Sin City beckoning? SLO airport to offer daily Vegas flights

June 15, 2023


San Luis Obispo gamblers and partygoers will soon be able to take advantage of daily flights to and from Las Vegas. 

Alaska Airlines on Thursday announced it will launch daily nonstop flights between San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport and Las Vegas. Alaska will begin operating the route on Dec. 14.

The airline announced the San Luis Obispo-Las Vegas route as one of a few new nonstop flights connecting popular vacation destinations. The other routes are Portland-Miami and Palm Springs-New York JFK.

“We love connecting our California guests in new ways,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. “This daily route will link San Luis Obispo in California’s Central Coast region with Las Vegas, allowing for connectivity with additional routes in our network. From San Luis Obispo, we also fly nonstop to San Diego, Portland and Seattle.”

Courtney Johnson, director of airports for San Luis Obispo County, also issued a statement saying there has been growing demand for flights between SLO and Las Vegas.

“The decision to introduce this service was driven by the growing demand for travel between these two destinations,” Johnson said. “We anticipate that the Las Vegas-San Luis Obispo route will contribute to increased passenger traffic, benefiting our airport and the region as a whole.”

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We used to tak ethe shuttle to LA and then on to Vegas. But this was in the early to mid 2000’s. They did have a direct filght back from Las Vegas daily. America West. It was a midnight flight. I’m sure some of you remembe rthat one. One time they put us on the wrong plane. The flight attendant said ” ladies and gentlemen thank yo for boarding out flight to Billings Montana”.That was funny. Had to get off an dfind the right plane. I don’t think that would happen today. Good old America west.

What’s with all the opinions? The anti-SLO right wingers have decided this is some unsustainable model based on conspiracy theories and Alaska Airlines will lose money in SLO. Paso nuts are nuts. Let Alaska Airlines decide, free-market baby, but then this is where KPRL diverges from free-market thinking. Sorry that no one wants to fly to Paso.

I think you’re right. Alaska Airlines will do well on this route, in my opinion. Vegas is booming. Not only does it now have professional football and professional hockey, it will soon have professional baseball. Plenty of A’s fans on the CC. And that’s not to mention the new MSG Sphere which is sure to draw the best concert acts in the country. U2 will kick it off in October.

The question now is how much will the airfare be? The previous forays of SBP-LAS flights were too expensive and Allegiant flights out of Santa Maria are reasonable. Granted Allegiant does not fly daily out Santa Maria but it is reasonable airfare with free parking. The good news out of this is that we have another major airport to connect eastward.

It is telling that Santa Maria’s only destination is a very scary airline flying only to Las Vegas. They had 9 seat planes with no bathrooms for a while to LA. Don’t need the free parking, I’ll get a ride.

Too bad the economy sucks so bad no one can afford to go to Vegas….

Someone should have told Alaska Airlines that “no one can afford to go to Vegas”


Please check the facts “Rambunctious”. You are dead wrong on this. The U.S. economy continues to grow with unemployment rates at a historic 3.4% and GDP continuing to tick off at about 2% per quarter (currently better than China).

Nevada set a gaming revenue record in 2022 and with several hotels coming on line and an MLB team prepared to make the city home in three years, Las Vegas is bigger than ever.


In truth, travel is exploding. People are wanting to go everywhere and anywhere. Alaska is a great airlines and they’ll do well. They wouldn’t commit if they didn’t think it would work. The losers here are Southwest Airlines–they had a direct Vegas flight out of Santa Barbara. This will cut into them.

It will also hurt Allegiant’s flights out of Santa Maria. They only fly three days a week or less. If Alaska can come close to meeting Allegiant’s fares they will force them out, leaving SM with zero air carriers. Biggest airport in the area with the longest runway, but can’t bring in a commercial airline. Sad.

They extended the runway to fly to Hawaii. Build it and they will come? Nobody’s coming to Santa Maria.

I sometimes wonder if people are like a nest of bees? When disturbed, they travel in search.

This is what, the 5th or 6th time some SLO airline has established a Vegas ride, only to discover that nearly empty planes don’t generate much profit?

I believe this is the second time for airlines trying out SBP-LAS. The first was US-Airways that went out of business and the second was Contour that ended during “Covid”.

And airfare was too expensive for a flight to LAS.

Las Vegas is nice, but it would be great to have a SBP-EWR (Newark) route or SBP-ORD (Chicago) route from either United or Alaska.

Airport fees at ORD would likely be too high to support a flight from SBP, but maybe MDW would be more cost effective.

@ Kayaknut – You have a point there. I wonder if it would be worth it to United to pay the extra seeing as how ORD is a key hub for them in the region and Midway is not for connections. I think a UA A319 flight SBP-ORD would be profitable, even with the higher cost.

Perhaps more likely than United to Midway, I could also see a flight operated by Southwest using a 737. A little less probable might be a Delta flight (or even Sun Country) to MSP.

I think the most likely would be SBP-ORD via United, followed by SBP-EWR , and then SBP-MSP, even SBP-ATL I don’t think is out of the question via Delta. Delta probably wants back in the market, and SLC (most likely), MSP, or ATL would be their way back in.

I am wondering if the regional planes out of SBP will have enough fuel to fly direct to ORD or even EWR?

Many regional jets could do the routes, but already SBP has aircraft not considered “regional” such as the A319 flying in. SBP could support the A 321 and could also support 737s.

If you want to see where flights could go from SBP- compare it to John Wayne (Orange County) which actually has a 400′ shorter runway and has flights to Chicago using Boeing 737-Max and New York Airbus 321.

SBP already has daily airline flights with A319s. An A319 has published max range of 3,700 nm, whereas your typical route to EWR is just 2,303 nm. Easily doable.