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JetBlue just announced the starting dates for its flights to Cuba, which are also now available to book, starting at just $99 each way from Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Not only is JetBlue offering cheaper tickets on it’s inaugural flight to Santa Clara than competitor Silver Airways, which will also fly the route nonstop, it’s also beginning service one day earlier on August 31. JetBlue also allows you to search for points redemptions online, unlike American Airlines, which requires you to call to book.

The carrier will start flying to Santa Clara (SNU) on August 31, with service three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, eventually increasing to daily on October 1. Daily flights are also coming to Camagüey (CMW) and Holguín (HOG) on November 3 and November 10, respectively. JetBlue will announce details of its service to Havana (HAV) later this year, although the airline is planning to run nonstop flights from New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO).

Flights from $99? Yes, please!
Flights from $99? Yes, please!

The cash rates for these flights are some of the lowest fares we’ve seen to Cuba, although it’s worth noting American Airlines did offer $250 round-trip fares from New York on its inaugural flight.

The inaugural flight is just $204 round-trip.
JetBlue’s inaugural flight costs just $204 round-trip.

Even better is the award redemption on the route, priced below, also for the inaugural flight:

With taxes subtracted, this is a 2.2 cent per mile redemption is an amazing value for JetBlue points.
With taxes subtracted, this is a 2.2 cent per mile redemption, making it an amazing value.

JetBlue’s trying to make your trip to Cuba as easy as possible, giving travelers the opportunity to purchase Cuban Tourist Visas at the airport before flights, a document all travelers to Cuba need regardless of purpose — you’ll also be able to fill out the US-required affidavit as part of the booking process. Fares will include Cuban government-required health insurance as well as one free checked bag. Compared with American Airlines’ roll out of flights to Cuba, JetBlue’s schedule was very clear and easy to understand; American still has not clarified its Cuban Tourist Visa process, although the airline did say it would make the documents available for purchase before flying.

JetBlue's route network to Cuba.
JetBlue’s route network to Cuba.

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The JetBlue Plus Card
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More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
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