Public service announcement: Sonoma Airport is open!

Translated: Horizon Airlines has three direct flights from LAX to Santa Rosa, with round trips as low as $158. They’re also launching Las Vegas service April 24.

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The Charles M. Schultz – Sonoma County Airport is something less than breaking news, since it  reopened almost a year ago. However, it was down so long — since September 2001, when it was viewed as a security risk and forbidden to operate commercial flights — that it’s easy to forget it existed. (Note: An airport rep tells me that the commercial airlines pulled out pre-9/11 because there weren’t enough passengers to support the service. But it’s my understanding that the FAA wasn’t keen to allow their return for security reasons.)

And that would be a tragedy, since the alternatives for wine-country trips range from annoying to wretched. Oakland is only 40 miles away, but the traffic in between is enough to make you pine for I-10 SIG alerts. There’s much less congestion between Napa and Sacramento, but it’s 60 dull miles.

However, the greatest loss was the tiny airport itself. I flew there in April 2000 on United Express for the Sonoma Valley Film Festival. It was 10 steps from the plane to the airport; five minutes later, we had the rental car. Twenty minutes later, we were at our hotel  (and dinner at The Girl and the Fig shortly thereafter).

With enough money, you can pick up a great bottle of wine almost anywhere. But fond feelings toward an airport? Priceless.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Public service announcement: Sonoma Airport is open!

  1. Big Bomb

    Plus, they had a hot gal refueling the planes in shorts and on rollerskates …

  2. Arlene

    Just flew in from Santa Rosa/Sonoma last night and can report all went well. It feels like a private airport. Arrived at the airport 20 minutes before flight time. You place your bag on a cart before boarding the plane and it’s waiting for you planeside when you land. Very private jet. You can also take one case of wine back with you at no additional charge (more on Viater, Terraces, and some incredible Kendall-Jackson picks later)…and they serve free wine and beer on the plane.
    I make the trip four times a year and it’s a godsend.

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