Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination title=
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination
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United Airlines (stock photo)

Update by edhat staff
October 28, 2019

Santa Barbara Airport and United Airlines Announce Daily Nonstop Service Between Santa Barbara and Chicago

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) announces today that United Airlines will offer direct, “red-eye” service to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) starting on June 4, 2020.
The daily service will depart from SBA at 11:20 pm and arrive at ORD at 5:20 am local time. For Santa Barbara area residents, it will be the most time-efficient nonstop service available to the Midwest with connections to more than a hundred destinations in Europe and the Caribbean. The route will be served by an Airbus 319, with the capacity of up to 128 passengers.
“We are honored that United Airlines has chosen SBA for new service via its Chicago hub,” says Airport Director, Henry Thompson. “Whether for business or leisure, we encourage everyone to take advantage of this service. It’s a great way to spend a full day in our beautiful city and arrive in Chicago, or on the East Coast, in the morning rather than during the evening rush hour. This nonstop flight will also shave hours off the typical routes via Denver, Los Angeles or San Francisco.”
“We are thrilled to offer our Central California customers with nonstop service between beautiful Santa Barbara and United’s hub in Chicago,” said Janet Lamkin, United’s California President. “United’s new service to Chicago will connect Santa Barbara to more than 40 destinations across the Midwest and East Coast.” 
The success in bringing this new and sought-after service is the result of a close partnership between Santa Barbara Airport and the region’s tourism marketing powerhouse, Visit Santa Barbara. “The service is equally important for our tourism industry. We know that easy access from new markets can bring repeat visitors to our region year-round. Visit Santa Barbara looks forward to aggressively promoting this new service in Chicago,” says Kathy Janega-Dykes, CEO for Visit Santa Barbara. A Santa Barbara-bound traveler will conveniently depart at the end of a workday in Chicago at 7:45 pm and arrive at 10:30 pm.
Beginning November 13, United will also offer exclusive service to Denver three to four times a day as Frontier Airlines transitions to seasonal service.

By edhat staff
October 25, 2019

Rumor has it a new nonstop destination will be added to Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) and it's about to get a little windy.

An eagle-eyed reader sent us this clue from SBA's Facebook page where the post states, "We've got a BIG secret to share on Monday... It's no ordinary nonstop! You'll be seeing red, but don't be shy. Tag a friend, share our post, we want more followers to join our friendly confines! On Monday, you'll see why..."

Another person commented that "seeing red" may be a reference to a red-eye, an overnight/late-night flight. Plus "friendly confines" could be a reference to Wrigley Field.

Other commenters confirmed United Airlines unveiled the new destination during a media event on Friday as Chicago, Illinois. 

United Airlines media event (Photo: janders/

Santa Barbara Airlines is expected to make an official announcement on Monday. 

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a-1572292818 Oct 28, 2019 01:00 PM
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

Also to add who likes to sit in a cramped bus, yes, it is cramped, and then arrive at the airport where you're eventually going be sitting again for a long time probably not in your favorite chair while on the plane? Not I!

Luvaduck Oct 26, 2019 07:29 PM
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

UAL: Usually Awful & Late. But sometimes you must take what you can get living in the "boondocks" as we (apparently) do in this time of airline hubs--not planning to move to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, NY/NJ any time soon!

jak Oct 26, 2019 10:27 AM
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

United had flights between Santa Barbara and Chicago through most of its history believe it or not. And once they made the switch to jets, they were mostly nonstop flights. And American used to fly directly to Dallas every day (and for a brief time in the eighties direct to Raleigh NC). As for who wins the “worst airline” award, that’s a highly competitive contest. This year, American has reclaimed the bragging rights from United.

a-1572107381 Oct 26, 2019 09:29 AM
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

Unfortunately United has become the worst service airline in the US. Considering O'Hare's problems as well people should not expect punctuality in this new service. The Chi to Den to SBA connection has been reliable and the Denver airport is a nice place to layover for a decent airport meal. But it is understandable that folks would like to save a few hours on this trip.

CS805 Oct 28, 2019 08:17 AM
Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

Summer red-eyes are extremely popular to ORD. This route likely wouldn't be possible without a red-eye because of the limited plane availability as the MAX is still grounded, and further this allows growth while utilizing existing aircraft overnight instead of parking at a game until morning.

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