Tag Archives: SkyWest Family

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SkyWest Bands Together in Relief Efforts

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

In recent weeks, Mother Nature has made her presence known across the states, with Hurricane Harvey making landfall and devastating parts of Texas and Louisiana, then Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria following in Florida and Puero Rico respectively. In true SkyWest fashion, people stepped forward immediately asking how they could help their team members in need.

SkyWest HomeThankfully, all SkyWest people are safe. However, several have experienced tremendous property loss due to the historic flooding. SkyWest is offering a myriad of resources to support our people, from personal outreach from leaders to SOS: Crisis Fund resources for those in Harvey’s path. Additionally, SOS: Family Assistance is available to those on an approved personal leave of absence to take time to rebuild and recuperate from the flooding. Family Assistance allows SkyWest team members to donate their user and vacation hours to those on an approved leave.

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

Since the hurricane, SkyWest people have donated $15,000 to the SOS: Crisis Fund, with those funds going directly to SkyWest employees who’ve experienced loss from Harvey’s path. SkyWest has already granted more than $50,000 to our people and we continue to receive and fund applications as the harsh realities of the storm’s effects settle in.

In addition to directly helping our people, we’ve worked with the Red Cross and donated $10,000 to help provide aide and an American Red Cross Emergency Vehicle in flood areas. We continue to work with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to coordinate efforts on support and relief.

No matter the challenge, SkyWest people are a family and rise to support each other in times of need. And that is the Spirit of SkyWest.

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!

Rice Family

Families that Fly Together: Thanks Dad!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

For brothers Robert and Cory Rice, SkyWest is quite literally part of the family. Inspired to become pilots by their father, retired SkyWest Captain Brent Rice, Robert and Cory told us about how aviation, and SkyWest, runs in their blood.

“Before my dad got into flying he was in a high stress business,” said Captain Cory Rice. “I saw him so much more as a pilot than with his old job; he flew for SkyWest from 1986 to 2000. He had a good time flying.”

Captain Robert Rice continued, “I had never seen him happier than when he made the switch to flying at SkyWest. He switched to doing something he loved and getting paid to do it. It was a completely new, challenging experience. [I learned to] make sure you do something you love and love what you do. Then, when you’re working it doesn’t feel like working.”

Cory remembers early on his dad would talk about how great SkyWest and the lifestyle was.

“It was definitely a SkyWest family that I saw firsthand,” said Cory. “He had made so many friends and loved it so much, that it inspired us all to do our flight training as soon as we could.”

And by all, he means all four of the Rice siblings! Their little sister also flew for SkyWest and their oldest brother also received his pilots’ licenses, and the siblings had the rare chance to train together and fly together over the years.Rice Family 2

Robert remembers flying in the EMB120 Brasilia with his dad – he even had the chance to fly with him for an entire month! When asked what he learned from that experience, Robert said, “What I learned is you can be a safe pilot, obey all the rules and still have fun. If you treat your fellow workers with kindness and respect you always get the best effort.”

“My dad is a pretty laid back guy and he taught us to be laid back and rational and to never jump to make a bad decision,” said Cory. “That and the value of friendships within the company. It’s where I’ve met my closest friends.”

At least one Captain Rice has flown at SkyWest over the past 31 years, and they’ve seen plenty of changes to the airline and the industry. Still, some things haven’t changed at all.

“Even though SkyWest has gotten much bigger than when I first was hired, it still has that family feel,” said Robert. “I found out long ago from my Dad’s example that this job is what you make it; respect everyone and enjoy life!”

Jeff

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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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.

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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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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!

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SkyWest Welcomes “Future Flyers!”

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

IMG_1412SkyWest people across the system gave their Future Flyers a firsthand look into daily operations through Bring Our Kids to Work Day. Parents and grandparents participated by showing their kids the hard work they do to make SkyWest great and highlighting the diverse jobs and skill-sets it takes to keep the operation running.

From tracking aircraft mid-flight in the Operations Control Center to learning to marshal aircraft and inspecting aircraft parts, the kids in attendance were able to enjoy a variety of unique experiences to inspire creativity, curiosity and learning.

At the North Bend, Oregon (OTH) SkyWest location, children were able to see the entire process of preparing for an arriving and departing aircraft. They participated in equipment checks, load planning, ramp set-up, the check-in process and security screening.RNO

At the Reno, Nevada (RNO) station, crewmembers escorted kids aboard a SkyWest aircraft to learn more about the captain, first officer and flight attendant roles at SkyWest. The kids were presented with their wings to become honorary pilots after visiting with a SkyWest first officer to learn what it takes to be a great employee.

Beyond the direct SkyWest operation, kids at the Lewiston, Idaho (LWS) and Eau Claire, Wisconsin (EAU) stations were able to learn about some of the airline’s important partners that help keep the airline running safely. Local TSA Agents spoke shared a presentation on standards of safety and some of the machines they use to assist in the job. The airport also showed the kids their airport fire truck as the children learned about how the airline and airport work together.04-29_BOKTWD-289

Pepper Siegel, cross utilized supervisor in Pasco, Washington (PSC) said, “my son appreciated how friendly all of the agents working were and how they were all willing to show him how things operate. Neither of us can wait to see what is planned for next year! ” It was a memorable experience for all and a great reminder that it truly is the people that make SkyWest great.

Speaking to the kids participating at headquarters, SkyWest, Inc. CEO Chip Childs said, “at SkyWest, we are able to do what we do so well because of your parents and grandparents.” He continued, “I want you to go home and thank your parents, because the work hard and the work they do really is for you; so you can have the opportunities when you are older to work at a fantastic place like SkyWest.”