Category Archives: Making a Difference

2017 Scholarship

SkyWest Scholarship Program Awards 45 Outstanding Students

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Congratulations to this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! SkyWest is home to the best and brightest in the industry and that fact was emphasized by the caliber of employees and dependents vying for a shot at this year’s awards. More than 150 driven students with lofty goals and aspirations applied for a chance to receive one of three different scholarships to assist them in their pursuits of higher education.

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Coincidently, as SkyWest celebrates 45 years of flying in 2017, this year’s evaluations resulted in awards for 45 remarkable students! The recipients had a diverse range of academic ambitions to enhance their lives and those around them. In fact, Presidential Scholarship recipient Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first solo flight. He continues to fulfill his childhood aviation dreams by helping to lead SkyWest’s exceptional pilot training program for its fleet of over 100 E175 aircraft. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Factors to find ways to continue enhancing aviation safety and training. And Chicago ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini who also received a Presidential award, is now studying to receive a Master’s Degree in Aviation and Transportation Science after serving in the Israeli Air Force and bringing his dream of flying to America as he plans to advance his career in aviation

ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini

The SkyWest Scholarship Committee, made up of representatives from each of the SkyWest employee groups, volunteered countless hours to evaluate more than 150 applications. Each application was scored on a variety of criteria, including GPA, career interests, future goals extracurricular activities and unique challenges. With so many bright and goal-driven applicants, the committee was charged with the difficult task of identifying the cream of the crop!

From graduate students to college freshmen, each of the recipients exemplifies what sets SkyWest apart: dedication and hard work to achieve big dreams. Congratulations to each of this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! We look forward to watching you soar in your academic and professional pursuits!

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SkyWest Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Celebrate 45 Years!

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest Airlines celebrated 45 years of flight on June 19, 2017. To commemorate, SkyWest people traded their wings for shovels, hammers and work gloves to give back to the communities in which we live and work. Over the course of a few weeks, dozens of employees came together alongside Habitat for Humanity to donate their time and their muscle in the cities of Salt Lake, Denver and Chicago. Through these construction events, SkyWest people were able to map out foundations, prepare and clear lots, frame walls and complete a number of other tasks to set the framework (quite literally!) for each beneficiary’s success.

Stepping out of their traditional daily roles, participants demonstrated their goodness and willingness to give back, as well as the SkyWest commitment to teamwork and quality. As Dontay Riley of Chicago InFlight said, “The coolest part for me has been being able to…come together — not with the fixture of an airplane in front of us — and watch this organic teamwork happen.”

 

A Year of Giving

SkyWest will continue to celebrate 45 years of flying throughout the year with additional ways of giving back to the communities around us. Be sure to watch SkyBlog for more SkyWest happenings!

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit Habitat.org

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Pilot Becomes Life Changing Pen Pal

Thirteen-year-old Samuel and his mom have become frequent SkyWest passengers as they’ve traveled to receive treatment for Samuel’s medical complications. Last summer, while waiting to board a SkyWest aircraft, Samuel got the chance to speak to the pilot, Seattle ERJ Captain Jeff Ross. The brief interaction gave Samuel a new friend and a new outlook on life.

Samuel’s mother recently sent us a letter expressing her thanks and describing her son’s incredible experience:

This is something I’ve attempted to write many times, but I’ve never been able to find the words that accurately describe how incredible our experience has been or do this story justice…

Last summer, …[Sam] got the chance to speak to the pilot a bit… We were surprised to see the same man the next day for our return flight and happy to find out that he not only remembered Sam, but that he would once again be our captain.

The two took a photo together and Captain Ross gave Sam an email address, asking if he could forward the photo along.

Jeff

Before long, they were exchanging letters and postcards. Jeff sent an old receiver of his to Sam because they fly over us heading into and out of BOI and it would allow Sam to listen and learn. He’s also sent books Sam’s way, encouraged him to keep on reading and to work hard in school and reminded him of how strong and brave he is when Sam has had to face more scary or painful procedures.

Eight months later, Sam is happier than ever, no longer saying things like he wishes he’d never been born (something that had been becoming more frequently heard because he’d grown so very weary from being different and dealing with pain).

I just wanted to thank you for hiring people like Jeff who go above and beyond on a daily basis. We have thoroughly enjoyed almost all of our flights and its because of the people you choose to hire.

