CHARLESTON, W.Va. — American Airlines will begin offering daily flights from Yeager Airport on June 12 but that same day will discontinue its daily flights from Charleston to New York City.

Yeager’s director of marketing, Brian Belcher, said the Charleston-to-LaGuardia flight has been more popular for passengers interested in going to New York and back and less so for those needing connections to other locations.

Belcher said less than 40 percent of all passengers from Charleston to New York are using American.  

“There’s another 60-62 percent that’s flying on other carriers and they are either connecting through Washington-Dulles, Reagan National, or I even hear of people going through Charlotte to get to New York,” Belcher said.

American officials believe the Charleston-to-Dallas flight will be popular for connections.

“They have a whole range of international and connecting flights to the southwest, to the west coast, you can just about go anywhere from DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth),” Belcher said. “In their view it was better to serve Charleston from their Dallas hub.”

Yeager is having talks with other airlines about offering direct flights to the New York area. “We’re hopeful and we truly believe another carrier will pick that route up,” Belcher said.

American’s current New York flight leaves Charleston at 6:15 a.m. and returns at 8:15 p.m. Belcher said that’s been great for those making up-and-back trips to the Big Apple but less attractive for those trying to get connecting flights.


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  • Carmen

    When Jay, as Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has oversight of FAA is retired. Yeager will return back to a couple of flights daily to Atlanta, Charlotte and DC; if lucky. With the huge population drop of the State Yeager will soon be as barren as the other little useless airports in the State that subsidies needlessly keep propped up

  • Jim

    Well Doug, suprisingly I am someone that flys out of Yeager. However, I am disgusted by Yeager management portraying flights that are added as customer-driven when in reality, they are flights subsidized by taxpayers. Another recent example is the Texas flights. There was no hue and cry for flights to Texas, it was precipitated by taxpayer subsidy, arranged by Rocky. The list gones on. That's my beef Doug. If those flights were passenger-driven, airlines would be lining up to provide them. Instead, the spin from Yeager is were loosing a flight, but we are shopping for a replacement. That's code for that airline dropped Yeager because gov't subsidy expired and passenger numbers would not support continuing. Although Yeager is convenient, their flights are more expensive and their parking fees are ridiculous. Did you know that at Clarksburg/Benedum Airport parking is free, with similar connections to Pitt & DC? The majority of taxpayers want cuts in gov't's wastful spending--until they are asked to give up a perk, then the howling begins. As to "grabbing a bite" before your flight, do you know how many food vendors have provided the food concession at Yeager and walked away at the end of their lease due to not making a profit? And, security lines are shorter due to less passengers. Yeager officials and the Kanawha County Commissioners want to have an airport that one expect at a major hub,but financed on the backs of taxpayers in hidden subsidies.

  • Doug Liller

    I do disagree as a frequent flyer living in N. Central W.V. I would much rather fly out of CRW. Then I would PIT, the drive is a little longer, mileage wise,but time about equal. You have a reasonable place to grab a bite to eat and no security lines. I and most of my colleagues will continue our flights out of CRW. You must not be a frequent flyer.

  • Jim

    IMO, the subsidy American Airlines received has probably expired and will not be renewed. Hence the real reason for cancellation. Truth be known, Yeager could not survive without subsidies by the gov't to the Airlines. And, Rocky has been the real "bacon getter" for Yeager for decades. How do you get your name in large letters at the Yeager entrance? Simple, bring home the pork in the form of taxpayers money for subsidizing air travel routes that could not stand on their own feet and multi-million dollar "feel good" projects that do little if anything to increase passenger usage. Yeager has to be one of the largest boondoggles in WV.

    • Roger

      If Yeager is the biggest boondoggle, Clarksburg/Bridgeport airport is right behind them. If it were not for the Govt., it would be a cow pasture.