Author Archives: McKinnley Matson

Hays

Hays: Small-Town Charm and Big-Time Fun!

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Hays, Kansas is known as a place with small-town charm and big-time fun! And the friendliness of those who call Hays home is evident to travelers who are enjoying a family vacation, business trip, sporting event or even just passing through.Hays Kansas Welcome

In town, there is always something exciting and interesting happening throughout the year, including the “Great Planes on the Plains” fly-in, which will be held June 7-12 at Hays Regional Airport. This year, Universal Helicopter, Kansas State University-Salina, the Civil Air Patrol and the Arizona Commemorative Air Force, among others, will be in attendance. The Commemorative Air Force will also be offering tours and rides in a B-25 Mitchell Bomber that flew combat missions in World War II. This yearly event is sure to provide an educational, fun-filled weekend for all those who attend.

Those making their first visit to this historic frontier town will definitely appreciate the many low- or no-cost attractions that are available, including the chance to learn about Hays’ often dangerous early days when the town was filled with railroad workers, desperados and other notorious characters. The city also offers historic downtown tours and shopping, a look into frontier military history, annual festivals and sporting events, art studios and performing art, and much more!

In its early days, Hays developed a reputation for lawlessness and as a tough “end of the tracks” town. During several months in 1869, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok served as an interim sheriff to quell the almost constant homicides, bloodshed and feuds. Visitors can experience some of this history with a trip through time on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route where some of the most famous and notorious characters lived and walked.Hays House Hays Kansas

The Fort Hays Historic Site offers a glimpse into a soldier’s frontier life in this unique location that was founded to protect settlers from native resistance. Today, visitors can see the original blockhouse, guardhouse and officers’ quarters, and the information center provides exhibits and artifacts about the fort and military history.

 

 

Get started on an historical adventure to Hays aboard one of the two daily SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express from Denver. The best fares can be found at united.com.

Take Control: 360° Takeoff Video

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Ready to take control of your career? Picture yourself doing just that in our 360 degree takeoff video! See what it’s like to sit at the controls and takeoff from the flight deck of one of our E175 aircraft in Boise, Idaho.

SkyWest pilots have more opportunities and exposure than any other regional pilots – flying for four major airlines, in more new jets of any regional and with over a dozen domiciles around the country. Why limit yourself? Take control of your career today by applying at skywest.com!

 

 

 

First Snowball

SkyWest Flight Attendants Deliver Holiday Magic

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

It was one of the most amazing acts of sheer kindness she had experienced in a long time – her family’s own Christmas magic. That’s how Jaimi Nielson described SkyWest flight attendant Erin O’Shea’s actions after Jaimi’s son, Owen, left his bag at a gate in San Francisco before boarding a recent flight.

A prized collection of LEGO sets, his “best friend” (a well-loved stuffed lizard) and favorite storybooks were among the possessions that five-year-old Owen accidentally left in SFO. After realizing what happened, he was heartbroken and cried the whole flight.

The Nielsen’s searched for a way to retrieve the bag, but what they found wasn’t good. The bag had to be picked up in person and the cost of a flight to reclaim the items would cost well over $1,000.

Enter Erin O’Shea, a SkyWest flight attendant.

Flight Attendant Erin O'Shea with the bag of toys.

Erin O’Shea with Owen’s bag of toys.

Erin met Owen while he was flying from San Francisco to Salt Lake City and offered to help. After she finished her trip with a flight to Chicago, Erin jumped on a different flight back to San Francisco, rather than flying directly home to Salt Lake City. In SFO, she was able to work with TSA to ensure all the security requirements were met and picked up the bag. Erin then flew back to Salt Lake and delivered it to Owen’s family.

“We asked her why she would be willing to do this,” Jaimi explained, “and she simply said, ‘Because he captured my heart.'”

Thanks to Erin’s quick thinking, Owen was overjoyed to find his most treasured possessions back at his side when he woke up the next morning.

But Owen wasn’t the only young boy who experienced some holiday magic this month. More than 1,000 miles away, in Minneapolis, five-year-old Ethan and his younger brother were on their way to live with their Nana in Duluth, Minnesota. There were sure to be a number of changes in store and the one thing Ethan really looked forward to was snow.

Having lived in Mississippi, Ethan had never seen snow before and he couldn’t wait to get to his Nana’s house to have a snowball fight! When his flight from Minneapolis to Duluth was delayed due to weather, he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Ethan told Linzie Clayman and Jacie Vonada – Minneapolis-based SkyWest flight attendants all about his plans for the snow. But as the hours passed by, Ethan’s excitement turned to frustration.

