Travel | February 4, 2016 9:00 am

A Private VIP Jet to Havana

You can legally book starting ... now

By The Editors

It’s time to go to Cuba.

Legit time.

Restrictions on travel were eased late last month.

But until commercial airlines and cruise ships finalize their U.S.-Cuba routes, you’re stuck with charter flights.

Well, not “stuck.” Offering you perhaps the best way there: JetSuite, a luxe private jet service that just expanded service to Havana.

Visitors can now charter a six-passenger JetSuite Edition CJ3 or four-passenger Phenom 100 non-stop to Havana from 16 gateway airports in the U.S, including New York, Austin and Chicago.

[Alternatively, you can fly from any of the 2000 U.S. airports that JetSuite services, as long as you connect at one of the gateway airports.]

Now, these aren’t cheap flights: you’re talking trips starting in the low five figures. But with that price, you get almost complete privacy, a much quicker timetable, a great bar, WiFi and comfy leather seats.

It’s an interesting new direction for JetSuite, started by a former JetBlue exec and currently the fourth largest jet charter company (based on total hours flown). JS has started and bucked trends before: they differ from their private jet compatriots by not requiring a membership (though they have that option).

As well, they actively promote SuiteDeals — ridiculous last-minute booking opportunities posted on social media for “empty leg” portions of flights. These are aircraft returning from one-way trips that might otherwise be empty, so some serious deals can be had (last July, it was as low as $4 per aircraft).

As far as Cuban travel goes, JetSuite will not secure your permissions to the Caribbean island. But the U.S. just eased restrictions into the country, and a pretty thorough FAQ on how to visit Cuba is available here. Your visit must meet one of 12 increasingly broad qualifications, including family, official business or humanitarian reasons … or more vague justifications, like “support for the Cuban people.”

You can, thanks to these eased restrictions, now even organize your own professional event and host it within the country.

JetSuite suggests referencing the United States’ Department of State website for further information.

And for inspiration, we suggest checking out the Havana weather forecast.

For a formal price quote to Cuba, e-mail or call 866-779-7770, ext. 2.  

Two additional notes:

If you’re looking looking for a glimpse of Cuba before you go—and before American travel changes the country forever—we highly suggest checking out The Cuba Archive by photographer Tria Giovan, or Jay Seldin’s photo book The Cubans.

Looking to hit up Cuba for some cultural edification, but lack the $10K+? Musicabana is a huge, once-in-a-lifetime gathering of Cuban musical artists happening May 5-8, and comes with its own VIP travel package (not through JetSuite).