Well in, my opinion, there is a lot you shouldn’t book on Expedia; certainly not your dream vacation. And if your dream vacation is a trip to Cuba, you are out of luck. The commercial airlines are starting to fly to Cuba, but you can’t book on Priceline, Expedia or other on-line booking engines.
Unregulated travel to Cuba is still banned. The regulations have been loosened a bit and allow for more ways one can legally travel there. U.S. airlines are now flying to Cuba after a 50-year ban, but you can't book these flights on any of the on-line websites. Cuba is one of the hottest travel destination, so why not?
On-line booking engines haven't offered airfares to Cuba because of government requirements for travel there. These regulations have forced airlines to customize their booking pages for Cuba flights. That means programming new language and interfaces to account for the legal attestations travelers must make saying they are eligible to travel to Cuba.
The Treasury Department also requires travel suppliers to keep customer information for at least five years on travel to Cuba. Airlines are doing this, and corporate lawyers are debating whether on-line travel agencies must do the same.
“Three U.S. airlines have begun commercial service, and five more are expected to start by year’s end. Consumer demand is expected to be strong, and U.S. airlines have rushed for access to the island, where only 110 daily flights from the U.S. are allowed. The American Society of Travel Agents estimates at least 2 million Americans would visit by the end of next year if restrictions were lifted,” says Justin Bachman of Bloomberg News.
“So far, though, the big on-line travel companies have eschewed selling those flights. For one thing, it’s not a financial priority: As airlines have dramatically curbed commissions on ticket sales, on-line agencies’ margins from selling airfares have contracted, making lodging far more lucrative,” writes Bachman.
Eventually, the on-line booking engines will figure things out. It too popular of a destination for them not to be participating. When that will happen, is anyone’s guess. Cuba is changing rapidly. If you want to see Cuba while it still retains some of its 1950’s aura, go sooner rather than later.
I have 2 group trips scheduled for 2017, an amazing Dive Cuba trip with master diver Pete Pallotta. You will dive pristine dive sites and gorgeous coral reefs few Americans have had the privilege to see.
Not a diver?
Then come with us in May to Meet the People of Havana.
We had such a fabulous time this past May, we’re offering the experience again. Click here for a video presentation. If you have a small group, I can arrange for a private customized itinerary. Don't miss the opportunity to see Cuba before the massive changes.
Call me, let's make Cuba a reality! 415 931-1945.
Prefer to email? info@WeMakeTravelEasy.com
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