Interested...I'm curious. You were obviously not connecting to a United flight. I'm wondering which airline you were connecting with and what your destination was. Did you use the UA website for only the VCT-IAH-VCT round trip and the other carrier's site for those flights? Did you go to the United web site and price the complete trip on United? Yeah, VCT to IAH is an expensive trip. The Express and later the Connection service is NOT designed for a Houston destination.
Regional flight to connecting flight is normally in the price of the larger carrier. It typically will cost the same to fly to New York from Victoria as Houston. Some airlines do have a marginal fee- depending on their partnering arrangement with the smaller carrier.
Interested -- I just ran several searches on United.com and the price of adding the Victoria leg to a trip to several cities on the east and west coasts is exactly Zero right now for flights leaving two weeks from now. In my (extensive) experience, the Victoria leg (VCT to IAH to somewhere) usually only added $40, which, if you consider parking and gas, compares pretty well to driving to IAH). I don't know why in the world anyone would want to fly ONLY to Houston and then return to Victoria (or the other way around). The point of EAS is to connect Victoria to the world, not just to Houston.
Whou could afford to fly from here? It would have cost $200 each for my spouse and myself to fly round trip to HOUSTON ($400 total) - not a long distance, folks - just to Houston and then make connection to another flight costing around $500 each. Frankly we can drive to Corpus or Austin cheaper than that; $200 is not worth the extra convenience of being able to leave from home town.