Holiday Fun in Muskegon with the Singing Christmas Tree!

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Travelers seeking unique holiday fun should look no farther than Muskegon, Michigan, home to America’s tallest, singing Christmas tree! Every year, thousands of hours are spent planning and preparing for the event by local students, teachers and parents from Mona Shores High School. The end result: a living, breathing Christmas tree that stands five-stories tall and holds more than 200 singing students!

Singing Christmas Tree

The Singing Christmas Tree is a sight to see!

Hour-long practices begin just after Labor Day as students prepare songs like, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” As the event draws nearer, the 67-foot steel tree is set up on the stage of the Muskegon Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts. Hundreds of volunteers place the 850 pieces of steel to build the tree frame, orchestrate and dress up the students, and decorate the tree with over 5,000 feet of garland and 25,000 twinkling lights!

The student at the top of the tree, known as “The Tree Angel,” is a high school senior nominated by the choir director. Most students can’t wait to move up the tree, as they start at the bottom as freshman and move closer to the top each year.Singing Christmas Tree 3

Now in its 31st year, the singing Christmas tree continues to grow in popularity. It was featured on TLC’s “Extreme Christmas Trees” in 2011 and in 2013 on the Travel Channel’s “Jingle Brawls.”

Over 5,000 people kick off their holiday season every year with a visit to the tree. This year will also feature a new look thanks to an updated structure and more LED lighting. The 2015 performances will be at 7 p.m. on December 3, 4 and 5 with an additional matinee performance at 3 p.m. on December 5. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Travel to Muskegon with SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare. Find the best fares at

Hays for the Holidays

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Tucked away in Northwest Kansas, the town of Hays should not be overlooked. This old railroad town settled by German immigrants after the Civil War has much to offer any visitor, especially during the upcoming holiday season.Hays

Offering the magic and spirit of the holidays minus the big crowds and never-ending traffic, Hays is home to the annual FrostFest. The celebration kicks off on the first weekend of November and runs through December. Visitors can enjoy numerous holiday-oriented family activities, highlighted with the Annual FrostFest Illuminated Parade on the first Sunday of December. Carriage rides, visits with Santa, caroling and a festive tree lighting also take place throughout the season. On top of that, Hays’ rustic shops that will remind shoppers of simpler times and make it the perfect spot to kick off the holidays.Hays_FrostFest

Hays was originally established as a U.S. Army fort near the end of the Civil War to station soldiers during the cold winter months and the Christmas season gave soldiers an opportunity to reconnect with activities they would have been doing at home. Today, visitors can take part in Christmas Past at Historic Fort Hays to see what life would have been like for those soldiers, including how the Fort would have been decorated in the late 1800s. They’ll also enjoy strolling the fort grounds and seeing living-history programs, luminaries and caroling.

After the Army cleared out, German settlers began to make Hays their home and their influence is still felt today. More than 50 percent of the town’s population claims German heritage, giving this Old West town a unique feel at any time of the year. In particular, September and October are a great time to plan a visit to one of the Oktoberfest celebrations held in the community.Hays_Parade

Hays is also a fantastic destination for any art lover. In fact, the city boasts more artists per capita than New York City! Four times a year (one for each season), the Hays arts council coordinates a city-wide gallery walk that includes visual and performance arts around Hays. The Winter Gallery Walk adds to the already festive atmosphere felt throughout the town.

Kick off the holidays with a trip to this charming and unique destination with convenient United Express flights from Denver, operated by SkyWest Airlines. The best fares can be booked at

SkyWest Employees Team up Against Cancer

Wes Horrocks
Corporate Communications Manager

Supporting the fight against breast cancer is a passion shared by many at SkyWest Airlines. And the efforts of hundreds of employees from across the country this past October are a great example of the commitment they have to raise awareness and find a cure.

Kicking things off, SkyWest employees ordered hundreds of new pink uniform items to wear throughout the month. Proceeds from the pink ties, scarves, shirts and more are sent to support breast cancer research.
BCA Pilots
Onboard flights, specialty food and beverage items were available for passengers who wanted to support the cause. On one flight, SkyWest flight attendants were excited to see more than $550 in donations from several generous customers.

