USA & Cuba special requirements
Check our information on special requirements for travelling to the USA and Cuba before you head off on holiday.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
How it works in the USA: All nationals from countries in the visa waiver program, including British Citizens, must obtain an online travel permit in line with ESTA plenty of time before commencing their travels.
You must apply for the ESTA travel permit at esta.cbp.dhs.gov no less than 72 hours before departure. The US authorities cannot guarantee that they will be able to process applications submitted later than that point in time. Since 2010, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has charged travelers from the visa waiver countries a fee of USD 14 per person for filling out the ESTA application. All payments for ESTA application processing must be made by credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover Card).
Please note that we are only permitted to accept passengers with the status “ESTA OK” in the system. We regret that passengers with a status other than “ESTA OK” are not able to check in or travel. If you do not have your ESTA status on the day that you fly and you are using a connecting flight in Frankfurt, you will be able to apply at Frankfurt Airport for a fee of €35. However we cannot guarantee that this will be processed in time for your next departure flight. As this is an issue of entry, the responsibility of correct and punctual ESTA registration lies with you as the passenger.
Warning for travelers with a connecting flight: passengers will also require ESTA registration if they stop over at an airport in the USA en route to their destination or on their way back. Please note that even flights to San Juan on Puerto Rico need an ESTA application.
Collection of Secure Flight data
All airlines are required to submit Secure Flight passenger data to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 75 hours before departure for a security check, and to review the results of this security check before departure. This applies to all Thomas Cook Group Airlines flights to and from the U.S., those with stopovers in the U.S., and some that pass through U.S. airspace (to/from Cancun, Cuba and Toronto).
If you are traveling to the U.S., or if your flight has a stopover in the U.S. or passes through U.S. airspace, you must submit your full first name and surname, date of birth and gender – as recorded in the machine-readable part of your passport – to the Secure Flight program. If you have a redress number*, this must also be specified.
All of the required details, for all parts of your flight, must be submitted 75 hours before the planned departure time so we can pass them on to the TSA. Submissions made after this point via the online form cannot be considered. We kindly request that you enter the required details (country information/U.S. data form) as soon as possible, preferably during or immediately after the booking.
Please note that if you have not been security-cleared by the TSA, we cannot issue you with a boarding pass and you cannot board your flight to the U.S./through U.S. airspace.
* You will be given a redress number if you fail the TSA security check but successfully contest this result (for instance, if you failed due to being mistaken for someone with the same name).
Passport and visa requirements
You require a machine-readable passport when entering the USA. This rule also applies to babies and children. Travel documents must be valid for the duration of the trip (i.e. up to and including the day of departure from the U.S. at the very least). For more details, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements or the travel section your Federal Foreign Office website.
Additional entry requirements for USA flights
Non-US citizens traveling to the USA will be asked to provide the following information about their vacation destination in the USA during check-in: hotel name (not required if staying at a private residence; in the case of cruises, the name of the cruise ship company); street address (not required when staying on a ship); city; state; zip code.
If this information has not been provided, you may not be allowed to travel.
To prevent increased waiting times for you and all other guests, we request that you have this information ready at check-in and make more of an effort to be at the airport three hours prior to departure. You will find the relevant form at your travel agency, online at www.condor.com or www.thomascookairlines.com.
Special baggage screening
As of 2003, US law allows all checked baggage to be opened and searched without the presence of the owner before leaving the country. The only notification you receive is a note in your suitcase once you reach your home country.
Please be aware that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will force open any bags it cannot open normally. The TSA accepts no liability for any property damage or loss as a result of this process. We thus advise you not to lock your bags or place valuables in your checked baggage because insurance companies will not pay for any damage, either.
Cigarette lighters and matches are prohibited in carry-on baggage on flights to the U.S. and Canada, as well as on flights with stopovers in the U.S.. Certain pointed or sharp objects may not be permitted in carry-on baggage. On flights to the U.S., only liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) in containers of up to 100 ml in volume are permitted; passengers are allowed up to 10 of these each. As these special regulations are subject to change at short notice, please check the latest information with your travel agent, at condor.com, at www.thomascookairlines.com or at www.tsa.gov (under “Prohibited Items”) shortly before your flight.
Entry regulations for Cuba
Well equipped for Cuba: All those traveling to Cuba are obliged to provide proof of health insurance cover valid for Cuba for the intended duration of stay. The ancillary policies issued by your insurance company should be in Spanish if possible. However, those provided in German or English will also be accepted by authorities. Travelers who fail to provide proof of sufficient insurance cover upon arrival in Cuba may conclude a policy with a Cuban insurance company at the airport.