“Their Nana looked pretty stressed out,” Linzie said. “When the snack cart rolled around, Jacie and I helped her get some snacks for the boys, but Ethan still seemed pretty sad.”

That’s when Linzie and Jacie concocted a plan – a secret mission to make Ethan’s day special.

They talked to the first officer for the delayed flight, and within a few minutes, he returned with a snowball, just for Ethan.

First Snowball

Ethan’s first snowball!

Ethan’s whole face lit up at the sight of his first snowball. But he wasn’t the only one. Other travelers around the gate area saw the exchange and couldn’t help but smile as Ethan carried his snowball around until it melted. That simple act of kindness helped keep Ethan’s spirits high until he was able to arrive at his new home.

The actions of Linzie, Jacie, Erin are repeated by countless other SkyWest employees on a daily basis as they work to provide incredible customer service for every passenger, especially during the busy holiday travel season.

Bend

10 Things to Do in Midland, Texas

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Midland, Texas offers a wealth of activities to fit any traveler’s taste – from foodies and sports enthusiasts to history buffs and the outdoorsy – all without sacrificing true Texas culture or Southern hospitality. Check out our list of top 10 must-see Midland attractions to start off a fantastic West Texas adventure!

Johnny's

1. No Texas vacation would be complete without experiencing some finger-licking Texas cuisine. Grab a taste of real Texas barbeque at Johnny’s BBQ Diner, a local favorite.

 

 

Gerado's

2. In the mood for Tex-Mex instead? Head over to Gerardo’s Casita for some authentic cuisine that you can only find in Texas.

 

 

 

Susie's

3. For dessert, don’t miss Susie’s South Forty Confections Candy Factory, a Guinness World Record-Holder for the largest piece of toffee.

 

 

 

4. PermianCatch up on Texas history at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum and find out how Midland is connected to more than 16 percent of the nation’s oil reserves.

 

 

 

Alamo

5. Remember the Alamo! Make sure to pay a visit to the first bell that hung in the Alamo at the Haley Library and History Center.

 

 

 

6.Planet Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes access to the universe. Be sure to visit the Marion Blakemore Planetarium at the Museum of the Southwest.

 

 

 

Football7. Nothing completes the true Texan experience like attending a high school football game, where the entire community gathers for the intensely competitive games. See why West Texas high school football was the inspiration for Friday Night Lights.

 

 

8.Baseball For baseball fans, there’s also a Midland RockHounds game, Midland’s minor league baseball team.

 

 

 

Bend9. Midland offers the closest access to Big Bend National Park. This is especially good news for star gazers as this remote park is one of only 10 places on the planet that is certified for dark-sky stargazing and is well known for being one of the largest, most beautiful and least-crowded national parks in the U.S.

 

Sunset

10. In the end, Midland can always be counted on to provide visitors with possibilities that are as endless as the horizons.

 

 

 

 

SkyWest_Blue_Tail

Customers Commend Crew for Excellent Service

SkyWest_Blue_Tail

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.

SkyWest Flies 50 Children to the “North Pole”

SkyWest Airlines Fantasy Flight 2015

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

On Saturday night, Dec. 15, 2014, 50 Colorado Springs children flew to the “North Pole” on SkyWest Airlines’ Fantasy Flight. There they were able to experience the magic of Christmas at a special event dedicated just for them.

This is the eighth year running that SkyWest employees have partnered with community volunteers to organize the Fantasy Flight and transform Colorado Springs Airport’s East Terminal into a winter wonderland. The evening began with dinner, autographs from local Olympians, a petting zoo, face painting and a special appearance by Sky Sox baseball’s Sox the Fox mascot! The little passengers then boarded SkyWest Airlines flight 1225 to the “North Pole” and took off on what was, for many of them, their first flight.

SkyWest Airlines Fantasty Flight Plane

“Nobody got scared,” said Michele Warren, flight attendant – COS. “They all did a good job.”

As they took to the air, flight attendants sang Christmas carols with the kids (although not always in tune), and watched as the children gazed with wonder out the window at the world below them. After a magical, 30-minute flight filled with laughter and song, they had arrived at the “North Pole” (COS East Terminal). The children excitedly hopped off the plane and ran up the jet bridge, anxious to see Santa and tell him their dreams for Christmas morning.

SkyWest Airlines Fantasy Flight 2015 SantaDog

When they entered the room, they were greeted by family and friends, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves! They played games, did crafts, and snacked on cookies and hot chocolate while they opened the gifts that Santa brought them. The atmosphere at the “North Pole” was clear throughout the night: This was a magical experience that the kids and their families would remember for years to come.

“We’d like to do a lot more for the kids, but finances are tight and we don’t have a lot of money,” said Kris Dalton, a father of three daughters who participated in the event. “This is something really special.”

