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Entrance of Santa Barbara Airport with a car parked
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SBA New & Increased Summer Commercial Air Service

Authored on
April 4, 2022
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Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is excited to announce two new nonstop routes starting this summer! United Airlines will bring back their seasonal service to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) starting June 3. This service will be SBA’s first red-eye flight, departing at 11:45pm every night except Saturday. Southwest is adding a new service to Sacramento (SMF) starting June 5 departing daily at 10:00am. Both new destinations are now available to book for your summer trips!

Special events at SBA to celebrate the launch of the new services will take place in June, and throughout the summer.

In addition, several of the currently available routes will have an increase in capacity this summer, resulting in more options for passengers departing out of SBA. American Airlines will increase capacity on services to Dallas (DFW) and Phoenix (PHX). United Airlines will increase capacity on services to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).

The new and increased summer service options are expected to make SBA busier than ever. SBA experienced a faster than predicted operational recovery starting mid-2021. With over 873,000 commercial passengers served, SBA experienced a year-over-year increase of 129% from 2020, and was just shy of 2019 by approximately 125,000 passengers. The first quarter of 2022 has continued to build from the momentum of last year. In just the last three months SBA has served just under 180,000 passengers, which is almost three times the passengers coming through SBA this time last year.

“As an attractive domestic leisure destination, Santa Barbara has enjoyed a strong recovery following significant travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.  At the Santa Barbara Airport, monthly passenger counts are expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels throughout the coming months as we anticipate a record year in 2022.  The Santa Barbara Airport is honored to be able to provide services that contribute to the economic vitality of our region.” Brian D’Amour, Interim Airport Director.

This good news also brings the reminder to all SBA passengers to arrive early and be prepared! Arriving 2 hours early, especially on peak travel days, is going to be more important than ever. SBA highly encourages passengers to catch a ride when at all possible – recruiting a friend or family member, grabbing a taxi, hopping on the bus, or utilizing a rideshare service are all great options. Although the three parking lot options are easy to access and utilize, the Short and Long Term Parking Lots closest to the Terminal fill quickly. The Economy Lot is located at 140 Frederick Lopez Road, just off Hollister Avenue, and has a free shuttle service that runs to and from the Terminal every 15 minutes.

Other tips when planning to arrive early and be prepared:

  • Do not forget your mask! SBA, and all other Airports, are still under the Federal Mask Mandate..
  • When going through TSA, be prepared to briefly remove your mask to show your full face while showing your ID, and be ready to scan your own boarding pass. You are also able to carry up to 12 oz. of hand sanitizer in your carry-on luggage.
  • Download and utilize a mobile boarding pass before arriving to SBA.
  • Picking up Passengers? Remember you cannot park your vehicle at the curb for any duration of time or leave your vehicle unattended. Two cell phone lots are located very close to the Terminal and are available for those waiting to pick up their loved ones.

SBA is a beautiful and clean place to relax and enjoy a meal or coffee at our restaurant or a book and snack from our locally own gift store. Please, arrive early and be prepared!