Skip to Content

Daily nonstop flights to Chicago coming to Santa Barbara Airport just in time for summer

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - United Airlines is launching a new direct service in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) and the Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) next month.

Starting June 3, daily nonstop flights will be offered from SBA at 7 a.m. to ORD at 1:20 p.m. local time.

The route will be served by an Embraer 175 which can hold up to 76 passengers and offers two-class service.

Both airport personnel and passengers are excited for the new service, which will shorten travel times for many as travel restrictions and COVID regulations loosen nationwide this summer.

"We are honored that United Airlines has chosen SBA for new service via its Chicago hub," said Santa Barbara Airport Director, Henry Thompson. "For Santa Barbara area residents, it will be our farthest direct flight with connections to more than 40 destinations across the Midwest and East Coast and will also shave hours off the typical routes via Denver, Los Angeles or San Francisco. As international travel opens this route will connect Santa Barbara to over 60 international destinations."

As part of the promotion for the new Chicago flight, Dave's Dogs Grill will be set up outside the terminal's main entrance every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the entire month of June.

Along with their normal menu, Dave's Dogs will be featuring their Chicago Dog as well as vegetarian selections. The Santa Barbara Airport is encouraging everyone in the community to stop by and enjoy a hot dog.

"We are thrilled that our community will now have access to nonstop service from our beautiful city to Chicago and beyond," said Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo. "It is equally as important for our tourism industry and this service will help bring visitors to our region year-round."

Advance booking for these flights are available now at

The Santa Barbara Airport also offers the following direct flights:

  • Chicago via American Airlines: Seasonal Service only on Saturdays and Sundays between May 8 - September 5, 2021 
  • Chicago via United Airlines starting June 3, 2021
  • Dallas via American Airlines
  • Denver via United Airlines and Southwest Airlines 
  • Las Vegas via Southwest Airlines
  • Los Angeles via United Airlines
  • Oakland via Southwest Airlines
  • Phoenix via American Airlines
  • Portland via Alaska Airlines
  • San Diego via Alaska Airlines starting June 17, 2021 
  • San Francisco via United Airlines
  • Seattle via Alaska Airlines

For a copy of the Santa Barbara Airport's COVID-safe travel checklist and more information about what to expect when traveling through SBA during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can visit

Article Topic Follows: Travel

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content