SkyWest Airlines Fantasy Flight 2015 Crew

Children aboard the Fantasy Flight are enrolled in CPCD’s early childhood education programs. These children live at or below the federal poverty level, have an identified special need, or have a fragile home situation that puts them at risk for school failure. Reaching out to provide them with a magical holiday event is always rewarding, and a lot of hard work and preparation goes into putting it together. Everything from dinner and the volunteers’ time, to the gifts, fuel and aircraft are all generously donated by SkyWest and all of the volunteers who are anxious to give back and help these children have a magical Christmas experience.

Jamie Young, SkyWest’s COS general manager said, “Seeing the kids and parents enjoy the event makes it all worth it!”

SkyWest Maintenance Team Helps Hundreds of Local Kids With A Free Toy Drive

SkyWest Airlines Maintenance Toy Drive 2015

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

This holiday season, SkyWest employees and teams across the country are reaching out to help those in need. Just recently, the maintenance team in Nashville, Tennessee (BNA) and their families volunteered with Laguardo Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee to offer a free toy store.

The “toy store,” held at the church, consisted of long tables filled with donated toys, games, bikes and more. Children and their families had the chance to browse through everything and were able to pick out their favorite items. Last year, the SkyWest team served more than 200 families – several with multiple children. However, after seeing some people turned away due to a lack of toys, they set a goal to help even more.

SkyWest Airlines Maintenance Toy Drive 2

“We were able to provide more than $5,000 in cash and toys for 300 children and their families,” said Ginger Steed, BNA admin assistant.

The huge success was possible thanks to many generous donations and a desire to give back.

“I think of the 300 smiling faces (plus the stress relieved from parents) come Christmas morning, the memories we created, and the impact that all of it has on everybody,” Ginger continued. “It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and that’s what it’s all about!”

This is just one of the many opportunities SkyWest employees have taken to give back this holiday season. Big and small, they are always looking for ways to get involved and to give back to the communities where they live and work.

Elko, Nevada: A Journey Back to the Wild West!

SUNSET-AT-THE-DIKE-AND-RUBYS-MOUNTAIN-5937

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

This budding city may not be a major metropolis, but a rich history of Old West culture ensures Elko, Nevada has something of interest for everyone. Originally founded in 1869 as a cattle-ranching empire and railhead for the White Pine mines, the area has grown significantly. But the buckaroos who live there will attest that it hasn’t lost its historic charm.

Elko mammoths-and-mastodons-at-the-denver-museum-of-nature-and-science-mastodon-skeleton

To really get a feel for what life was like in the Wild West, mosey on down to Elko’s Northeastern Nevada Museum. It’s recognized for the variety and quality of their exhibits. One of the most popular and visited exhibits statewide is an annual traveling show of Nevada photography. Currently on display is the American Mastodon exhibit. These rare, elephant-like fossils were actually found in the nearby city of Spring Creek! The museum also has a number of permanent exhibits, including a western saddle exhibit; a 1900s kitchen, school room and commercial printing press room; ranching, mining and railroad displays; a collection of Native American blankets and beadwork; and more.

If experiencing Nevada’s natural Western beauty in on the agenda, there’s plenty of opportunity for that, too. The Ruby Mountains are considered one of America’s most beautiful mountain ranges, and they’re only a hop, skip and a jump away. Hike along endless miles of trails, and past roaring waterfalls and blazing wildflowers. For a less strenuous outdoor excursion, take a drive along the 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Scenic byway and see why the area is known as the “Grand Canyon” of Nevada.

Elko Nevada Gold Mines

Visitors can also take a free tour of the local gold mines. But be sure to wear long pants and sturdy shoes; sandals, shorts and tank tops aren’t allowed on site. Mining has been an integral part of Nevada’s history for centuries. In fact, Northern Nevada is the country’s largest gold producer. Though the mines are operated much differently than they were in the 1800s, the Nevada Mining Association offers numerous workshops and activities to help spark the historical spirit of mining in the area.

Elko Mining Azurite

Of course, to really be part of the excavation action, a trip to one of the plentiful rockhounding sites is a must. These locales are perfect for the miners and geologists at heart. Dig among Nevada’s natural landscape and discover rocks and minerals, including petrified wood, black shale, brachiopods, jasper and more.

With a number of period-refurbished hotels and locally owned eateries, Elko provides plenty of avenues to get a feel for 19th century Old West lifestyle. And the easiest way to start a journey back to the Wild West is by booking a convenient flight with SkyWest, operating as Delta Connection, from Salt Lake City International Airport. Remember, the best fares can always be found on delta.com.