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Culture / Travel

Freedom!

New Direct Flights To Cuba Give Houston a ‘Restricted’ Travel Edge

BY // 07.17.15

Cuba’s allure and mystery as a travel destination remains strong. It’s a little bit less of a forbidden fruit thanks to President Obama, but it still looms as something exotic.

And it’s suddenly closer than ever to Houston.

There will now be direct flights from George Bush International Airport to Havana. Private airline Havana Air is offering the flights in a partnership with Eastern Air Lines every Wednesday starting in August.

Technically, general tourism to Cuba is still not permitted under U.S. State Department rules. Americans are supposed to limit their travel to Cuba to visiting family, conducting professional research, participating in religious or educational activities, and volunteering for humanitarian projects.

These are the new terms of the president’s easing of the longtime travel restrictions. But in reality there’s been almost no active enforcement of any of the Cuba travel limitations since the more open stance, long-time travel attorney Robert Muse tells the Associated Press.

American cruise ships are already set to sail to Cuba and have their passengers do some light volunteering while on the island.

Now Houstonians will be able to get there in a lot less time.

The new direct flights will be on Boeing 737-800 (Next Generation) planes. Just because the cars are old in Cuba doesn’t mean you have to arrive there in a blast from the past.

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