AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX TO BE CHARGED BY AIRLINES | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Just saw this on WOW Cuba’s FB page.  One less line up when leaving Cuba, I can handle that!"Airport departure tax changes coming soon. We received notification today that the airport departure tax counters in Cuba will be eliminated beginning May 1, 2015. Effective immediately, the $25 CUC airport tax will begin to be charged by airlines as part of the airfare/fees collected in advance. Sounds efficient enough to me!"

I’m suspicious that the airlines will factor in the expected exchange rate and then add on their service charge, a handling charge, the anticipated extra costs and a profit margin.
My hero was H. Gordon Green, the Old Cynic. Anyone else remember him?

Makes perfectly good sense to me! Airlines collect the departure tax for most other destinations, so why not for Cuba!It amazes me how many people don’t even realize that departure taxes are the norm for sun destinations. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose.

If nothing else, having the departure tax as part of the package price will eliminate seeing at least one frantic passenger begging others for any extra CUCs because they didn’t know about the 25 CUC departure tax, hadn’t tucked it away in their passports upon arrival, and have no money left to pay it. We’ve witnessed this scenario every time we’ve gone to Cuba for our vacation.

Just wonder what will happen to people like me, who have already booked. I don’t fly back until May 25th. I can’t see the Cuban authorities let me leave the country without paying my Departure Tax.

For Canadians: Don’t forget the extra HST that will be charged because your purchased trip happened in Canada! Land of tax creators and tax grabbers. And Cuba will not get the money.

Honestly, in a year or so from now, when this is fully implemented, most people won’t even remember the departure tax routine let alone wonder exactly how much they are actually paying and who’s getting the money.Rarely, if ever for example, does anyone ask about the departure taxes payable for Mexico or Jamaican vacations and yet these countries charge this tax – and it’s rather steep btw! – but it’s "hidden" because the airlines take care of collecting the tax.

What we will see is the overall tax portion of our vacations to Cuba go up. Should therefore be easy enough to calculate from the increased amount, how much more $$ is being taken for the inclusion of the departure tax. People will complain but I don’t think they’ll really care or understand.

Actually, I would rather pay the departure tax separately, and directly as I leave. At least that way, I know what I’m paying. It’s kinda like when our government replaced the old MST with the GST. We really did pay a sales tax to the federal government before GST, it’s just that it was not charged at the consumer level, and so we never saw it, and thought we weren’t paying anything.

Like CubaJack, I am torn between not caring at all and prefering just paying cash when checking out of Cuba. Never understood at all the complaints about this or how it was complicated in any way. If you spend some time in off-resort Cuba it’s a breeze paying the tax compared to ANYTHING else once can try to get done in Cuba.

And in the end it will get more expensive because the airlines will mark that up compared to what they’re paying to Cuba (which os of course a minimum of $25), but I guess it will be easier for most paying for it while paying for the ticket.

A lot of places you fly from you have to buy the tourist card ,usually around $ 20 US or so, while in Canada it is included in the cost of your ticket ( $16 Cad.on an AirTransat flight anyway )so hopefully it might not be too much of a mark up for the exit fee, but seeing where it’s equal to $25 US straight up, not sure how the airlines will deal with the currency fluctuations though.

I guess some people can go crazy and spend all their money so they do not have $25 CUC to pay exit tax in Cuba. I was wandering what would be if something like that actually happens. Would Cuba hold person that doesn’t have 25 CUC to go back home?

I guess some people can go crazy and spend all their money so they do not have $25 CUC to pay exit tax in Cuba. I was wandering what would be if something like that actually happens. Would Cuba hold person that doesn’t have 25 CUC to go back home? I have no idea if anyone has ever been held in Cuba because they didn’t have their departure tax. To my personal knowledge – no.What I have some experience with is advising a panicked passenger to go back to the foreign exchange counter in the departures area and get the remaining last CDN $20 in their wallet converted to CUC so they would have less "begging" to do. After all, once back in Canada, getting funds from an ATM or paying a taxi or parking fee with your credit card is much easier if your wallet is totally empty. I’ve often wondered whether easier access for panicked passengers was an underlying reason for moving the foreign exchange counters from the arrivals to the departure areas at some Cuban airports.In Costa Rica, the departure tax could at least be paid by credit card if you didn’t have the local currency in cash albeit at a slightly higher rate. Payment by CC probably saved many panic attacks and the extra "service charge" may well have been a good lesson for future travellers.Personally I’m responsible and organized enough to have the departure tax ready and available when needed, so like Cubajack and perhaps others, I prefer to pay it myself and know exactly how much I’m putting down rather than have the airlines pay it for me.
I too put 75 CUC away in the safe with the passports for the 3 of us right when I arrive.For the first time during the last trip I had to take 5 CUC from it because there a way too much of a line up for the cadeca and I was really hoping they would not run out of money for the remaining of the week!

Not sure if it is related, but I just saw the price of the trip I was looking at go up 100$ for 3 persons. If that’s for the departure tax the markup is not that bad since 75 CUC is close to 95$

I can’t say that I’ve ever found paying the departure tax to be that big deal. Usually it’s been a very short line and it only takes a few moments after long wait at check-in and before the long wait to go through security. In the big picture of an airport departure, it’s nothing. I also have a hard time believing that Sunwing is going to pay this for us without charging a fee of some sort, a fee that I’ll resent paying.

Given that May 1st is less than three months away, I find it difficult to see how a switch-over to the departure tax being included in airfare will be in place by then. There is no notice posted from Canadian carriers. It will be a mad dash if tour operators & airlines need to collect the departure tax (plus service charge plus HST) with so little notice, and we can be sure that the tour operators / airlines aren’t going to eat 25 CUC per passenger.Cuba’s finances MUST be improving if they are moving to this model. That 25CUC per person is hard cash received every day – to about 75 million CUC annually from tourists alone. Processing it through multiple airlines will mean that it will take longer for Cuba to receive that money.

I’ve done a bit of sleuthing today, and my guess is that the departure tax MIGHT be included as part of the P2P tours from the US. That’s just my surmising though. I doubt that “regular” tourists will have the departure tax included in the cost of their ticket for a long while yet.

Oh-la-la … that is quicker than I thought that it would be! Can you imagine some people’s reaction when they receive that e-mil from the tour operator. The amount isn’t bad though.
Thanks for posting, Spunky.

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