Author Archives: Hazel Sainsbury

Now Boarding SkyWest’s Fantasy Flight to the North Pole

Hazel Sainsbury

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Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest’s ninth annual Fantasy Flight took of this weekend in Colorado Springs, bringing the Christmas spirit to underprivileged children and their families.

“This event is cherished by everyone involved,” said Lori Hunt, SkyWest’s vice president – People. “Every year SkyWest employees help provide treasured holiday memories for children whose families struggle to meet their basic needs.”

IMG_4939This year, more than 40 children were able to participate in the Fantasy Flight where they took a 30-minute flight from Colorado Springs Airport (COS) to the “North Pole” (Gate 11 at COS). There, the little passengers were greeted by Santa Claus himself, who presented gifts to each child in attendance. The night also included dinner for the children and their families, as well as appearances from local Olympians and Sox the Fox, photos with Santa, a petting zoo and more!

What makes this SkyWest tradition even better is the incredible efforts of the employees and members of the community who volunteer to make the entire night special for everyone involved. In fact, the aircraft, fuel, gifts, dinner and more is all donated to the event. And seeing the excitement of the kids involved makes it all worth it.

Children aboard the Fantasy Flight are enrolled in the Community Partnership for Child Development early childhood education programs. These children live below the poverty level, have an identified special need, or have a home situation that puts them at risk for school failure. To learn more about the organizations SkyWest partners with to make this event possible, visit and

SkyWest Employees Make a Difference in Costa Rica

Hazel Sainsbury

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Corporate Communications Manager

When planning a trip to an exotic destination like Costa Rica, most people don’t think about packing their bags with 200 lbs. of paper, folders, coloring books, calculators, soccer balls, shampoo, stuffed animals and hair accessories. That is, unless they are SkyWest Director of Flight Operations Bill Mostowy and his wife, Brandi Mostowy, a Flight Operations Facilitator.

Costa Rica Supplies

The idea for the unusual luggage started roughly two years ago when the couple traveled to Costa Rica to vacation and visit family members in Tamarindo. While enjoying the beautiful country, zip-lining and playing in the surf, they noticed a drastic difference between the tourist areas and back-country villages.

“We saw elementary schools that lacked basic necessities like running water, air conditioning, books, restrooms, paper, pencils and other supplies that any school should have,” said Bill. “And after that first trip, we knew we couldn’t return without bringing as many supplies and donations as we could carry.”

Costa Rica School House

To help meet their goal, Bill and Brandi solicited donations from friends, family and their SkyWest coworkers who are always eager to help with these types of efforts. In fact, they finally had to stop taking donations because they simply ran out of room from all of the tremendous support.

After arriving in Liberia, Costa Rica, they traveled to the coastal town of Tamarindo. And while they thought they had carefully accounted for everything, the Mostowys quickly realized that the school year in Costa Rica had not yet begun and the schools were closed. Thankfully, two friends managed to contact school officials to arrange for someone to meet the group at the school to receive the supplies.

Costa Rica Students

“As we drove up to the school, we were shocked to see nearly every student waiting for us,” said Brandi. ””It was hard to tell who was most excited, us, or the 15 students and their parents.”

After their initial shyness evaporated, the kids welcomed them and peppered them with questions, which they eagerly answered through the help of their translators. In addition to all of the school supplies, each child was also given a gift bag and had a chance to put together some SkyWest paper airplanes.

SkyWest Planes

“It was truly an amazing experience to see how something so simple could bring so much happiness,” said the couple.

And Brandi and Bill didn’t just stop there. In addition to their trip to Escuela Linderos, they set aside supplies and toys for another charitable program called Casa Luz, located in San Jose. Casa Luz is a haven for adolescent mothers who have come out of abusive situations or extreme poverty. It was established in 2003 by Canadians, Eldon and Lori Cooke, who felt the need to help these exploited adolescents and their children.

Bill and Brandi both say they’re grateful for all of the support they experienced in putting together this humanitarian trip and are planning to organize another effort soon.
The care and compassion demonstrated by Bill and Brandi is also shared by many of the other 10,500 employees working at SkyWest Airlines. They are committed to going above and beyond, to help in the communities where they live and work. To learn more about SkyWest Airlines, visit

Advancing the Role of Women in Aviation

SkyWest employee Melissa Adams & Daughters

SkyWest pilot Melissa Adams & daughters

Hazel Sainsbury

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Corporate Communications Manager

From the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II to pioneers like Amelia Earhart, women have long played important roles in the aviation industry. SkyWest Airlines is committed to advancing the role of women in the industry, which is one of the reasons they regularly participate in events like the annual Women in Aviation (WIA) Conference. And this year, SkyWest provided several sponsorships so that even more employees could attend the conference in Florida.

For Crystal Jorgensen, a SkyWest flight attendant based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the chance to attend the WIA conference was an incredible surprise.

“I was almost speechless and a wave of pure excitement came over me,” said Crystal. “I was and still am excited and honored of the fact that SkyWest would pick me to go.”

Crystal says the conference gave her a chance to rub shoulders with many amazing people within the aviation industry.

Crystal said, “I not only learned of few ways to go about getting my pilot’s license, but I also learned where different aircraft parts come from and who builds them. As a woman in the aviation industry, I feel blessed to be where I am, although I am not finished.”

For Judi Stephenson, a SkyWest first officer based in Denver, Colo., the conference was a chance to meet some of her aviation idols.

“I stumbled across an article about the WASPs from World War II and I was hooked,” said Judi. “At the conference, I looked across the large conference center and saw Bernice ‘Bee’ Falk Haydu – the woman who was once named as the ‘President of the Order of Fifinella.’ This is a woman whose uniform is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and it was an honor to meet her.”

Judi Stephenson with Bee Falk Haydu

Judi Stephenson & Bee Falk Haydu

Like other attendees, SkyWest employees also had the chance to attend classes and keynote presentations that continued to inspire them in their individual careers. The experience is one that they will not soon forget.

Marie Becker, a SkyWest maintenance purchasing agent from St. George, Utah, said, “Meeting the other SkyWest employees and spending a wonderful day exploring the exhibit hall confirmed that I had chosen the right career.”

“NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman spoke about safety in aviation. It was so inspiring and as I listened to her stories, it made me want to be a better person, “ added Jill Baker, an Los Angeles-based SkyWest flight attendant.

SkyWest Airlines is proud to employ more 4,100 women. These incredible aviation professionals help in all aspects of the operation, from the ticket counter and ramp, to the maintenance hangar flight deck and inside the cabin. They truly help set the standard for SkyWest to be the Airline of Choice, Employer of Choice and the Investment of Choice.

Marie Becker and Crystal Jorgenson at the SkyWest booth

Marie Becker and Crystal Jorgenson at the SkyWest booth