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Air service to BWI is back

March 24, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Kay Baker flew in from Tyler, Texas, to see her niece.

Steve Berner was able to get back to Hagerstown quicker to handle a family medical emergency.

Kay Cannady came from Tulsa, Okla., to visit her granddaughter.

The three passengers were among those who took advantage of the first day of commercial air service between Hagerstown and Baltimore being offered by Cape Air.

Hagerstown lost commercial air service in September 2007 when a federal Essential Air Service subsidy expired.

Service returned in November when Allegiant Air began offering flights between Hagerstown and Orlando, Fla. Allegiant Air is not receiving a federal subsidy.

A total of 21 people -- 12 flying to Baltimore and nine coming to Hagerstown -- used Cape Air Tuesday, according to Cape Air officials.

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The airline is running four flights to and from Baltimore daily on nine-seat Cessna 402 planes. The 3:15 and 5:57 p.m. flights to Baltimore were empty but pilots had to make the trips to offer service back to Hagerstown, a company spokesman said.

In the Hagerstown Regional Airport waiting lobby Tuesday afternoon, four people waited for passengers flying on the 4:53 p.m. flight from Baltimore.

Among those waiting was Tina Berner, who was meeting up with her husband, Steve, who was coming from Chicago.

Tina Berner said she is from Hagerstown but her family moved to Iowa. Then they had to return for a family medical emergency.

"We're thankful this opened back up," Berner said of the flight service from Baltimore.

Teresa Harmon of Hagerstown was waiting for her aunt, Kay Baker. When it was announced the Baltimore flight service would return, Harmon said her aunt decided to take advantage of it, saying it was better than fighting Baltimore traffic to pick up Baker at an airport there.

"This really works good for us," Harmon said.

Fresh off her flight, Baker said it was a good trip.

"It was a smooth ride," said Baker, who flew from Tyler to Houston to Baltimore before heading to Hagerstown.

Lisa Lewis of Waynesboro, Pa., was thankful for the new Baltimore flight service. Lewis' mother, Kay Cannady, flew from Tulsa to Chicago, then to Baltimore. It was nice having a connecting flight from Baltimore to Hagerstown because the 90-minute drive to Baltimore can be "such a pain," Lewis said.

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