On the ground, SkyWest employees based in St. George, Utah organized a bake sale that featured a wide assortment of handmade, pink desserts and other treats. The sale, along with an annual Chili Cook-Off, lead to thousands of dollars in donations to the American Cancer Society.

SkyWest BCAEmployees also sharedpersonal experiences and words of encouragement to help support those who have and are fighting:

I’m thrilled to be a survivor! To all you fighters out there Fight On! We can beat this thing! – Debora Cunningham – customer service agent, Colorado Springs

To those who are fighting and to those who are co-battling with a loved one, embrace what you have.  Fight hard.  You WILL survive! – Jenny Stewart, internal evaluator, St. George

Breast cancer doesn’t know your name, age, income, skin color or religion! it’s just there trying to make trouble and I fought it twice, with the love from my family, friends and co-workers. As long as we got each other we have hope for a cure! – Laura Walker – flight attendant, Chicago

No matter where they are based or what job they perform, SkyWest Airlines’ more than 10,800 employees are an incredible example of what can be accomplished by working together support the fight against cancer.

Kindness Leads to One Last Goodbye

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

In late August, a couple was traveling through Gillette, Wyoming when they received a phone call no parent ever wants to receive: their son had been in a car accident in West Virginia and was being taken by Life Flight to a nearby hospital. They felt helpless being so far away from home and unable to rush to the hospital to be with their son.

That’s when Don Mortimer, a SkyWest cross utilized agent in Gillette, noticed their distress. Don stayed at the airport two hours after closing to help them find a way home. He didn’t want to leave until new flights were booked and he had them checked in.

Don Mortimer – GCC Cross Utilized Agent.

Don Mortimer – SkyWest cross utilized agent

But Don didn’t stop there. The next morning, he met the couple at the airport and continued to help them through their terrible situation. He ended up flying with them to Salt Lake City to ensure they made their connecting flight home.

With Don’s well wishes, the family made it home and was at their son’s side when he passed away two days later.54eca2268aad9.image

In a letter describing their experience, the family expressed their gratitude for the compassion and kindness Don showed by giving them precious moments with their son; something that they will never forget.

“Thank you, Don, for giving us those last few hours with him. We will forever be grateful. We just wanted SkyWest to know that they have a very special person working for them and he went above and beyond. Let him know how much we appreciate him.”

Don’s actions are a great example of the effort that many SkyWest employees make every day to provide exceptional care to their passengers and to help those around them.

Experience “Minnesota’s Playground” in Brainerd, MN

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

When planning a trip to the lake-surrounded, Minnesota town of Brainerd, prepare for unique lodging, plenty of outdoor fun and a calendar of exciting events happening all year long!Brainerd

Here’s a quick look at some of the standouts for the year:

  • January: Ice Fishing Extravaganza – the largest charitable ice fishing contest in the world where over 10,000 people gather on Gull Lake for a chance at a great catch and hundreds of prizes!Ice Fishing
  • February: Frozen Fore Winter Festival – the world’s largest snowmobile and pond hockey event on Gull Lake. Play nine “holes” of golf on the frozen lake, fill up at the food fest and jam to live music!
  • June: Lakes Jam Music Fest – three days of music at the Brainerd International Raceway. With country, classic rock and the blues, Lake Jam has music for everyone!
  • July: Paul Bunyan Extreme 5K – a race like no other made for the whole family! The course is filled with challenging obstacles, including a rope swing, mud pits, a dumpster dive in ice water, and a climb up Paul Bunyan’s 16-foot tall boot, just to name a few!
  • August: Lucas Oil Nationals – the racing event of the year at the Brainerd International Raceway! Watch the world’s best drag racers compete on the fastest drag strip in the country!race car
  • October: Oktoberfest at the Arb – German wines, beer, food and music! Later in the month, don’t miss the Gerital Frolics – the popular musical variety show in vaudeville fashion where every performer is over age 55!
  • December: Winter Wonderland – a drive-through spectacle of beautiful lights strung into captivating displays.

