Standing Quietly: A Salute to Veterans

Jodi Drake
Corporate Communications Specialist

SkyWest is home to more than 700 veterans who have or are currently serving in the United States military, and thousands of other employees have family members who proudly represent the U.S. through their military service. So it should be no surprise that these 10,000+ aviation professionals are committed to showing their support for veterans.

In fact, Jonathan Walker, a Salt Lake City-based pilot, decided last Veterans Day that he was going to do something a little different to support his fellow veterans.

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day 2014

“Veterans stand all around us, and I believe it is everyone’s patriotic duty to show them how appreciated they are,” Jonathan said.

And so, adorned in his uniform and equipped with the stars and stripes, Jonathan took a quiet stand on a bridge overlooking I-15 (also called the Veterans Memorial Highway) in Lehi, Utah. Passing motorists were immediately touched by his anonymous display of patriotism and respect. Many called local news stations or posted his picture on social media sites to remind others of the sacrifice so many men and women have made. His story quickly gained national attention and his identity was eventually revealed.

Jonathan has now taken that attention and is using it to expand his efforts to stand quietly on more than just Veterans Day. This Memorial Day, in fact, Jonathan, along with several additional SkyWest employees and others, will be positioned on various I-15 overpasses as a tribute to those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

Jonathan has also been working to establish similar events in other locations around the country. He has posted additional information about the initiative on standingquietly.com.

SkyWest is proud of team members like Jonathan and so many others around the country who make an incredible impact on those they live and work with.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Praised as “A God Send”

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest’s success is a direct result of the incredible aviation professionals who who regularly go above and beyond to help passengers on more than 1,700 daily flights. Recently, Mary Morgan, a Seattle-based flight attendant was commended for being “a God send…at a most difficult time” thanks to the kindness and support she provided on a flight from Ontario, California to Seattle.

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SkyWest Airlines,

I am writing to acknowledge a flight attendant who truly “got me home” on a most difficult flight. Mary, her name, Flight 3447 Friday May 8th, Ontario to Seattle.

#1) I am claustrophobic – especially in planes #2) I had received a call while on a weeks vacation that my 89 yr old mom had become quite ill and was near death.

To sit next to my husband we had changed our seats to the only side-by-side seats left in the plane – last row on the plane. I boarded the plane in tears anticipating my anxiety flying and what awaited me at home. Mary picked up on my state of being immediately, brought me tissue and settled us in without asking any questions. As we sat side by side with Mary for “take off,” etc. my husband told her my challenges. She went beyond the call of duty to console me, work with my phobia and just over see my well being throughout the trip, all the way to our terminal good-bye. She was a God send for me at a most difficult time.

I did arrive in time to share three days with my mom before her death.

Thank you Mary for everything. Thank you SkyWest for employing such insightful, sensitive people.

Sincerely,

Donna Sheree Bullock

This letter is just one of the many compliments SkyWest’s 10,000+ employees receive each week thanks to their efforts to ensure every passenger enjoys a great travel experience.

SkyWest Now an All-Jet Fleet After Final EMB 120 Flight

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

After more than 28 years, SkyWest’s EMB 120s completed their final flights on May 5, 2015. The Brasilia has been a workhorse of the SkyWest fleet and has helped connect millions of passengers over the years.

The departure of the “Bro” also marks SkyWest’s transition to an all-jet fleet for the first time in more than 42 years of flying!

Meet a Famous Duo and Enjoy the Outdoors in Bemidji, MN!

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

It’s nearly impossible to travel through the northern, woodsy town of Bemidji, Minnesota without noticing the giant statues of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox!  The famed statues were built in 1937 to celebrate the logging industry and still sit near the shore of Lake Bemidji, welcoming everyone who comes to visit. And thanks to everyone who has stopped to take a picture with the dynamic duo, the statues have become known as the second-most photographed icon in the nation.

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After visiting Paul Bunyan and Babe, a number of other outdoor attractions and recreation await. Five miles north of Bemidji lies Movil Maze, a 913-acre recreational area with over 14 kilometers of intermediate and expert trails that are open year-round. Trails are groomed and maintained to create the finest experience for those enjoying downhill skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, running, sightseeing or mountain biking. Be on the lookout for whitetail deer, bald eagles and black bears.

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Minnesota’s oldest state park, Itasca State Park, encompasses more than 32,000 acres with over 100 lakes, and the east entrance is only about 30 miles from Bemidji. The park was established in 1891 as a way to preserve the area that surrounds the start of the Mississippi River as it begins its 2,552-mile journey toward the Gulf of Mexico. Being able to see the source of the mighty Mississippi River is part of what makes the park such a famous North American landmark. Visitors will enjoy the short hike to the river headwaters, where there are a number of informative displays, and a great lunch at the Headwaters Café. There are also opportunities for fishing and camping under the star-filled skies. Plus, Itasca is an excellent place for premier bird watching, with over 222 species recorded!

