(not Europe, I know, but Rick Steves was there recently so...)
Hi all - the organization where I work is arranging a tour through Mejdi Tours to Cuba from December 6-16 for any interested employees. I'm finding that I have a lot of questions about the preliminary logistics so far, and Mejdi isn't answering them to my satisfaction. I'm hoping to get advice from any Americans on the Forum who have been to Cuba recently and might have dealt with the same issues I'm facing now.
With regard to charter flights: The rep said due to the changes in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Mejdi won't know about the charter flight information (round-trip Miami to Havana) until about 2 months to 2 weeks before our departure. She recommended the following:
- Buy refundable tickets- whether this is through the airline that you purchase from, or from travel Insurance
- Buy "cancel for any reason" insurance that includes coverage on flight cancellations and changes (this way you can buy your tickets and still be covered if you need to change them depending on when you will be leaving/returning to Miami
- Mejdi will be happy to help book any pre/post stay nights in Miami!
I’m considering flying to Miami a day early and staying in a hotel that night (booking these on my own), so that I’m available all day on the 6th for the charter flight. I don’t want to wait too long to buy tickets because the price may go up.
With regard to refundable tickets: I did a sample search on Delta.com (I picked a random airline for this purpose) for round-trip Dec. 5 – 16, STL – MIA, departing at 9:34am and arriving at 2:34pm with a change in Atlanta. One search was for refundable tickets and one search was for non-refundable (regular) tickets.
Refundable ticket price: $1,057.20
The cost of staying in a hotel for a night is cheaper than the difference between non-refundable and refundable tickets.
Did anyone run into this issue of unknown charter flight times? If so, how did you deal with it?
Mejdi also recommended that we buy trip cancellation insurance. I asked the rep why Mejdi recommended this. I thought it had something to do with the relations between Cuba and the US.
The rep's answer was to supply a link to Roam Right insurance. I couldn't find anything on the site about travel to Cuba. The site mentions general reasons why it would be a good idea to buy cancellation insurance: death of a family member, illness, etc. I've never bought trip cancellation insurance but want to know if any of you think it's a good idea to do so for a trip to Cuba. I assume Mejdi gets a cut for each person they recommend Roam Right to, who buys their insurance.
Thank you for all your help! I'm sure there are questions I don't even know to ask at this point, so the more information you can give me, the better.