While you cannot get a Cuba visa from Southwest, you can purchase a Tourist Card, which grants you access to Cuba. They are pretty much the same document, the difference being that one you can get from a diplomatic mission only, and the other can be obtained online or at the airport. As far as Southwest is concerned, you can purchase a Tourist card one of two ways. You either buy it at the airport the same day as your travel or order one online and have it delivered to you at the gate.
Southwest can get you your Tourist Card and deliver it to you at the gate only if you make an online request 72 hours prior to your departure. You fill in an online form and the Tourist card will be waiting for you at the airport when you leave. You need a valid passport that remains valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Cuba, and of course, travel insurance. The latter can also be purchased at the airport. As for the cost, the Cuban visa from Southwest costs only $50.
There is another scenario as well. Some people need to leave for Cuba and do not have the 72 hours at their disposal to make the online request. However, you should know that you can still get a Tourist Card from Southwest Airline if you leave from Tampa or Fort Lauderdale. You will find it at the check-in counter or Cuba information kiosks.
Do I have an alternative?
You may get a Cuba Visa from Southwest Airlines (Tourist Card), but only if you are a passenger of a Southwest flight. If not, there are several other airlines that provide this service. However, if you board a flight from a company that does not help you get your Tourist card, you can apply online in advance using the services provided by iVisa. You need to meet the same requirements, valid passport and travel insurance, and when you get to Cuba, you also need a flight itinerary.
As for the cost, it depends on the processing time you choose when you fill in the application form. iVisa gives you three options so that you can choose the one that is the most convenient for you. They are as follows:
- Standard processing – your application will be processed and your Tourist card delivered in 3 to 5 business days. This option costs $110
- Rush processing – your Tourist card will arrive within 1 to 3 business days, and the fee is $130
- Super Rush processing – you will have your Cuba Tourist card in 1 business day, and you will be charged $150.
The application form you need to complete is reasonably simple, and you should be done with it in just 10 minutes. One of the best things about iVisa is that it provides a 24/7 support service. That way, you will complete the process correctly.
So, while you can get some kind of Cuba Visa from Southwest Airlines, you also have the option of [applying online]. iVisa will give you the same Tourist Card as the airline, and you will be able to stay for 30 days in Cuba. You have a single entry and the possibility for one extension.