Santa Barbara Airport Holiday Travel

During the month of December, passenger volumes at SBA tend to be higher than usual with the busiest days being Friday (December 21) through Wednesday (December 26). To ensure an easy arrival to the Airport, passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive at the Airport 1.5 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.


Plan Ahead – Use caution when traveling through the Airport drop-off road and obey reduced speed limits. Plan to arrive 1.5 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 oz. 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, re-sealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids. Larger sizes may be packed in checked baggage. See TSA’s website for more information.


– 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 7 days a week. $2 for the first hour, $1 per hour after up to $9 per day. All parking lots are automated – cash or credit card.


The Airport Administration Office, as with many City administrative offices, is closed from December 21 – January 1. However, this does not affect airline operations and passenger services at the airline terminal. Media Inquiries: Contact the Airport Security Operations Center at 805.681.4803 after December 20th should you needs additional information.

Have a safe and joyous Holiday Season from all of us at the Santa Barbara Airport.


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