From May to September, a visit to the Safari North Wildlife Park in Brainerd is also a must. Here visitors have an opportunity to see wildlife from five continents! Feed a giraffe and ride a camel at the park before heading to Paul Bunyan Land which immerses visitors in the life of the famous folktale lumberjack. Paul

And with so many fun activities to keep travelers busy, a good place to check in and hang out is the Arrowwood Lodge. The rooms are so big, they call them cabins! Also, the lodge houses its own indoor Paul Bunyan Water Park with over 30,000 square feet of activities and adventure.

Plan a Brainerd getaway today with convenient flights on SkyWest Airlines, operating as Delta Connection, from Minneapolis. Find the best fares and more travel info at

Eight National Parks to Visit this Weekend

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

National parks stretch across the United States, and each has a diverse landscape, incredible history and makes for an unforgettable trip. With so many to choose from, here are eight unique parks that will appeal to almost everyone and can be conveniently accessed with a SkyWest-operated flight!


Yellowstone is America’s first national park (and widely held to be the first in the world)! Since it’s opening in 1872, it has maintained itself as one of the most iconic parks in the U.S. The majority of the world’s geysers can be found in Yellowstone, including Old Faithful, and it’s known for having an abundance of animal life. Visitors can often spot grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk and more. With more than 2,000 campsites throughout the park, it’s a perfect trip for a weekend campout. yellowstone-fountain-geyser_2018_600x450

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Those looking for something a little newer should definitely head to Pinnacles National Park in California – the country’s newest designated national park (only official since 2013). Known for its breathtaking spires and rock formation, Pinnacles is a favorite among advanced rock climbers due to its abundance of difficult and challenging climbs.There is also an array of wildflowers and spectacular views, withPinnacles_National_Park_view many popular hikes in the area.

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Big Bend

If isolation sounds ideal, head to Big Bend. It is one of only 10 places on the planet that has been certified for dark-sky gazing and has been recognized as having the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 United States. Big Bend is popular with backpackers14789648805_3e3d38aa08_b and hikers alike for its stunning trails and its reputation for wide open space. 

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Great Smoky Mountains

If Big Bend is a little too isolated, check out Great Smoky Mountains. This is the most visited national park in the United States, and for good reason too! The park covers the mountain range rising along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. It is world-renowned for the diversity of plant and animal life located smoky-mountains-sunrise-great-smoky-mountains-national-park-dave-allenin the park, along with popular activities like bicycling, fishing and waterfall walks.

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Isle Royale

At more than 45 miles long and nine miles wide, the largest island in Lake Superior is a dream for backpackers, kayakers, canoeists and scuba divers. This park does require visitors to plan ahead because it’s only accessible by boat or seaplane and does close during the winter. Once on the road-less island, enjoy a four- or five-day backpacking hike on the Greenstone Ridge Trail that follows the ridge across the center of the island or one of many other day AdamJewell_IsleRoyaleNP_3rdPrizehikes.

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Lassen Volcanic

Sunset Magazine calls Lassen Volcanic, “The West’s most beautiful, least visited wonderland.” Lassen is not only beautiful, but also has the largest plug dome volcano in the world and is home to almost every kind of volcanic formation. Here travelers will be able to hike and camp among the meadows and mountain lakes to sneak a 681x454peek at the steaming fumaroles and marvel at the volcanoes that make it a top destination for aspiring geologists.

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Shenandoah encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The park is best known for Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that runs through the park on the ridge on the mountains. This is especially scenic in autumn as the leaves are changing color. There are also fantastic hikes to see waterfalls, 5683D041-155D-451F-673B22ED8CFCBF2Evistas and quiet, wooded hollows.

