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Santa Barbara Airport gets into the holiday spirit

Posted at 3:52 AM, Nov 21, 2018

The Santa Barbara Airport is trying to alleviate holiday travel pain with some added services and festivities.

Beginning this week, the airport is introducing the SBA Sleigh. It’s a four-person golf cart that will help transport holiday travelers from the long-term parking lot to their airline terminal.

If the long-term parking lot fills up, the airport will open an overflow parking lot at Frederick Lopez Road, near the corner of Hollister Avenue. Signs will be posted letting drivers know where to go. There will be shuttle service to the airline terminal every 15 minutes.

On December 12, the main lobby at the airport will be filled with Songs of the Season. Local school choir groups will sing festive songs for travelers to enjoy. The event runs from 11:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is also invited to check out the singers and sip on free cider and hot chocolate.

The schedule of performances is as follows:

  • Harding Elementary School: 11:15 a.m.
  • San Marcos High School: 12:30 p.m.
  • Dos Pueblos High School: 2:00 p.m.
  • Young Singers: 4:00 p.m.
  • Santa Barbara High School 4:30 p.m.

The airport gives choir directors a stipend of $500 in order to support music programs. Harding Elementary plans to spend the money on a new xylophone. Dos Pueblos High School will use it for travel to a performance at the Jazz Educators Network Conference, and San Marcos High School will use the money to cover some of the costs of a trip to Segerstrom Center of the Arts where they were invited to perform.

The airport is expecting a lot of holiday travelers this year with three new carriers and some new direct destinations.

“Holiday travel need not be synonymous with stress,” said SBA’s Airport Business Development Manager, Deanna Zachrisson. “The best way to ensure the season stays merry is to bookend travel with SBA. Our airport has grown in capacity and service, but it hasn’t lost its hometown feel. We look forward to spending our holidays with our regional community and their visiting friends and families.”

The airport offers flights from American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Contour Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, and United Airlines. There are 26 daily departures to 10 non-stop destinations including Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Nearly 711,000 passengers traveled out of Santa Barbara Airport last year.