I’m supposed to take Cubana from Cancun to Havana and back, this summer. The Cubana web is funky and seems to be inoperative in parts. I hope that doesn’t apply to their aircraft. I can’t determine the schedule or aircraft I’ll be using (June 20 to Havana, June 30 return to Cancun.) Anyone able to shed any light on this? Also need to know if I will imperil myself by flying Cubana anymore than any other airline.


Cuba, is that legal?


Yes. I am going as part of an educational delegation - all approved through the right channels, etc.


What can you learn there, that you can’t learn here, how to roll ceeegars? :smiley:


Cubana usually flies a Yak-42 on CUN-HAV. I saw it when I was in Cancun last year.

It’s an older Soviet aircraft with 3 engines that has 120 economy seats in Cubana’s configuration.

Despite the fact that they’re a closed economy and many things in Cuba are broken and that they fly many older Soviet aircraft, Cubana actually has a fairly good safety record. It’s also a fairly short flight.


We operate this sector by YAK 42 plane. Should you need any verification or fresh info, do contact Cubana anytime. From PRG GSA brgds. … l#a320-200


Well, my trip is over now and I am back in the US. I did fly from Cancun to Havana on the Cubana YAK 42. You have to kneel down, practically, to get in it. The flight attendant is standing there, pointing to the top, so you won’t bump your head. I was staggered to see six-abreast seating in the forward compartment – 6 rows of 6 seats. Then there was a divider, and about 12 more rows of 6- abreast. I was in 14F on the way to Havana. The exit window was peeled back on the top left and kind of rusty.

“Smoke” poured out from the floor and then the ceiling (over the storage bins) prior to and a little into the flight. I knew it was A/C related but some people freaked out over it.

In-flight, a shot of rum is served (if you want it) free of charge. They also serve soft drinks (Cuba’s equivalent to Coke is called “TuKola”) and will make you a Cuba libre (rum, cola, and sugar and lime, basically) at no charge. The “snack” was a little pack of sesame sticks, not bad but not very filling.

Block to block time was about an hour. In Cancun you taxi right out and you’re in the air. I was in the very back of the plane coming back from Havana, and it was kind of cool hearing the engine directly above me spool up for takeoff. Even though the aircraft resembles a 727-100, it’s nowhere near as smooth on take off and landing. Also it doesn’t have that funky triple-slotted wing that the 727 has that practically disassembles itself on landing. :slight_smile: The flight was pretty smooth, just some bumpy stuff on the way into Cancun, the remnants of Hurricane Alex that brushed across the Yucatan the day prior.

The plane was full both directions and I saw many Americans on board. The cabin crew consisted of two pilots, and three F/A, one in the front and two in the back, just like on US airliners.

Attaching a couple of pics :slight_smile:


:laughing: :laughing: Wait till they find out about Duct Tape!!!


Thanks for the aircraft update…what can you tell us about your impressions of Cuba and the Cuban people?


That sounds awesome! See - not the kind of experience you can get from a textbook - I’d love to go. And hey guys - I’m back! Been away traveling alot this summer, but back to the old grind for a while again. sigh… Anyway - good to be back here again!



Most Cubans, surprisingly, are actually happy. Sure, they’d like a little more $$$ and some capitalist infusion, but by and large everyone was happy. I did not encounter one rude or pushy or obnoxious Cuban anywhere. They were all gracious and kind to me. The food was stellar. Riding in a 1957 Chevy down the Malecon for the equivalent of $20 USD was a highlight.

If and when the time comes for lifting the embargo, and opening up trade and travel between the US and Cuba, their airport will need huuuge and significant expansion. I think there are only two concourses (A and B) with 8 gates each. Maybe bigger but I’m not really sure. To fly one flight a day from every airline’s hub in the US, even, would require 10-15 more gates.

If anyone has more specific questions about Cuba (including how to travel there easily) feel free to message me!


Welcome back. Where’s the pics of the trip?


u mean most cubans you were allowed to meet were actually happy
did you ask them for political views
are the allowed to express oposing view of their govt
it seems most are happy in spite of their situation sortta like might as well endure it type happiness … 941AAb4RiL … t_meat.php … -that.html


:confused: Hmm. Argumentative, pitting your websites against buckhead720’s recent, direct observations. What axe are you grinding RW?


Thanks for the welcome back J, but the trip was scattered throughout the SE. I had alot of vacay time to burn, so me and the miss took a couple trips - several destinations over the last 2 months (Bonnaroo, Jupiter Fl, Holden Beach NC, Lake Keowee SC…) I’d load a bunch of pics, but they’d be totally random and wouldn’t make alot of sense. Oh - and alot of debauchery that I’d rather not embarrass myself with either! :laughing:


recent, direct observations in a country thats tightly controled by govt


You seem focused on that one issue. Does it somehow threaten us if someone is happy despite being poor and outside our economic and political system? FWIW, I didn’t see buckhead720 mention less-than-free access to people and their opinions.

Your third link gives its source, which actually gives a neutral to favorable impression of Cuba in most of its answers. You sure that’s what you meant?

That website gives their explanation as to why “Cubans seem happy and content despite their hardships.” I notice most of the factors they list are available without money or political power, and they come easier when the culture is collective not individualist. It also resonates with my personal experience with poor Navajos on the reservation. So, as much as I like it here, you don’t need to live like Americans to be happy. And that’s OK.


Wow, I didn’t intend for this post of my trip and a few aircraft photos to turn into a political discussion.

I was in Cuba, legally, and I interacted with perhaps 150-200 Cubans, directly, face-to-face, whether personally or in retail establishments or on the street. Nobody was controlled or “permitted” to speak to me. They spoke freely. Also the nature of the trip allowed me access to places most people would never see, such as the Cuban educational TV studio, a home for Cuban children who have Downs Syndrome, a Cuban orphanage, an art mural project, a sustainable environment community, and a mental health clinic.

Anyway … I’m not here for political discussions. If anyone wants to see my photos, I am happy to share them. Just send me an email and I’ll send you the links.


i stand corrected