As of today, Sam and Captain Jeff are good friends who spend time planning the ultimate trip they could take together if money wasn’t an issue. So far, it includes flying upside down, jumping out of a plane, visiting Legoland and Disney World and spending lots of time in a flight simulator. Sam understands this trip isn’t possible, but just dreaming about it has put a smile on his face.

Captain Jeff has changed Sam’s life, filled it with joy and helped him to deal with the things that make him different while also embracing and celebrating them at the same time because its all part of what makes Sam an incredible person.

Thank you, Captain Ross, for your compassion, kindness and leadesrhip. His is one of many amazing examples of SkyWest people making a positive difference. Read more incredible stories like this.

Interested in joining the phenomenal SkyWest team? Learn more about positions at SkyWest Airlines at www.skywest.com/careers.

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SkyWest Brings the Miracle of Flight to Wings for Autism

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Last week, SkyWest teams in Fresno, California, worked together to operate a flight much different than our typical 2,000 flights a day. This unique operation brought the miracle of flight to 50 special passengers as part of the first ever Wings for Autism® event in California.

DSC02335After checking in at the ticket counter, the children and their families were greeted by members of the TSA, who explained what to expect in the screening process. After making their way through Security, they gathered at the gate, where SkyWest crewmembers greeted them and talked to each child individually.

“You’re an actual pilot?” asked one wide-eyed child. “This is the coolest day ever!”

The children then boarded the SkyWest CRJ200 and received a special sendoff from crews lined up on each side of the aircraft. After a full safety demonstration from the flight attendants, they taxied around the airport while enjoying snacks and beverages. They were welcomed back to the gate with high fives and plenty of smiles.DSC02752

Teaming up with Fresno Yosemite International Airport, The Arc, TSA, Delta Global Services and Hewlett Packard, the event provided individuals with autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families the opportunity to prepare for air travel in a real-life environment. While this special flight never actually left the ground, the children and their families got a first-hand look at what to expect at the airport and on an aircraft, helping to alleviate the stress they may feel when travelling.

Many thanks to the SkyWest people who volunteered countless hours of coordination and expertise to share their love of flying and provide these families with memories that will last a lifetime!

 

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference.

Interested in being a part of the SkyWest team? Find out more information at skywest.com/careers.

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Welcome SkyWest Future Flyers!

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Over the past couple of weeks, SkyWest people in several locations gave a warm welcome to our Future Flyers as part of Bring Our Kids to Work Day 2017. These events gave kids a firsthand look into SkyWest and what it takes to safely operate 2,000 flights a day across the country.

Events were highlighted by VIP tours of airport facilities, training simulators, and airplanes, where kids got the opportunity to sit in the flight deck and make “safety announcements.” And while not every location could accommodate tours, there was plenty of hands-on experience with marshaling aircraft, assembling aircraft parts and learning all about what it takes to become a pilot.

LAX Captain Louis Yu was able to bring his wife and two daughters to the event held at SkyWest Headquarters – the family left with a lasting impression.

“In our children’s minds, SkyWest is now an experience and a memory,” said Captain Yu.636294072247500077

Speaking to a room of bright-eyed and excited children, SkyWest, Inc. CEO Chip Childs reminded them what SkyWest is all about.

“Your moms and dads are the very best in the industry and they do the work they do because they love you so much,” he said. “That’s what makes SkyWest such a special place.”

Thanks to everyone who attended and all those who coordinated the many events. It’s always a fun day to have our future flyers in the workplace. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of flyers to the SkyWest team in the next 10-15 years!

 

Read more stories about SkyWest People.

CaptainWoodEaster

SkyWest Pilot Brings Easter Fun on Flight

Jacob Molnar
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Many children wake up Easter morning excited to hunt for eggs with their families, and SkyWest Captain Vincent Wood was not going to let the children aboard his flight from Chicago to Atlanta miss that opportunity this year.

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Social Media post from passenger praising Captain Wood.

Captain Wood purchased sealed plastic eggs containing sweet tarts and stickers inside and brought them onboard for kids who may have missed the morning’s festivities. Before departure, Captain Wood walked down the aisle with the green basket, letting each young passenger pick out their favorite egg (after asking permission from their parents). He also offered the treats to any adults who wanted them.

“I figured my kids were getting Easter eggs at home that morning, so the kiddos on the plane should be able to too,” said Captain Wood. “I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

The act of kindness brought joy to the passengers’ Easter morning.

