Quick, this is not a drill! Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get to the choppa! Yesterday, the United States and Cuba signed a deal that will officially allow commercial flights between the two countries to resume for the first time in 50 years. So, get your hands on a visa and jump on a charter before McDonald’s moves in and all the old cars get exported to the homes of collectors in Malibu!
This comes more than a year after President Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would end a half- century of isolationist discord. Previously, only charter flights were permitted to fly between Cuba and the U.S., but now more than 100 round trip flights will be allowed every day. Which airlines will add Cuba routes? It looks like literally all of them. Even Spirit.
It may be exciting to have easier access to this strangely close and curiously foreign island, but the implications of such an agreement also feel like a harbinger for some serious American-izing. Cuba is famous for its antiquated atmosphere, which has remained in-part due to an icy relationship with the U.S.
With the introduction of commercial flights between the two countries, it’s tough to imagine that Cuba’s eccentricities — old sedans, lack of wifi and ATMs, etc. — will last much longer. Cuba has such rich history, art, architecture and culture, now we’re left to wonder where it’ll all go once super-sized cruise ships start landing in Havana’s ports.
As of now, U.S. citizens who wish to travel to Cuba still need to fall under one of these 12 authorized categories (such as practicing journalism, visiting family, and participating in athletic competition) — but that, too, looks likely to change. Sadly, not all of these guests will see the charm in Cuba’s famous homestays. It’s no coincidence that the second largest fund appealing to investors is cement, because, well, build baby, build.
If you do decide to go to Cuba before commercial travel becomes accessible, you’ll want to hurry. Aviation officials say they expect to decide which airlines’ applications and agreements will be accepted sometime in the summer.