AP Havana Bureau Chief Flies JetBlue

Cheaper and more convenient than a charter.

JetBlueHavanaTakeoffAmong the passengers on Wednesday’s first U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in half a century: Michael Weissenstein, the Havana bureau chief for Associated Press. As he explains in his piece, the experience marked a big difference from the way he previously got back and forth from the island, via charter:

The electronic ticket cost $98.90 and took less than three minutes to buy on JetBlue’s website. For an extra $35, I hauled back 100 pounds of goods that are nearly unobtainable in Cuba: porcelain kitchen tiles, ice cube trays, a designer dress for my fiancee.

Who knew that ice cube trays were hard to come by in the launchpad of the Cuba Libre cocktail?

For air travel trivia buffs: The flight number was 387. The plane taxied away from Fort Lauderdale’s gate F10 and departed at 9:50 a.m. ET. The plane arrived in Santa Clara, Cuba at 11:05 a.m., eight minutes later than the scheduled arrival time.

Weissenstein has been working from Havana since August of 2014, departing the island about three times a year for vacation purposes.

Photo via: Twitter