One passenger, Nathan Wood, shared pictures and his thoughts on Facebook thanking the captain, “Wow! What an example of service over and above! … Happy Easter!!!! ”

Captain Wood is a great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 12,000+ employees are continually going out of their way to provide excellent service. Learn more about SkyWest and opportunities to work with people like Captain Wood on skywest.com/careers.

Read more stories about SkyWest people making a difference.

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SkyWest Top Service Moments of 2016

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Whether it’s taking care of our fleet, our operation, our passengers or our employees, SkyWest people provide great acts of service every day of the year. With the New Year upon us, take a look at just a few of the top service stories shared with us in 2016.


  • CaptureCaptain Praised for Act of Kindness

In April, a mother and her young children were on a late-night flight. As the mom struggled to carry her sleeping children and the family’s luggage off the aircraft, Captain Tracy Woodbury came to assist, offering to carry the sleeping toddler to help the family get home. The mother was so touched she shared the story in a Facebook post. Read the full story here.

  • Flight Attendant Helps Passenger Make Crucial Connection

Passenger Joe Stevens reached out to us to pass along his thanks to Flight Attendant Manuel Parra. If it wasn’t for Manuel’s service, Joe told us he likely would have missed his international flight connection to travel to his ill wife.

“I fly frequently and have never received such helpful, friendly service from any flight attendant comparable to the service I received from Manuel,” Joe said. “I told Manuel that I had a very short layover before I had to board a connecting flight to Asia to meet with my wife, who was ill. Our flight was close to an hour late leaving, and I was concerned I wouldn’t have time to make my connection.”

As promised to Joe, Manuel helped him through the immigration desk, the customs desk, the kiosk to get his boarding pass, and then through the security gate – just in time for Joe to board as the last passenger.

“For a flight attendant to offer such help is rare, and I want to let you know how much I appreciated him,” Joe continued. “I would definitely have missed my flight otherwise. Not only was his level of service far beyond what I have experienced on my many flights over the years, it was also beyond any level of customer service I have received in any industry. Manuel is much more than just an excellent flight attendant; he is an excellent person.”

  • CS Supervisor Flies with Unaccompanied Minor

img_0668An Aspen deaf camp counselor arrived at the local airport with a 12 year-old boy whose parents purchased a last-minute ticket home to Austin, Texas due to a family emergency. There was one problem; the flight had a connection in Denver. United Airlines does not allow unaccompanied minors under the age of 15 to travel alone during a connecting flight. The family was unaware of the policy, and the camp’s counselor was unable to accompany the boy home.

That’s when Customer Service Supervisor Zak Sidibe took it upon himself to help. On his own time, he flew as a passenger with the boy to Denver to escort him to his connecting flight back home to Austin. Zak communicated with the boy’s deaf parents via text message every step of the way. Thanks to his genuine kindness and heartfelt generosity, the family had some peace of mind knowing their son was in good hands to get home safely during a trying situation.

  • SLC Maintenance Team Donates Time and Talent to Leonardo Museum 

Leo BufferRecently, mechanics at our Salt Lake City maintenance base volunteered their time and expertise to the Leonardo Museum, sharing their love for the miracle of flight with the museum’s 180,000 annual visitors. After helping to reconstruct a C-131 aircraft inside the museum for the opening of the FLIGHT exhibit earlier this year, the SkyWest maintenance team volunteered their time to restore the plane’s luster and shine. Read the full story here.

  • Pilot Reaches Out to Young Passenger’s Parents During Diversion

Captain Peter Wagstaff recently went the extra mile when he made sure an unaccompanied minor and his anxious parents were informed during a diversion. He sat with the boy and allowed the boy to use his phone to call his parents and let them know what had happened. We received a letter from the child’s parents thanking Captain Wagstaff.

“The captain continued to keep us updated via texts on the progress of the plane,” mother Beth Shanker said, “As a parent of an unaccompanied minor, it was a relief to know someone was watching out for my son. We really appreciated the captain’s updates. He should be commended for the customer service.”

  • “I’m Your Match!” SkyWest Flight Attendant Donates Kidney to Co-worker 

JeAfter an ongoing battle against her kidney disorder, Tonuah Trujillo, a Seattle-based SkyWest flight attendant had received the bad news – her kidney function had declined to 12 percent, and she was going to need kidney dialysis or a transplant very soon. As Tonuah was preparing for dialysis due to the lack of donor matches, an incredible thing was taking place behind the scenes. For nearly three months, Chicago-based SkyWest flight attendant Jeanette Perez was taking numerous tests to see if she was a match for Tonuah.