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Fly right into Bemidji (BJI) on a SkyWest Airlines flight, operating as Delta Connection. from Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP). To find the best fares, head to delta.com.

Enjoy Iconic Food and Land of Oz in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Laura Hesson
Executive Administrative Assistant

Summer vacations are quickly approaching and anyone looking to enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun should check out Aberdeen, South Dakota. Aberdeen is the third largest city in South Dakota and still maintains its rural charm. Here are a few suggestions to help plan an upcoming trip!

Outdoor Fun

Wylie Park, just one mile north of town, is a great place for the entire family to spend a day or weekend. The biggest attractions are Storybook Land and the Land of Oz, which open for the season April 15th.

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Here families can listen to fairy tales and fables in a medieval castle (complete with its own moat and knights in shining armor), slide down Jack and Jill’s Hill or visit Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In Oz, families can stroll down the yellow brick road and visit Munchkin Land. There’s also a miniature train, bumper boats, paddle boats, go-karts and mini golf inside the park, along with a number of summertime events. Check out the city’s website for all the latest activities.

The Dacotah Prairie Museum is a great way to spend the morning indoors. It offers many historical features of the Dakota Territory. It also provides great insight into how Aberdeen was started and how things have progressed.

For something a little more adventurous, head on over to the Brown County Speedway for some heart-pumping, adrenaline-inducing dirt track racing. It is a 3/8th mile, high-banked WISSOTA sanctioned dirt oval. The Speedway races Late Models, Mods, Supers, Streets and Pure Stock.

Recommended Dining

The best place to go for breakfast is hands down Sammy’s Restaurant & Omelet located on Main Street.  They have the best omelets ever! It does get busy on Sundays but it’s easy to order the food to-go if there isn’t a place to sit.

It’s hard to top the iconic Twist Cone for a tasty meal. Enjoy the feeling of stepping back in time, along with a great BBQ sandwich and an Italian Ice Cream Cone for lunch.

Aberdeen Twist Cone

Another must-eat is the Palm Garden Café and Chocolate Shoppe.  The made-from-scratch pot pie and cheesy bread are a great way to end an evening. And the caramel, sea salt dark chocolate morsel is great at any time! They even have a sports museum upstairs, which is worth seeing after enjoying a great meal.

Where to Stay

Spend the night camping in the Wylie Park cabins or go with something a little more enclosed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel. Either way, the facilities are designed to provide travelers with a restful sleep and wake up ready to start a new adventure.

No matter how long the visit, Aberdeen does not disappoint. There is plenty to do and see for every one of all ages. Get to Aberdeen on one of two daily Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest, from Minneapolis. Book today at www.delta.com.

SkyWest Mini Indy Races to Help Those in Need

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

For the 15th year, dozens of teams revved up their go-karts and raced around the twists and turns of the “Ridgetop Raceway” at the SkyWest Mini Indy. While some were lucky enough to walk away with a new trophy, the real winner is clear: thousands of people living in Southern Utah.

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“SkyWest believes in supporting the communities where our more than 10,000 employees live and work, and Mini Indy has been a big part of that tradition now for 15 years,” said Mike Thompson, SkyWest Airlines COO.

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Mini Indy is a unique event that brings businesses from around the world and hundreds of their employees to St. George, Utah to help those in need. Money raised from race entries and sponsorships is all donated to the United Way Dixie, which helps support 17 local charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah and the DOVE Center.

“Without the generosity of our sponsors involved in Mini Indy, we would not be able to fund the agencies that provide important human services to our neighbors in need,” said Rebekah Pectol, administrator, United Way Dixie.

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Since its inception, Mini Indy has raised nearly $1 million to help those living in Southern Utah. But it’s impossible to track the countless individuals who have benefited from this impressive race.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Brings Help to Cambodian Orphans

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Having dealt with years of well-documented corruption and social unrest, Cambodia stands as one of the poorest countries in the world. Access to education, sanitation and nutrition is minimal in many locations, and non-existent for some. Many children begin working at a young age in horrendous conditions, exposing them to many risks, including disease, drug abuse and sexual violence.

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That’s where Mendy Field, a SkyWest flight attendant based in Palm Springs, California comes in. For the past seven years, Mendy has organized trips to Cambodia to help children in need. She first learned about the need while working alongside a Cambodian war refugee in Irvine, California for six years. There Mendy heard stories of the extreme poverty many are facing and knew she wanted to do something to help. After a trip to an orphanage in Mexico to deliver supplies, Mendy realized she could make the same deliveries to orphans in Cambodia.

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“It’s an adventure and a mission to help children learn and change that country,” said Mendy.

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Mendy made her first journey to Cambodia by herself and discovered an orphanage by asking locals at a hotel lobby about where she could find children she could help. Since then her efforts have continued to expand. Recently, she started her own non-profit organization called We See Light. Their mission is to help put an end to sex trafficking through education, building safe houses for children being rescued from brothels, and providing basic necessities like food, clothes and hygiene supplies.

