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Charter airlines likely to reduce medical insurance cost of Cuba holidays

  • 26-Apr-10 17:52
  • Cuba
  • Holiday Industry

While U.S.-based charter airlines are looking to include the cost of medical insurance in their ticket for passengers taking Cuba holidays, Cuba's MINREX have released figures showing that the new regulation won't turn out to be as pricey as expected.

Charter airlines likely to reduce medical insurance cost of Cuba holidays

It looks like the insurance costs for Cuba holidays could turn out cheaper than expected if travelling with certain charter airlines. As this extra cost will start being applicable for arrivals to the island from 1st May 2010 onwards, many travellers are still unsure as to how much the actual cost of the medical policy for Cuba holidays would amount to.

Buying medical insurance for Cuba holidayas may not be as costly as some imagine, or as complicated as many travellers fear. According to the country’s official MINREX (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) website for most travellers the cost of the medical insurance will range from CUC 2.00, CUC 2.50 to CUC 3.00 per day. These prices vary according to the level of coverage of each of the 3 options. But besides these official figures, there seem to be other ways of getting around those health insurance costs when taking Cuba holidays, as some charter airlines have stepped in to reduce the overall costs.

A Miami expert on charter flights published the following explanation applicable to passengers departing from the U.S:

Beginning 1st May 2010, Havanatur, the Havana-based travel group that deals with U.S. charter companies, will charge a US$46-per-passenger medical insurance premium to every charterer as part of the overall landing fee. So for many U.S.-based travellers going on Cuba holidays the insurance cost will be already included in the price of their ticket, taking the hassle out of having to separately arrange for insurance cover.

These charter airlines’ all-included insurance coverage will be valid for 30 days. When a traveller arrives in Cuba, his airline ticket will be stamped with proof of 30-day protection. The stamped ticket is, in effect, his policy.

But will the charterer collect the whole $46 from the traveller when it issues him his ticket? Not necessarily, the source says.

What is more likely to happen is that the charterer will charge the traveller less and absorb the loss, as an inducement to gain and keep the traveller's business, according to the source. Now that would be great news if only it were also applicable to airlines departing from the UK or Europe.

In the end it's all a matter of competition, and the U.S. charter companies rely on volume sales to stay in business, the source adds. It would be counterproductive for the charterer to charge the traveller more than the established US$46.

The bottom line is that, while medical insurance is now inescapable, a charter airline can help you keep its cost down, that is of course, is your departure point is in the U.S. While this new airline insurance is not available yet for flights departing from the UK, travellers should look out for similar airline tactics rolling out across Europe, possibly from the country’s national airline Cubana de Aviacion, who may team up with Cuban authorities to introduce the new health insurance regulations to passengers.

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