Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 6:58 am | Fair 42º


Arrive Early to Santa Barbara Airport This Holiday Season

The December holiday season is here and the Santa Barbara Airport suggests anyone departing Friday, Dec. 19 through Thursday, Dec. 25 arrive 90 minutes early in order to have a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

All flights to Seattle and Portland are at 95 percent capacity from Dec. 21 to Dec. 25, and the airport expects United, American/US Airways and Frontier Airlines to report similar enplanements.

This year, to add some holiday cheer to the John T. Rickard Terminal, the Santa Barbara Airport surprised passengers on Dec. 3 with a flash mob. The San Marcos Madrigal Choir, the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and United gate agent Peter Kravchuk all participated in the event. The videos have been released on social media and can be seen on SBA’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

So while you’re waiting for your flight and enjoying the airport amenities, take a look at a fun holiday extravaganza!

Some up-to-date holiday travel tips:

» Parking: Lots of convenient parking within a short distance of the Airline Terminal.

» Short-term parking lot: 500 Fowler Road. Directly across from the Terminal entrance, this lot is a convenient option for those dropping off or picking up passengers. Those who travel for short durations may also wish to consider this parking option at: $20 day or $2 first hour/$1 each additional.

» Long-term parking lot: 500 Fowler Road. Located adjacent to the Terminal, this lot is but a short walk to ticketing. Rates: $12 day or $2 first hour/$1 each additional.

» Cell phone lots: At the WWII Memorial, off James Fowler Road. For those picking up passengers who do not wish to park please use this lot.

Due to the Transportation Security Administration’s security regulations in place since Sept. 11, 2001, vehicles are not permitted to park at the Airline Terminal curb unless active loading or unloading is taking place. Please review TSA’s Travel Tips to become familiar with the latest updates on prohibited items.

While you can bring wrapped gifts through the checkpoint, TSA officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. TSA recommends that you wrap gifts after your flight or ship them ahead of time. This way you will avoid having to open them during the screening process.

For an up to the minute flight schedule, please go to If weather becomes a factor, please call your airline.

The Santa Barbara Airport is a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City Santa Barbara and serves over 700,000 passengers annually.

— Hazel Johns is director of the Santa Barbara Airport.

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