“I became aware of Tonuah’s need via Facebook back in the fall. Long story short, I went through test after test to see if I was her match with the mentality of ‘if it’s meant to be, it will,’” Jeanette said. “I was finally given the go at the end of January and told Tonuah the good news. She did not know I was testing. She didn’t even know who I was really – other than our one time meeting on a Christmas deadhead.”

Read the full story here.


As illustrated by these stories ­– and even more from the year– SkyWest people deliver extraordinary service each day. With more than 30 million passengers this past year, SkyWest’s more than 11,500 aviation professionals have proven what it means to go above and beyond. Looking at joining the SkyWest team? Learn more by visiting www.skywest.com/careers

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SkyWest Teams Spread Holiday Cheer

Katelyn Boulton
Corporate Communications Specialist

While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, SkyWest employees make time to give back to the local communities in which they work and live.

In addition to the recent Fantasy Flight in Colorado Springs and Flight to the North Pole in Milwaukee, this year SkyWest people have also contributed to local food pantries and charities, benefiting ill or underprivileged children and families during the holiday season.

20161221_094350Members of the SkyWest team in Salt Lake City recently gathered donations this holiday season to benefit sick children in need of smiles. Pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents rallied together and collected paper, glue, duct tape and other needed supplies for kids’ craft time at the Primary Children’s Medical Center Child Residential and Day Treatment facility.

SLC team members also worked together to support the Candy Cane Corner, a seasonal store providing holiday gifts for low-income families and individuals participating in programs at the YWCA Utah, The Road Home and Volunteers of America. Donations included toys, art supplies, stuffed animals and educational games.

“There was overwhelming support from team members in donating for both of these organizations,” said SLC administrative assistant Tiffani Jensen. ”As the donations were picked up by the organizations, you could see they were truly touched.”holidaydonations2016-1327

Additionally, team members in St. George, Utah, participated in an annual Holiday Donation Drive. Donations were given to the Utah Food Bank, providing much-needed items to 24 local pantries and organizations. Thanks to the generosity of all who participated, 6,346 pounds of goods were donated, including 87 cases of water, more than 500 cans of food, over 200 pounds of pet food and more.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed! Whether it’s flying children to the “North Pole,” gathering supplies to benefit charities or collecting goods for local food pantries, SkyWest people go above and beyond to extend their holiday cheer to local communities.

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Now Boarding for the North Pole!

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

mke_north-poleSkyWest’s industry-leading team works together every day of the year to carry more than 30 million passengers to 202 destinations throughout North America. Recently, the SkyWest team had the opportunity to take some very special passengers to a magical destination not found on a SkyWest route map: the North Pole!

SkyWest Fantasy Flight in Colorado Springs and the Flight to the North Pole in Milwaukee brought joy and the 12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-045miracle of the holiday season to children living below poverty level, children with special needs and children suffering from serious illness. The generous efforts of SkyWest people helped create
treasured memories for these children that will last a lifetime.

The Flight to the North Pole helped brighten the season for 14 children suffering from serious illness and their families as they boarded two SkyWest CRJ200s and took a 20-minute ride to the “North Pole” (a nearby hangar decked out in holiday style!). While the ride was a short one, it provided much needed smiles and wonderment to all onboard.
12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-035The 10th annual Fantasy Flight in Colorado Springs took 49 eager children to meet Santa Claus at the “North Pole” as well! These tiny passengers, many of whom would otherwise  receive little to nothing on Christmas morning, filled the CRJ700 with holiday cheer as flight attendants led the children in Christmas carols on their 30-minute journey.

12-10_cos-fantasy-flight-089As the families deplaned, they were greeted by mascots, carolers and Santa Claus himself! The “North Poles” in both Milwaukee and Colorado Springs were a child’s Christmas dreamland, complete with crafts, games, a Christmas meal and gifts from their wish lists. The goal: to provide happiness and cheer, even if for just one day. The smiles on the faces of everyone involved proved they did just that.

mke_flightA special thanks to all of our team members, from Maintenance and Customer Service to Flight Ops and InFlight, for their efforts to spread holiday cheer to our special passengers. These events are just another way SkyWest people give back to the community and share the miracle of flight with even the smallest of flyers!