Under the new restrictions, which are already in effect, Americans who plan to visit the island must now be apart of a U.S.-operated tour group, and can no longer travel alone under the “people-to-people” category that was once a part of the Obama-era opening to Cuba. Travelers are also prohibited from engaging with businesses that have ties to the Cuban military, and all travelers returning to U.S. ports and airports from the island must show proof of their activities in Cuba. According to a statement from Alaska Airlines, 80% of those who traveled to Havana on their route, which began on January 5, 2017, did so under the “people-to-people” educational allowance. “Changes to U.S. policy last week eliminated that allowance,” the statement reads. “Given the changes in Cuba travel policies, the airline will redeploy these resources to other markets the airline serves where demand continues to be strong.”
The crew and aircrafts that serve Havana will be routed to areas where there is a greater demand, and those that booked tickets for dates after January 22, 2018, the last day of the route, will either be rebooked on another carrier or will receive a full refund.