Cubana's experience was-..
- Cubana service sucks and no way anyone should fly longhaul for 9 hours when UX (air europa) is about the same price.
- Wanna fly Russian? Cubana has no accidents since 1999, so no so unsafe as people think
- Internal flights are fixed and published price, and if they rob someone it is the airline and not the passenger
- Cubana people may be too laid back, but are not incompetent nor bad tempered. If you are patient and polite, things get done. I saw the Captain in several flights talking hapilly with passengers without the "I am the master" attitude
- Add 1 hour extra for check in all flights
- The terminals are not pretty, but are reasonably functional
- The Russian planes are OK, the interior is the drawback. Again, worth the experience. Flights to Canada are operated with 2 leased TACA's A320s, these are surely OK.
- Spotting at the airports is something to be very careful about, the police make you switch it off if they see you. Avoid any problems especially when you are a pax. By no means you should be near the airport by some fence taking pictures, IMHO. The country is always bragging to be a target of USA-organised terrorism and the 1976 Cubana DC-8 bombing seems to be a national pride (who cares...they do!!!)
Bottom line: Cubana is a below standard airline in terms of service, and the plane’s cabins are poor by western patterns. But people are not unfriendly, and despito unorthodox and vey bureaucratic ways of doing things, it still works. We did not have to bribe anyone, or be unpolite and managed to book and fly without any problems. Smile, speak spanish if you can, avoid being aggressive if they try to scam a few CUC’s from you, and you’ll’ be ok.