Advice on flying into Santa Barbara Airport

bcla

On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
I'm going to be on a business trip to Santa Barbara. I've never flown into their airport. I've driven down there, but I'm not too sure about how it might work at the airport. I know it's a small airport with limited flights. I may need to fly out of SFO since there's only one small airline with flights from Oakland. Either that or Alaska can do it by going all the way to Portland or Seattle. Also not sure where rental cars would be done, although it kind of sounds like it's all on-site within walking distance other than Thrifty.

I've talked to the travel coordinator about perhaps driving there in a rental car instead from the Bay Area.
 
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Fred M

DIS Dad #860
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
It's been a couple of years since I flew into Santa Barbara, but all their rental car companies are on-site (except Thrifty as you mentioned). It's a 5.5-6 hour drive from the Bay Area. If it was me, I'd drive unless I was on a really tight schedule. And if I was going to fly, I'd just take the United flight from SFO.

I noticed that Contour flies between Santa Barbara and Oakland. I'm in Sacramento and they fly from here to Palm Springs. And it's about $550-$600 for that SMF-PSP flight (round trip). At those rates, I'd rather drive.
 


Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Not Santa Barbara, but SLO - Santa Barbara can't be much different. Rental cars are a breeze. If you are on someone else's dime I'd do that. Small airports are awesome!
Driving will take about 6 hours, SF to SB. If you do drive, I'd take 101 all the way. The drive down I-5 doesn't save you much time and it's pretty monotonous. Whatever you do, don't go all the way down to the 166 and cut over there. I swear that road is from the movie "Deliverance" - just evil.
 

bcla

On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
So I've been set up by the company travel coordinator. Flying in on United from SFO and then back on United Express. I guess that's really the only practical option. First time I'd ever gotten Economy Plus, even though I don't particularly care for a one hour flight. I'm getting there early so I guess I can see Santa Barbara on my off day. Rental is prepaid, and I guess I can just go pick it up although I'll probably need to leave my own credit card.
 

StageTek

It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Glad it worked out. SB is such an easy airport to navigate.
 





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