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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 12:36 pm | Partly Cloudy 62º


Talking Turkey About Holiday Travel at Santa Barbara Airport

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is anticipating its busiest Thanksgiving holiday week since 2011. Passenger numbers have been on the increase since June, and the month of November is on track to beat last year’s numbers.

The airport’s three commercial air carriers  —Alaska, American and United — have been filling up seats for travel in and out of Santa Barbara this week.

In response to strong holiday demand, United Airlines has added departures including a 5:15 a.m. flight to San Francisco. As many as four flights will depart to Denver during the peak days. TSA checkpoint lanes will be open and fully staffed by 4 a.m. to accommodate more passengers, particularly on the early morning departures.

“TSA has coordinated closely with the airport and the airlines to make sure the screening process goes smoothly,” said Tracy Lincoln, SBA operations manager.

The busiest travel days are anticipated to be Saturday and Sunday; both have more than 40 scheduled arriving and departing flights.

Most air carriers require passengers to be checked in and seated at the gate for boarding no later than 20 to 30 minutes prior to departure. SBA also recommends allowing more time when checking in luggage. Long-term parking at SBA may reach capacity, but if needed, the airport plans to provide extra spaces in the short-term parking area. 

Travelers should check with their airline for flight-specific information and with TSA, 866-289-9673, for questions about allowable items through security.

As of Nov. 1, SBA has experienced 3.6 percent growth in passengers and expects to finish the year with 5.2 percent annual growth in passengers.

— Lynn Houston for Santa Barbara Airport.


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