Delta Air Lines First Class New York JFK-Havana, Cuba – Flight Review

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The author's seat on the Airbus A319

The author’s seat on the Airbus A319

Flight attendants were preparing for the onslaught of passengers when I was warmly welcomed onto the aircraft. The flight leader, Kerri, assisted me in stowing my bag in the bin, which as she put it was new and a bit quirky.

Two U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents boarded along with a deportee heading back to Havana, one lamenting the fact that, due to his job, it would be difficult to justify a visit to Cuba before any forthcoming policy changes come into effect.


While the first-class cabin was empty aside from me and one other passenger, the rest of the aircraft was fully booked and boarding proceeded slowly.

On final approach to Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí

On final approach to Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí

The Airbus A319 pushed back from the gate 25 minutes late, at 10:15, and began its quick taxi to the runway for departure. Unlike three days earlier, when a procession of 40 turtles crossing a runway at JFK caused delays, our taxi was reptile free. The aircraft was wheels-up at 10:25, precisely on schedule.

Our route took us southeast from JFK out over the Atlantic and we soon began to follow the coastline, crossed over the Chesapeake Bay at the tip of Delaware, and passed over Raleigh, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina. We continued along Georgia’s coast, passing over Savannah and Brunswick, entering Florida’s airspace west of Jacksonville and continuing in a southwesterly direction towards Saint Petersburg at which point we turned south over the Gulf of Mexico, leaving U.S. airspace slightly west of the Florida Keys. Our final approach took us over the Straits of Florida to Havana’s Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí where we were wheels down at 1:59 p.m.

We were airborne for three hours and 25 minutes and, block to block, the flight took three hours and xx minutes.

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