cuba from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale!


Now that you can go to Cuba on a Southwest bird, we recommend you read this before you book a ticket. There is critical documentation you will need to have with you before you leave for the airport.




Cuban Visa

Along with a valid passport, a Travel Card—also called a visa—is required to enter Cuba. To obtain a Travel Card, you must either go to the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. or go through Cuba Travel Services, which will have a desk in both the Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Tampa (TPA) airports.


Travelers should go to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) website, which is a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to view the most accurate and updated information on travel restrictions. The application process for the travel visa can take as long as 30 days to complete depending on your Reason for Travel, and possibly longer if you’re traveling on a business visa. You will want to keep that in mind when making your travel plans.


Reason for Travel (RFTV)

Another difference between Cuba and any of our other destinations is that you must declare a Reason for Travel, or an RFTV, that meets one of the following authorized licensed travel categories, established by the OFAC:

  1. Family visits to Cuban nationals
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain authorized export transactions

Cuba4.pngYou will be required to complete a travel affidavit indicating which of the travel categories applies to your trip and present this document, along with your visa and passport, when entering Cuba. You will also be expected to keep a copy of the travel affidavit form and airline ticket receipt for five years, in case you are asked for it by US officials. To access the online travel affidavit application, go to the OFAC website and follow this path: Resource Center > Financial Sanctions > OFAC License Application Page or click here to go directly to the website from this document.


For more detailed information about each of the RFTV categories, as well as more information about restrictions, please see the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Frequently Asked Questions Related to Cuba.

1 Comment
Rising Star

Here is a great way to get to all Southwest Airlines destinations!