United Airlines issues statement about its decision to leave Easterwood Airport

Travelers and the business community are disappointed in the decision.
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 4:48 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Easterwood Airport and the community are facing a big hit after United Airlines’ decision to pull out of service early next year. The Texas A&M System and local business community say it will be detrimental.

Travelers coming in and out of Easterwood Airport won’t be flying United in the coming weeks, making travel less convenient.

Tammy Price just flew in from Birmingham, Alabama with some of her Auburn football family. Many of the travelers coming into to town are arriving for the Texas A&M - Auburn Football game this weekend. Price said people were talking about United’s decision on the plane.

“With SEC football being so big and the way the SEC schools travel I wish United would rethink that a little bit because I think that’s important,” she said.

Baltimore, Maryland resident Mary Beth Livesey hopes options will stay. She is coming to A&M to see her grandson. Her flights on American got canceled this week so she switched to United.

“For certain. For certain yes I mean it would be awful if United left because it’s such a great hub there and it was a very easy flight,” said Livesey.

Data from the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M shows travel at Easterwood Airport has returned to near pre-pandemic levels and there had recently been talk about expanding service to Denver.

United’s pullout means millions of dollars at stake for the area.

“I know there’s been talk in the past about Southwest and there’s also been talk with Delta about coming in to Easterwood. But not really ready to give up on United. I think we need to find out what was the reasoning behind this to see if there’s something that we can cure to get back into the marketplace,” said Glen Brewer, Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

“I sure hope that other airlines come into Easterwood. I think that would be great for the Bryan / College Station community as a whole. You know the more the merrier and so it just gives more opportunity for people to travel to our community,” said Abigail Noel, Public Relations and Communications Manager for Destination Bryan. She said Bryan / College Station is a great drive market in the Texas tourism world and they have been marketing that.

“Hopefully somebody will come in or I guess we’ll just have to rent a car in Houston and drive in, but we’d rather, this is so convenient. We’d rather just come straight in,” said Price.

KBTX also reached out to Easterwood Airport Management to find out more about options they are working on. We were referred to the Texas A&M System and Chancellor John Sharp was unavailable Thursday.

KBTX also left messages with United Airlines. Thursday evening they sent us this statement:

Due to changes in the long-term sustainability of this particular route, United will end service to College Station at the start of the new year. We will work with impacted customers to help them make alternate plans.

I think it’s important to note that many different factors determine a successful route and our decisions include careful evaluation of our overall network, fleet, resources at our regional partners and yields. With that in mind, we have determined that this particular route is not sustainable for the long-term.

United is also suspending service at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.

Congressman Pete Sessions is also looking at the issue.

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