The cheapest times to fly from RDU to SMA are

  • January 8th to March 18th
  • November 26th to December 16th

based on data collected exclusively by Champion Traveler across tens of millions of flights. Among all the dates above, the very cheapest time to fly from RDU to SMA is early March. Prices can be as high as $8202 for Thursday flights during mid October, or as low as $4582 for Wednesday flights around early March.


When to Fly to Santa Maria Island

Flying from Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) to Santa Maria (SMA) will usually cost between $4582 to $6090 per person if booking more than four weeks in advance. On average the very cheapest time to fly is early March with an average ticket price of $4583. Due to high demand the most expensive time to fly is mid October, with an average price of $7144. Planning your trip to low-cost times can easily save you $2561 on economy flights and even more on first-class flights. Generally, any price below $4585 can be considered a good price for a round-trip RDU to SMA flight.

See below for a graph of average weekly prices for the RDU to SMA route. All prices are for round-trip tickets in USD.

RDU to SMA Flight Prices

Compared to other flights, the RDU to SMA flight is more expensive than the average and costs more than the average flight leaving from Raleigh. The average price per mile (for a direct flight) is $0.97, which is above average.


Flight Prices by Day of the Week

Wednesday is usually the cheapest day to fly to SMA, and Tuesday the cheapest day to fly back into RDU. Thursdays are the most expensive days to fly out or take a return trip. Selecting flights on the least expensive days could save you up to $740 (13%) on this flight.

Departing prices are for round-trip flights returning on the day of departure. For example, a flight departing on Wednesday and returning a week later will cost an average of $4647. Return trip prices are from the SMA to RDU flight, and often highlight the quality of our data in showing the same trend.

Departing Prices by Day

Departure Day Prices

Return Trip Prices by Day

Return Day Prices


Nonstop Flights and Layovers

Travelers looking to fly from RDU to SMA can generally find a 2-layover flight. Because there is not usually a direct flight option the real-world direct flight time of 6 hour 17 minutes may not be realistic.


Alternative Nearby Airports

Champion Traveler tells you which airports are nearby and whether tickets might be cheaper alternative airports nearby. Sometimes it’s worth it to fly into a closer airport and then commute to your destination. Remember that there is not usually a nonstop flight from RDU to SMA while comparing.

Destination alternative #1: Ponta Delgada Airport (PDL) in Ponta Delgada

  • 61 miles (98 km) away from SMA
  • Usually 68.35% less expensive than SMA
  • 1-layover flights available

See RDU to PDL flights


Flight Hacking RDU to SMA

Flight hacking is when you book two tickets instead of a layover, sometimes with different airlines. You will need to either bring only a carry-on bag (highly recommended) or leave yourself plenty of time to go through security again. Flight hacking is completely allowed, but airlines don’t always tell you the cheapest way to get from RDU to SMA — but Champion Traveler does!

Hack #1: Boston, MA (RDU > BOS > SMA)

  • Price for both tickets: $924
  • Average savings: $3661 (79.85%)

See RDU to BOS flights

Hack #2: Lisbon (RDU > LIS > SMA)

  • Price for both tickets: $1107
  • Average savings: $3478 (75.86%)

See RDU to LIS flights

Hack #3: Toronto (RDU > YYZ > SMA)

  • Price for both tickets: $1140
  • Average savings: $3445 (75.14%)

See RDU to YYZ flights


Flight Questions Answered

Still have questions about flying from RDU to SMA? We’ve got answers.

Which airlines fly this route?

You can find 8 major airlines flying this route most often: Air Canada, American, Azores Airlines, Delta, SAS, Tap Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, United, and potentially more during busy seasons.

How far away is it from Santa Maria Airport to Raleigh-Durham International Airport?

The distance between the two airports is roughly 2941 miles or 4733 kilometers.

How long does it take to fly from RDU to SMA?

The real-world flight time for a nonstop RDU to SMA flight is about 6 hour 17 minutes.

How many flights go between Raleigh/Durham, NC and Santa Maria?

It depends on the day of the week and the date, but a typical day might have around 27 available flights from RDU to SMA.


Airport Location Info


Departing Airport

Origination code RDU
Origination airport name Raleigh-Durham International Airport
City Raleigh/Durham, NC
Country the United States
Latitude 35.9
Longitude -78.8

Return Airport

Destination code SMA
Destination airport name Santa Maria Airport
City Santa Maria
Country Portugal
Latitude 37
Longitude -25.2


Other Resources

Please note that while we’ve worked hard to analyzed tens of millions of flights to get you this data, we do not calculate current live prices or guarantee pricing. Please see our partners using the links above for current offers.