Tag Archives: 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!

 

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SkyWest Maintenance Teams Give Back in Salt Lake City

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

SkyWest’s maintenance team is among the best in the industry; and their experience working nose to tail on our four fleet types provides an unmatched level of expertise. Recently, mechanics at our SLC (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.Leo Ryan and Kim

“Working on aircraft is part of the love of being a mechanic; giving back to the community is an added bonus,” said Donovan Johnson – Coordinator Maintenance Facilities, SLC. “The Leonardo is an important part of Salt Lake, and we’re happy to do our part to make our community a little better.

Cleaning a 1950’s military era twin-engine aircraft like the C-131 is no simple task. After the museum closed each night, SkyWest people worked to buff, polish and clean the aircraft, bringing its ‘50’s era luster back for the tens of thousands of museum visitors. The volunteers worked through the night for four days straight, using various cleaning and polish equipment as they covered themselves in dust and grime to transform the aircraft from dull to sparkling. By the time they were done, the C-131 had enough shine to see your own reflection!

SkyWest mechanics are a team of nearly 1,000 professionals who work at 12 bases across the United States. They work on the regional industry’s largest – and growing – fleet of 360 aircraft from nose to tail. These highly qualified individuals provide for the safe transportation of more than 30 million SkyWest passengers each year. Their work on the Leonardo is just one example of the hard work and pride that SkyWest professionals take in every aircraft they touch. Thank you to those who volunteered their time and talents to help give back to the community.

Leo Team

Interested in joining our team of professional mechanics? We have openings at bases and are offering moving expense reimbursement! Click here to find out more about becoming a SkyWest mechanic and to apply.

The Leonardo Museum was created to embody the spirit of the Renaissance Man and help the community discover their inner genius. For more information about the FLIGHT exhibit at The Leonardo, click here.

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SkyWest Scholarship Program Helps 32 Students Achieve Academic Goals

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

As the new school year begins, 32 SkyWest Airlines employees and family members will pursue their higher education aspirations with a little help from the SkyWest Scholarship Program. This year SkyWest awarded 32 scholarships totaling $40,000 in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, helping our SkyWest people and their families pursue their educational aspirations.

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

This year’s scholarship recipients come from a variety backgrounds and represent a wide range of academic ambitions. One of our Presidential Scholarship recipient – Jessica Harris – plans to pursue a dual degree in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Math with a minor in Economics. Upon graduation she hopes to focus on improving our nation’s security by contributing to the field of satellite surveillance and research. Another Presidential Scholarship recipient – Tara Pendleton – plans to use her scholarship funds to study Engineering while maintaining a focus on international development and service. From college freshmen to graduate level studies, each of the recipients has shown their ability to excel and SkyWest is proud to fuel our next generation and help them achieve their dreams.

Recipients were selected by the SkyWest Scholarship Committee comprised of employee representatives, who assessed each applicant individually based on a number of criteria, including GPA, career interest, extra-curricular activities, future goals, unique challenges and a letter of recommendation. Applicants to the program are each high achievers, proving that SkyWest is home to some of the best and brightest in the industry!

BreakingNews_Scholarships_2016The SkyWest Scholarship Program was introduced in 2003 and has raised more than $400,000 to assist the higher education of more than 500 members of the SkyWest team and their eligible family members. These funds are raised by donations from fellow employees in conjunction with SkyWest’s annual Mini Indy.

Congratulations and best of luck to all 32 of the 2016 SkyWest Scholarship recipients!

Doolittle Raid

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Doolittle_RaiderNearly 75 years after the historic Doolittle Raider mission as part of WWII, SkyWest was honored to fly the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole (age – 101), to attend the funeral service of a fellow Doolittle Raider. With a World War II hero on their flight, the SkyWest crew (CA Mike Spencer, FO Jeff Blaylock and FA Hayley Neves) ensured Lt. Col. Cole received the hero’s welcome he deserved.

“The entire crew went above and beyond to make this a special day for Lt. Col. Cole,” said Tracy Gallo – VP of Flight Ops. “That he was going to bury the last remaining member of his squad made the service even more meaningful.”

Left to Right, Front Row: Lt. Col. D.H. Doolittle; Lt. R.E. Cole. Back row: Lt. H.A. Potter; SSgt. F.A. Braemer; SSgt. P.J. Leonard

Lt. Col. Cole was part of one of  the most famous missions in U.S. military history when, on April 18, 1942,  he and 79 other brave members of the U.S. Air Force set out aboard 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers as part of  the United States’ response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their mission, to bomb Japanese forces in Tokyo, was highly dangerous as their bombers were unable to land on the aircraft carrier they took off from.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 15 of the bombers landed in China after carrying out there mission, where eight crewmembers were captured by Japanese soldiers. The other bomber landed in the Soviet Union, where the crew was interned for more than a year before being returned to the U.S. In total, the Doolittle Raiders lost 11 men on their mission. The remaining 69 heroes returned home to the U.S. With the passing of his friend, Lt. Col. Cole is the last living Doolittle Raider.

Doolittle RaidUpon learning that he would captain the flight carrying this special passenger, Captain Spencer made a quick trip to the local grocery store to pick up nine dozen donuts. The crew then met Lt. Col. Cole in the boarding area and escorted him to the aircraft and arranged for him to sit in row one. After boarding was complete, the donuts were passed out to passengers as Captain Spencer read the story of the Doolittle Raiders over the intercom. The cabin was quick to give Lt. Col. Cole a huge round of applause.

