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Holiday Travel Tips from Santa Barbara Airport

The Santa Barbara Airport anticipates a busier than normal travel period between Dec. 21 and Jan. 2.

During the month of December, passenger volumes at SBA tend to be higher than usual with the busiest days being Friday (Dec. 21) through Wednesday (Dec. 26). To ensure an easy arrival to the airport, passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive at the airport 1½ hours prior to flight departure time.

For visitors picking up passengers, visit or download our free app, both with a live flight schedule that will keep you up to date with the latest departures and arrivals.

Passengers may also want to arrive a little early to take advantage of SBA’s many new venues to get a great meal, snack or a drink before catching their flights. For those dropping off or picking up a passenger, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is available for food/beverages pre-security. Click here for a list of food and beverage options.

SBA offers the following travel tips:

» Plan ahead — Use caution when traveling through the airport drop-off road and obey reduced speed limits. Plan to arrive 1½ hours prior to your flight departure time to find parking, check-in with your airline, and go through security screening to get to the boarding gate on-time.

» Pack smart — Know what items are accepted or prohibited through security and on the aircraft, including food and beverage items. Check your bags before you arrive at the airport and remove any prohibited items as it will make security screening faster and easier. As a reminder, gifts should not be wrapped as they are subject to search, even if placed in checked baggage.

The TSA liquid restrictions remain in place; bottled water and liquids over 3 ounces are prohibited through security screening at the boarding gates. Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted in carry-on luggage if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, resealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids. Larger sizes may be packed in checked baggage. See TSA’s website for more information.

Parking Options at SBA

» Short-Term Parking directly across from the airline terminal; $2 for first hour, $1 per hour after up to $20 per day.

» Long-Term Parking Lot 1 is a short walk to the airline terminal; $2 for first hour, $1 per hour after up to $12 per day.

» Long-Term Parking Lot 2 on Frederick Lopez Road, off Hollister Avenue near Fairview Avenue. A complimentary shuttle van service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cost is $2 for the first hour, $1 per hour after up to $9 per day. All parking lots are automated — cash or credit card.

— Hazel Johns is assistant director of the Santa Barbara Airport.

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