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Travel time from San Diego to Santa Barbara


San Diego to Santa Barbara airports and flights

How long does it really take to fly from San Diego to Santa Barbara? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Santa Barbara, you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.


Thursday, 9:11 am:  start in San Diego
drive for about 7 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 10:13 am at the latest

9:18 am:  San Diego International (SAN)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 10:43 am

9:48 am:  get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

10:48 am:  arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

11:18 am:  prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

11:33 am:  board United Air Lines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

11:43 am:  this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 3 minutes

11:46 am:  so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 20 minutes to taxi to the runway

12:06 pm:  wheels up! take-off from SAN
fly for about 1 hour in the air

1:16 pm:  San Francisco International (SFO)
San Francisco, CA is the same time as San Diego, CA
land at the connecting airport
taxi on the runway for an average of 8 minutes to the gate

1:24 pm:  arrive at the connecting airport
make sure you schedule enough time for your layover
there may be a minimum connection time for your flight

2:05 pm:  get to your connection gate
with the average delay, you have about 41 minutes
if your incoming flight was delayed, you may need to run

2:20 pm:  board SkyWest Airlines Inc. connecting flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

2:30 pm:  scheduled departure time for connecting flight
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 30 minutes

3:00 pm:  actual departure time for connecting flight
it takes the plane an average of 23 minutes to taxi to the runway

3:23 pm:  wheels up again! take-off from PDX
fly for about 45 minutes in the air

4:08 pm (local time):  Santa Barbara Municipal (SBA)
Santa Barbara is the same time as San Diego
taxi on the runway for an average of 5 minutes to the gate

4:13 pm (local time):  arrive at the gate at SBA
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 25 minutes to your destination

4:38 pm (local time):  arrive in Santa Barbara

Total travel time: 7 hours

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Flying non-stop from San Diego to Santa Barbara

How far is Santa Barbara from San Diego? Here's the quick answer if you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line.

Flight distance: 188 miles or 302 km

Flight time: 53 minutes

Compare this to a whole day of commercial travel with the airports and waiting in line for security, which ends up taking a total of 7 hours, 27 minutes.

Flying private is roughly 8.5x faster, and saves you about 6.5 hours in your total travel time.

Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. The flight itinerary at the top of the page takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.


Santa Barbara Airports
  1. Santa Barbara Municipal Airport


Best day of the week to fly to Santa Barbara

Looking at flights on United Air Lines Inc. from SAN to SFO, and connecting flights on SkyWest Airlines Inc. from SFO to SBA, here's a breakdown of the number of flights available each day:

  • Sunday
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday

Based on these statistical results, we chose Thursday for the flight itinerary above.



Alternate flights from San Diego to Santa Barbara

The most common route is SAN to SFO, then connecting to SBA, so that's what we used in the sample itinerary. However, you may want to explore travel alternatives, you could try one of these routes:

  1. SAN to SFO to SBA
    San Diego International to San Francisco International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  2. SAN to PHX to SBA
    San Diego International to Phoenix Sky Harbor International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  3. SAN to DEN to SBA
    San Diego International to Denver International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  4. SAN to LAX to SBA
    San Diego International to Los Angeles International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  5. SAN to SEA to SBA
    San Diego International to Seattle/Tacoma International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  6. SAN to DFW to SBA
    San Diego International to Dallas/Fort Worth International to Santa Barbara Municipal
  7. SAN to PDX to SBA
    San Diego International to Portland International to Santa Barbara Municipal


Airlines that fly to Santa Barbara

We picked United Air Lines Inc. for your main flight, and SkyWest Airlines Inc. for your connecting flight, but there are other airlines that you should check if you're looking for the cheapest flight, or you need a different schedule. Check the websites of these airlines:

  1. United Air Lines Inc. (UA)
  2. Southwest Airlines Co. (WN)
  3. Virgin America (VX)
  4. SkyWest Airlines Inc. (OO)


Plan a trip to Santa Barbara

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Santa Barbara, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Santa Barbara. If you're looking for a place to stay, you might want to check out Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. A great place to eat might be McConnell's Fine Ice Creams. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Santa Barbara like Butterfly Beach. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Santa Barbara like Favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara? Click the button below to explore Santa Barbara in detail.





What about the return flight?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line. But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse flight itinerary to fly from Santa Barbara to San Diego, or go to the main page to calculate other flight times.

You can also compare the travel time if you were to drive instead. Get the full itinerary for a San Diego to Santa Barbara road trip. Or if you're more interested in the distance, How far is it from San Diego to Santa Barbara?

If you happen to know San Diego, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about San Diego!






At a Glance
without making any stops
flight distance is 188 miles
flight time of 53 minutes
256 San Diego travel answers
189 Santa Barbara travel answers










   
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