Santa Barbara- LAX or Ontario airport?

Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 03:06 PM
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Santa Barbara- LAX or Ontario airport?

We are traveling to Santa Barbara and have a choice of flying into LAX or the Ontario, CA airport. Considering drive time and comparative parking, rental car return, security and flight check-in, which of these airports would you suggest? The drive distance from LAX to SB certainly looks shorter, but I assume rental car return, security lines ,etc. at LAX are much more time consuming. Thanks!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 03:20 PM
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This sort of depends on the time of day. The best airport for your purposes would probably be Hollywood-Burbank.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 03:46 PM
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Check the price and availability of car rental before you commit, too. I often find the cars are much more expensive at the "smaller" LA airports.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 03:56 PM
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yes, it depends on the price and time of day. LAX is probably your best bet.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:11 PM
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You do realize that Santa Barbara has an airport? Perhaps your airline does not fly there? Allegiant Air flies into Santa Maria, north of Santa Barbara.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Yes-I know there is a SB airport, but flying there means taking three planes rather than two. I don't have a flying phobia, but the sooner I can get off those cattle cars, the better...
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:29 PM
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if you have the option, also check Burbank airport which is closer than LAX and Ontario
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 12:06 AM
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Burbank would definitely be your best choice, if you could get a flight there.

Then LAX.

The worst for your purposes is Ontario, which will necessitate at least an additional hour of driving and Interstate 10 is a dreadful freeway.

Although you could avoid the 10 and cut up north to the 210 and then to 134 and then to Highway 101. But it's still a lot more driving.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 07:32 AM
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Is it a weekday? Might depend on your arrival time. If you can only get into LAX or Burbank around 4 to 7pm, you're much better off taking that 3rd flight. Otherwise Burbank is much easier to grab a rental car and go than is LAX.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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When I mapped the drives to Santa Barbara and LAX and ONT, the difference between the two airports is about 30 miles, although LAX is in the heart of the city/traffic. Ontario airport is actually controlled by LAX (Los Angeles World Airports) and they have squeezed as much traffic into LAX and out of surrounding aiports so ONT (Ontario) is very quiet these days. For that reason, security, baggage claim and traffic will definitely be better at Ontario. Rental car costs just depend on who and when, although pick-up and return lines should be better. CA freeways are another matter- every one of them is crowded and at most times of the day. If you do choose ONT, please make sure you take the I-210 and not the I-10 as the trip should be better traffic and time-wise.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Burbank would be your best choice as others have mentioned. However Ontario might not be bad depending on the time of day. It is easy to navigate and much less crowded. If you are arriving mid-day, you can take the 210 and be through LA rather quickly. If it's later in the day, you are going to get traffic no matter which airport. If you are in the 3-7pm time period, you will be going against traffic on the 210 until you reach the 134 in Burbank. Then it will continue to be slow all the way through the San Fernando Valley and into Ventura. However if you are arriving at LAX during the same time period, the 405 north which connects to the 101 west is a nightmare. So it's a toss up which is worse. Ontario is more miles but probably about the same driving time.

Coming from LAX, you could avoid the 405 into the San Fernando Valley by taking Highway 1 through Malibu on into Ventura Country. I've never made that drive at rush hour but I hear the traffic reports and I think it's pretty bad.

Let us know the arrival and departure times. While Ontario might be OK arriving, if you have to make an afternoon departure flight, then you will be dealing with the traffic heading east. In LA, it's all about the time of day and whether you are heading with or against rush hour traffic. Of course there are freeways like the 405 who are always busy in both directions even in the evening!!
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