“My goal is to build more safe houses for children who have been rescued from brothels,” said Mendy. “It’s not going to get better unless people go help them.”

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This summer, Mendy will be heading back to Cambodia to visit the orphanages and to deliver supplies that she has collected from other SkyWest employees. In fact, so much has been donated that several additional employees will likely join Mendy to help with the deliveries. Their efforts are a great example of what many SkyWest aviation professionals are doing around the world to help those in need.

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Twin Falls, Idaho: Where Beauty and Adventure Meet

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Jodi Drake
Corporate Communications Specialist

At first glance, visitors seeing these beautiful waterfalls for the first time often think of Niagara Falls or possibly C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, not South-Central Idaho. In reality, Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho stands about 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls and is much more real than Narnia. Another bonus – no passport is needed to visit either side of the falls!

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To be fair, Idaho is technically considered a desert. This means that at certain times of year, the falls may be slightly more frozen than flowing. But this hidden beauty, within an otherwise desert environment, is one secret that needs to be let out and is dying to be explored. No matter the time of year, this sight is worth a visit.

For those adventure-seeking types who aren’t interested in watching bursts of water shoot off a cliff, here are two words to know: Perrine Bridge.

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To add a few more words, this bridge is one of very few manmade structures in the U.S. where B.A.S.E. jumpers don’t need a permit to jump. Here, daredevils and thrill-seekers alike are able to enjoy a 486-foot drop into the crisp water of the Snake River below. On top of that, history is literally created at this Twin Falls landmark as several world records have been made and/or broken on this 1,500-foot-wide bridge.

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In 2005, 21 people took the challenge to jump off Perrine Bridge at the same time. As their parachutes opened and they glided to the river below, Twin Falls caught the literal meaning of that ‘80s song, “It’s Raining Men” (and in this case, women, too).

The next year, in 2006, a man named Captain Daniel G. Schilling jumped off the Perrine 201 times in less than 24 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. He used a 60-ton crane that lifted him to the top to speed up the process.

If it’s not clear yet, this place is one-of-a-kind. Visit Twin Falls today with a short SkyWest jet flight, operating as Delta Connection, from Salt Lake City.

   Five Fun Twin Falls Facts:

  1. Residents are known as Idahoans
  2. First settled by Bannock and Shoshone Indians
  3. Twin Falls was the site of Evil Knievel’s unsuccessful 1974 jump of the Snake River
  4. Seventh largest city in Idaho
  5. Top industries include manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

Customers Commend Crew for Excellent Service

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McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest’s success is a direct result of the incredible employees who help take care of hundreds of customers on a daily basis – despite delays or other challenges. Recently, four crewmembers – Dave Dalton – CRJ captain, Jody Mack – CRJ first officer and flight attendants Peggy Maneotis and Ruby Landreth – were recognized by passengers on two separate flights thanks to their efforts to ensure everyone had a good travel experience. From each of the letters, it’s clear that this flight crew truly provided excellent service!

United Express Flight 5201

I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I had one of the best experiences flying in almost 40 years, and that’s even with a two-hour maintenance delay!

We flew on Flight 5201 from Chicago (ORD) to Aspen, Colorado (ASE) on Saturday, Jan. 24 and everyone from the gate agent in Chicago to the crew – specifically your flight attendants, Peggy and Ruby; captain, Dave; and first officer, Jody – was everything you could ever hope for in terms of representing the best in SkyWest! They couldn’t have been any nicer, more pleasant or accommodating. What also added to the experience was that Dave and Jody continued to keep everyone informed on the status of the maintenance –something very rare and very much appreciated!

I fly a lot, and this crew should be the ones teaching everyone on how to make sure customers have a great overall experience! Thanks again!

Julie

United Express Flight 6320 

This afternoon, my wife and I flew on Flight 6320 from Aspen, Colorado (ASE) to Denver (DEN), which was about three hours late due to a mechanical problem.

I would like you to know that the captain, Dave, and cabin staff, Peggy and Ruby, went the extra mile and then some, to make sure the short journey was as hassle-free and pleasant as possible under the circumstances.

Dave, at the request of my worried wife, came to look for me – the United gate staff needed to work on my ticket, resulting in my being last on the plane, and not the usual first. He found me on the apron and escorted me to the aircraft.

Peggy and Ruby involved themselves with the passengers, helping them where they could.

Most of my flying is on European and Far Eastern airlines, which U.S. companies do not often compare to favorably. Today was the exception, and I wanted you to know that.

Tony

These letters are just a few of the many compliments received each week and are great examples of the service SkyWest’s 10,000+ aviation professionals provide every day on nearly 1,700 flights! To learn more about the SkyWest team, visit www.skywest.com.