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Zion National Park is located in beautiful Southern, Utah. The massive sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons and blue skies are iconic. Popular hikes include climbing up to Angel’s Landing and hiking though the narrows, but simply entering the park will provide spectacular views. Rock climbing and canyoneering are also popular in the park Zion-Angels-Landing-slidefor the more adventurous crowd.

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How to Make Your SkyWest Application Stand Out

Rachelle Kolb
Hiring & Compliance Specialist

Applying and interviewing for a new job can be a challenge. To make things easier, members of the SkyWest recruiting team put together seven simple tips that will help a candidate stand out:


  1. Clear, Specific Resume: A resume should be catered for a specific job; a pilot resume is going to look different from a ramp agent resume. Keep things short and ONLY include applicable information. Recruiters often screen hundreds of resumes and those that are the most successful include current contact information, work history (with an explanation of any gaps), education (college degrees are preferred) and current flight hours for pilot applications.
  2. Assessment Questions ARE Important: Specific assessment questions attached to the application are an important tool used to screen and find the best candidates for a position. Take time to think through any answers and always be specific. Recruiters tend to lose interest when questions are answered broadly.
  3. Professional One-Way Video Interviews: SkyWest, like many companies, uses one-way video interviews to learn more about candidates during the screening process. They should be treated like a face-to-face interview. Here are some tips to make a one-way video interview a good experience.
  4. Be Timely: When a candidate follows instructions and pays attention to detail, it tells the recruiter that they are motivated. Completing tasks like a video interview or homework assignment soon after being asked is a high indicator of an applicant’s work ethic and can help them have a leg up on the competition.
  5. Prepare for Face-to-Face Interviews: After making it through the initial screening and being invited to a face-to-face interview, applicants should take some time to study the duties and qualifications of the job, as well as information about SkyWest. Recruiters are assessing whether a candidate is a good fit for the position and doing some research about the position and the company will help. For the interview itself, dress appropriately and make eye contact when answering questions. Candidates should also be specific with any answers and take time, when needed, to provide an answer that will show the recruiters more of who they really are.
  6. Be Genuine: Talking around a question in an interview or stuffing a resume with fluff words and sentences will not help candidates stand out or show our recruiters who they really are. Being genuine and specific in each stage of the screening and interview process will help applicants be more successful.
  7. Be Positive, Approachable and Friendly: These qualities can help an applicant connect with a recruiter and also ties in with SkyWest’s culture, which focuses on working together. Hiring those who exemplify these qualities continues to strengthen SkyWest teams across the country and overflows to the millions of passengers who are boarding SkyWest flights every month.

To start putting these tips into practice, check out all of the positions that are currently available at SkyWest by visiting

SkyWest Appreciation Week!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Safely operating 1,700 daily flights to nearly 200 cities across North America is no easy task, and no one does it better than the SkyWest team! That’s because everyone works together and they continually go above-and-beyond. To recognize the hard work being done by countless teams across the country, SkyWest designates one week every year as Appreciation Week.

This year, Appreciation Week was filled with games, food, team parties and much more, including:

Dunking coworkers and raising money to help fellow employees in need…

Dunk Tank

Vice President of Market Development Greg Atkins takes a dunk in the tank set up by the Operational Control Center Department at SkyWest HDQ.

Shoe shines…


Minneapolis Assistant Chief Pilot Chris Mayer shining Captain Strohshein’s shoes!

And just hanging out to enjoy a meal together.

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Teams around the country celebrated with various events!

SkyWest’s 10,700+ aviation professionals are some of the best in the industry and celebrating Appreciation Week is just one example of how the airline is working to be the employer of choice!

SkyWest Crews Going the Extra Mile

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

SkyWest is home to countless caring and considerate employees. Recently, three stories about some of our incredible crews were shared with us that illustrate the type of people who make up the SkyWest family.

On a recent trip in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City based SkyWest Flight Attendant Jill Roundy noticed a small detail about one of her young passengers.

“He had a Make-A-Wish button on his shirt. Passengers may think we don’t pay attention to them but we really do,” Jill said. “This is the reason I’m a flight attendant. Everyone has somewhere to go with a purpose: a wedding, funeral, job interview, promotion or a birth of a child. We do our best to get them there and with the best intentions to read their mannerisms. But this was a first for me.”

