Santa Barbara Airport to Add Chicago as New Destination

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. 

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. 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!

Pamela J. Webber

Water Main Break