You might not have noticed, but believe it or not, Santa Barbara has its own airport. A variety of commuter airlines have serviced the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport over the years, but most recently only United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines regularly operated flights out of this quaint airport, and flight options were limited. But a long-awaited dream for travelers in love with the Central Coast has finally come true. Southwest Airlines launched service from Santa Barbara Airport on April 12, 2021. Southwest Airlines will service flights to and from Las Vegas, Oakland and Denver from Santa Barbara. With the new, convenient and low-cost flight option in and out of Santa Barbara airport, Southwest Airlines is poised to become the dominant air carrier with an initial schedule of five daily nonstop flights in and out of Santa Barbara to either Las Vegas, Denver or Oakland to start.


direct flights to Santa Barbara Airport Southwest Airlines


Direct flights into Santa Barbara will increase; leisure travel benefits

As we leave the COVID-19 era behind, this is good news for Santa Barbara travel and hospitality industries, as well as travelers. Local hospitality and Santa Barbara businesses are prepared to welcome the new influx of leisure travelers, meeting attendees and newlyweds to the American Riviera. The tourism bureau committed $250,000 to support the new Southwest flights through marketing campaigns and a variety of upgrades have been made to the airport to accommodate expanded capacity in travelers and their luggage. The new direct flights into Santa Barbara by Southwest Airlines mark the beginning of a turnaround in leisure travel, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdowns ease across the state of California, the summer months ahead are looking brighter than ever along the Central Coast.


<<Plan to fly direct into Santa Barbara Municipal Airport on Southwest or another airline? Search vacation rental home properties for your vacation or business travel needs. >>


Southwest Airlines offers low-cost flights and does not charge baggage fees, making it an especially favored airline for those carrying surfboards, golf clubs or other bulky sized luggage. But not to be outdone, it seems the competition from Southwest Airlines new routes has prompted United Airlines to add additional flights to its Denver-Santa Barbara route and American Airlines’ is offering a new, temporary and direct flight into the Santa Barbara Airport from Chicago, which runs May through September of 2021. Depending on the demand, American Airlines could consider expanding the number of flights, according to a KEYT news report. United Airlines is also looking to add a route from Santa Barbara to Chicago and Alaska Airlines plans to add daily service from Santa Barbara to San Diego in the summer. Delta Airlines might resume its service between Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City, which it suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deanna Zachrisson, Santa Barbara Airport’s business development manager, told Noozhawk.  It’s all good news for travelers coming from around the country and set on Santa Barbara as a final destination for either leisure or business travel.

In all and including the new Southwest direct routes, Santa Barbara’s airport services non-stop flights from Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Getting to Santa Barbara by air has never been more convenient.

As an alternative to flying, Santa Barbara is also easily accessible via train. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner route boasts scenic ocean views from San Luis Obispo through Santa Barbara and then on to Los Angeles and San Diego. The Santa Barbara train station is steps away from both Downtown and the beach and walking distance to many of our short-term Santa Barbara vacation rental homes.

If you’d like to fly into Santa Barbara and then continue your adventure by car, Santa Barbara Airport offers a variety of on-airport car rental services. Enjoy scenic drives along the coast or into wine country, then relax and enjoy your stay at one of our deluxe vacation rental homes within walking or short driving distance to popular Santa Barbara shops, restaurants and beaches.

Choosing a vacation rental home in Santa Barbara

Our properties provide the comforts of home along with convenient luxuries you won’t get in a hotel room. With fully stocked kitchens, comfy bedrooms and large living areas, families and friends can travel together at greatly reduced costs. Being able to prepare meals and enjoy a bottle of wine in your vacation rental is both relaxing and economical. Our beautiful vacation rental homes allow guests to stay longer in Santa Barbara and enjoy life like a local. View short-term or long-term rentals and check rates for your dates: