American Eagle Could Cut Flights If Easterwood Airport Is Outsourced

American Eagle Airlines is sending a warning to Texas A&M.

It all has to do with a proposal to outsource the management of Easterwood Airport, which handles hundreds of flights each week.

American Eagle is threatening to pull the plug on all service at Easterwood which could have a big impact.

The summer travel season brings thousands of people to and from Bryan / College Station.

Janelle Carver is just returning home from a baseball trip in Ft. Myers Florida, with her son on American Eagle.

"Sometimes United, but most of the time American [Eagle] because it's easier to connect in Dallas, but we connect sometimes in Houston. Ironically it was actually cheaper to fly outta here this time," said Carver.

She flies out of here four to five to times a year but that could be changing if the airport is privatized.

While American Eagle executives aren't necessarily opposed to outsourcing here at Easterwood Airport, they do say they want to iron out an agreement defining their operational costs before any privatization or outsourcing takes place.

In a letter to local officials including Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski, American Eagle executives discussed financial struggles in recent years and worry a private company will raise their rates.

Part of the letter said, "During this time we might have ceased service at Easterwood if it wasn't for the fact that the airport understood the profitability issues."

Gordon Richardson is Chairman of the TxDOT Aviation Advisory Committee.

"I don't see any other way that a private entity would come in and not want to make a profit and in order to do that they have to charge fees," said Richardson.

While some passengers we spoke with off camera have had bad flying experiences at Easterwood, travelers like Janelle Carver hope to keep American Eagle flying in.

"It'd make a big impact on me," she said.

A major inconvenience if American Eagle does decide to fly somewhere else with only United Airlines offering daily commercial flights.

Easterwood Airport and Texas A&M officials declined to comment Monday saying the request for qualifications to privatize the airport are still under way.

It's unclear when a final decision to change management or operations will be made.

The airport does not receive funding from the university for operations.


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