Lt. Col. Cole continued to receive the VIP treatment throughout the duration of his flight to MSO, where he was again escorted by the crew. As we celebrate the birth of the United States this Independence Day weekend, a special thanks to Lt. Col. Cole and all those who have served and continue to preserve our freedoms. At SkyWest, we proudly support more than 1,000 active or retired military members across our operation.

Our crew Mike, Jeff and Hayley are another great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,600+ employees are continually going out of their way to make a difference for their passengers. To learn more about working at SkyWest, visit www.skywest.com/careers .

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

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

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

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Tonuah Trujillo

At age 16, Tonuah Trujillo, a Seattle-based SkyWest flight attendant, was diagnosed with a kidney disorder called IgA Nephropathy, which over time deteriorates the kidneys’ ability to filter waste out of blood. After an overnight trip last July landed her in the hospital for two days, Tonuah 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.

“When I first got the news it was overwhelming, and we weren’t quite sure how to get the word out to all our friends and family,” Tonuah explained. “My boyfriend, Todd Hoover (a SkyWest captain based in Chicago) and a few other family members decided to start a Facebook page called ‘Team Tonuah.’ We felt it was the fastest way to get the word out about the situation and locate a possible kidney match.”

“Many of [Tonuah’s] friends and family lined up, filled out the paperwork and started the screening process,” Todd explained. “Unfortunately, we soon learned that the requirements to be a donor match can be hard to achieve, as one by one her loved ones were scratched off the list because they weren’t a match. While the list of volunteers was long, nobody could help.”

Kidney Donation

Jeanette Perez

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, Jeanette Perez, a Chicago-based SkyWest flight attendant was taking numerous tests to see if she was a match for Tonuah.

“I became aware of Tonuah’s need via Todd’s Facebook page 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,’” said Jeanette. “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.”

On January 28, Tonuah received a life-changing text from an unknown phone number. It said, “Hey Tonuah! Good morning! It’s Jeanette – we met on Christmas… I brought you doughnuts. Heard you need a kidney. This is a weird text, so I’ll just spit it out. I’m your match. Really didn’t know any other way to put it out there. Fancy a chat sometime?”Kidney Donation 1

“At first I was in shock!” said Tonuah. “I had only met Jeanette one time, and it was just last Christmas. She was on my flight and I felt like we had an instant connection. Unbeknownst to me, she had already been in the testing program since November, before I ever met her.”

The two connected and immediately felt as though they had known each other forever. Between Tonuah’s courage, positive attitude and strength to push on, and Jeanette’s incredible kindness, self-sacrifice and love, these two incredible women truly are an incredible match.

Following several other hurdles, the kidney transplant surgery was performed on March 28, 2016.

Kidney Donation 2The surgery went well and both Jeanette and Tonuah are recovering, slowly but surely.

“Everything is going well. ‘Leftie,’ as we affectionately call the kidney, started working on cleaning my blood right way,” said Tonuah. “I know it’s a long road ahead, but so far I’m feeling good…Words can’t express how amazing I think our SkyWest family is.”

Jeanette and Tonuah are a great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,000+ employees are continually going out of their way to help and support each other. To learn more about SkyWest and the opportunities that are available to work with people like Jeanette and Tonuah, visit www.skywest.com and check out the career page.

For more information about kidney donation, visit the National Kidney Foundation.

Read more stories about SkyWest people making a difference!

 

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SkyWest Captain Praised for Little Act of Kindness

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest people are the best in the industry! Just check out this story that was shared on Facebook after one SkyWest CRJ captain helped a young family with their sleepy toddler.

We landed at midnight and both kids were fast asleep. We waited until we we were the last ones on the plane and woke up…

Posted by Jennifer Braithwaite Cowley on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Interested in working with incredible people like this captain? Find out more about flying with SkyWest here!

Check out more stories about SkyWest people making a difference!

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SkyWest Mini Indy 2016 Wins Big for Charity

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

The engines revved and the checkered flag flew at the Ridgetop Raceway in St. George, Utah as 34 teams from around the globe recently vied for racing fame at the 2016 SkyWest Mini Indy! The airline industry’s premier charity event, Mini Indy includes Indy-style cars racing up to 25 MPH, a finger-lickin’ BBQ pit master’s competition and golf against the scenic backdrop of Southern Utah’s unmatched beauty – all to benefit those in need!

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

Since its inception 16 years ago, the SkyWest Mini Indy has raised more than $1 million for United Way Dixie. Those donations have helped countless people in need in Southern Utah, with 100 percent of the proceeds staying in the community to help those who are struggling to meet their basic physical and emotional needs.

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

In conjunction with the event, nearly $50,000 was raised in 2016 to benefit the SkyWest Scholarship Program through the Mini Indy Golf Tournament and a drawing to win a CAN-AM Outlander Max 400 4-wheeler, generously donated by Bombardier. In the last 15 years, the SkyWest Scholarship Program has helped hundreds of SkyWest employees and their family members achieve their higher education and professional goals.

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

Mini Indy is just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the community. To get more information on the excitement and the partners involved in Mini Indy, visit www.miniindy.org.