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  • Konrad Tillman

Reflecting On A Trip To Cuba; My Heart Is In Havana

Intro


This morning, I just returned from my weekend trip to Cuba. Frankly, Cuba is one of the most special places I have been in my life, top 5 countries easily. From stellar flights to Krug champagne in the lounges to cheap rum and amazing people, this is a trip I will never forget.


Before I write individual posts for the flights and activities, I wanted to summarize the 72 hours I was away.


AA A321neo Economy Los Angeles-Miami


While this review should be posted tomorrow, I wanted to mention how impressed I was with American Airlines on the redeye to Miami. Even though I hold no status at the moment on AA, I was upgraded to main cabin extra which made for a comfortable flight. Service was top-notch, and we were only 40 minutes late😅! Although I will say, I almost missed my flight due to not filling out the immigration form before😂, that's my fault.


A comfortable ride

AA 737 Economy Miami-Havana


After a brief layover in Miami, I flew down to Havana. This was an extremely fun flight with people singing and shouting "Welcome to Cuba, it's 2024", a lot different from the business routes I usually fly. While there was no service on the flight, I sat next to a music artist and we chatted the whole way down. The views were incredible as always.


Missed this

Staying In A Casa Particular


For my two nights in Cuba, I opted to book a Casa Particular. I had a host named Myrna who was incredible for my time there. The house was gorgeous, with beautiful antique decorations, crystal glasses, and more.


Such an incredible time

Cigar Workshop


My favorite activity of the trip was the cigar workshop with a French man named Edo. From start to finish, we smoked, rolled our own cigars, drank a lot of rum, and had some intrinsic conversations about life and how to make yourself the best version of yourself. This experience changed my life for the better in how I look at it.


I'm not very good at it though

Photoshoot


For 60$, I managed to get an old car for a couple of hours and a photographer. She was incredible and took some shots worthy of being put on Instagram.


Al Capone used to gamble here

This might be the greatest photo of my collection from around the world or at least my favorite.


My heart is in Havana

Salsa Dancing


On my last day, I headed to learn Cuban Salsa. This activity was lots of fun and at 20$, I cannot recommend this enough. The woman who ran the tour was extremely helpful and patient since this was my first time😒. (no, I don't have any pictures I am willing to share😂)


Havana Music School

Taxis In Havana


The taxis in Havana are old and beautiful. It's truly a different place once you get off the plane and see cars from 1955. I recommend downloading La Nave (Uber equivalent) before you come because street prices are a lot more expensive (a lot...).


A beautiful car

AA 737 Business Class Havana-Miami


Even though Havana airport only had one security machine set up, for 300 passengers the flight itself was fantastic once I got on board. It was only a 45-minute flight but champagne (sparkling wine) was served alongside Mixed nuts. The seat was more than adequate for a flight of this length.


Bye Bye Caribbean

AA Flagship Lounge Miami


Since I could get on an earlier flight to Miami, I had 4 hours in the lounge. This Flagship lounge is the best one I have been to (business class-wise) out of all AA locations. I must have been ID'd 7 times over the course of 4 hours, to be fair I do have a baby face. The showers were fantastic; more on that later in the full review.


Back to America and Champagne

AA 777-200 Business Class Miami-New York


For this segment, I had another phenomenal flight onboard American Airlines. Thankfully, I had the "nicer" business class (my mum was on the old one out of Rio last night) which means I now have the experience to write reviews for both! The service was exemplary, the food was unbelievable (I was shocked), and everything was perfect!


A beautiful sunset as well

The Chelsea Lounge JFK


Due to a slightly early arrival in New York, I had some time to kill. While I originally went to the business lounge there was a glitch in the system saying I had access to the exclusive "Chelsea Lounge". I wasn't complaining so I headed over there and enjoyed some Krug Champagne and a Short Rib. More on that in the review as this might be a way around the system🤭.


Such a nice treat

AA A321T Business Class New York-Los Angeles


AA you were so close to perfect, so close. The flight itself was fantastic but there was one aspect where they slipped up. At the lounge they mentioned an upgrade offer to FC for 237$, I said I would decide later. Once I got to the gate they informed me it had to be done 24 hours before the flight, which is definitely not true... Anyway, the flight was phenomenal, the service was incredible, and cannot recommend AA enough after these trips.


PDB is always spot on

Final Thoughts


This weekend was nothing short of spectacular. From exemplary flying onboard American Airlines to relaxation in Cuba to learning about the history of cigars, it was a weekend I will cherish forever. I will be home for the next 12 days before embarking on my LATAM adventure. This means I'll have all the detailed reviews out soon!

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