SkyWest crew with the family.

SkyWest Crew (Flight Attendants Jill Roundy and Lacey Finnell, First Officer Aiden Eye and Captain Charles Butler) with the family.

The young boy and his family were on their trip home from fulfilling his wish to go to a concert of his favorite artist. Jill and the rest of her crew took the time to make the family’s trip special, giving them an extra tour of the aircraft after it landed. The little boy was thrilled at the opportunity and after looking into the flight deck, he asked Jill if he could sit in the captain’s seat. Captain Charles Butler was happy to oblige and stepped out as First Officer Aiden Eye took the time showing this young passenger the controls on the flight deck while explaining their functions.

“This only shows that the employees at SkyWest are by far just one great big family caring for the people that fly with us!” said Jill. “Happy to be part of the family.”

A brave six-year-old girl was having a tough day. As her family arrived at the airport in the evening, they made their way to the shuttle for a ride to the parking lot. As the young girl boarded the bus with her parents, noticing there were no open seats, Palm Springs based First Officer, Joe Myers, stood up to give his seat to the mother and daughter.

The girl has lost all of her hair as a result of cancer treatments. During the shuttle ride, a little boy made a comment to the girl about her lack of hair, and she began to cry. As the family got off the bus, Joe walked over to the little girl and told her she was the prettiest little girl he had ever seen. He then took off his hat and showed her his own bald head, telling her she was very special. Joe made her night when he removed the wings from his shirt and pinned them on her, telling her he was making her an honorary pilot.

First Officer Joe Myers

First Officer Joe Myers

Joe made the girl laugh when he jokingly told her, “Boys are made of cotton and are rotten!” before thanking the parents and walking away. The parents were in tears and so moved by Joe’s compassion and love toward their daughter that they went the extra mile to contact SkyWest and share their gratitude for First Officer Myers.

“I was blessed that night,” said Joe. “That little girl touched my heart and gave me far more than I could have ever given her. When I pinned my wings on her, I told her that pilots don’t cry and she could fly with me anytime. Maybe with some prayers she will be able to fly for SkyWest someday! I didn’t do anything that another SkyWest employee wouldn’t have done when faced with the same situation. I feel so fortunate to SkyWest and my wife Jackie for allowing me to pursue my dream! This is a family that I am so proud to be a part of.”

That night the little girl wouldn’t part with the wings and slept in her shirt with the wings safely secured on it. Even now, she will not take them off.

While boarding a flight in Seattle, Tiffany Miller, a Salt Lake City-based flight attendant, noticed one impeccably dressed young woman.

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw her turn around, so I turned to meet her sweet face. Tears were welling up in her eyes, and she spoke to me in a voice I haven’t heard in a while,” Tiffany said. “It was the same tone my children would have when there were monsters under their bed. ‘I’m very scared. Is it going to be really bumpy?’ and after hearing herself she openly started to sob.”

The passenger explained that she flies a lot but just passed through a storm that had “terrifying turbulence.” Tiffany told her that she too had just been through a similar storm, but that she anticipated that everything was going to be fine on the short flight and that she was in very capable hands.

Tiffany then went up to the flight deck to find that Captain Carl Wager had witnessed the exchanged and was wondering what he could do to help. He offered to go back and talk with the girl if she would find it reassuring. The young lady, still full of fear, accepted the offer. Carl went back to her seat, taking up precious moments needed to stay on schedule, to let the passenger know that he understood her fears and was aware of his tremendous responsibility to keep everyone safe.


Captain Carl Wager speaking with passenger

“I am always confident with my pilots. I am grateful for the level of training, skill and knowledge they work hard to possess. Today I was truly grateful to also have a wonderful and kindhearted captain,” Tiffany said. “I looked down the aisle to see a very relaxed, very sweet moment. It was one that I hope I never forget. It was empathy in action: pure and simple.”