Tag Archives: SkyWest Family

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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.”

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Families that Fly Together: Thanks Mom!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

For some, being a flight attendant at SkyWest runs in the family! We tracked down just a few of our InFlight families to give them a chance to say “Thanks, Mom”.


This last month, MSP based Flight Attendant Casey Buchanan was able to have a unique experience with her mother Maureen Buchanan  – Flight Attendant, LAX when they flew their first trip together!

FA Mother's Day“We had been trying for months to work together, since we’re in different bases, and it finally happened!” Casey said. “We both learned for each other, which was fun for us.”

Maureen started at SkyWest five years ago, and from the beginning she talked to Casey about joining the company.

“My mom always wanted to be a flight attendant, as did I. We both love adventure and meeting new people. She had always put things on hold so she could be at home with us girls. It was her time to do something for her, that she always wanted,” Casey said. “Watching her go after a lifelong dream of being a flight attendant when I was 19 was very inspiring. She not only went after her dream, but has accomplished it and grown from the experience. She is funny, hardworking, easy to talk to and doesn’t give up. As flight attendants we have brutal days, as a mother you have brutal years – especially raising three daughters – and she never gave up on us or on her dreams.”

Mothers Day 2016Maureen was able to pin on Casey’s wings this past September and as Casey explained, has been her rock during her first year as a flight attendant.

“She would text me every morning to say good luck and she sat up with me some nights during training and my first few months when things got hard. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without her, once again, being my cheerleader,” Casey said. “She’s the best mom I could ever ask for and I am so happy to be following in her footsteps here at SkyWest!”

“We both love to work with people and give excellent service. We also love to travel and are very spontaneous,” added Maureen. “We love working for SkyWest. SkyWest is family and so are we and we feel this is our home.”


One mother-daughter team that loves to fly together is Jessica Henline – director of InFlight training and her mom, Kaye Manrique – Flight Attendant, SLC.

“When we fly together it’s like a mini-vacation!” Jessica said. “It’s so much fun! My mom is not only an amazing person and mother but she is the best flight attendant I have ever flown with!

Mothers Day 2016 storyKaye came to SkyWest in 1990 and has been a flight attendant (and held many positions in the InFlight department) for 26 years!

“I was raised with my mom being a flight attendant and grew up with the SkyWest family. People say aviation gets in your blood and I certainly agree with that!” said Jessica. “The career is like no other career in the world.“

Jessica explained that both her and her mom love being around people and making a positive impression on their day, so that is ultimately why they love their jobs.  Jessica went on to praise her mom saying, “My mom’s caring and giving heart is what makes her a great mother and flight attendant. She truly cares about the passengers and people in general and having her as an example in my life is part of what has made me the person, mother and flight attendant I am today.”


And just a few days ago, Jennifer Wilson – Flight Attendant, LAX celebrated her fifth year with SkyWest and there to surprise her and present her with her five-year anniversary wings was her son Julian Jenkins, Manager of InFlight Services.

Julian & Mom“Presenting her with her wings was a cool experience. She pinned my wings when I graduated from training and I was grateful for the opportunity to return the favor,” Julian said. “She started as a flight attendant a little over a year before she inspired me to do the same.”

While Julian and Jennifer haven’t had the chance to fly a trip together, they have traded planes with one another and enjoyed being able to meet up on breaks.

“Anyone who flies with her can attest that she is always a cheerful worker. She talks and smiles and connects with her crew and customers. She makes an excellent flight attendant because she has a passion for serving others and acts accordingly,” said Julian. “She’s a great mom because, among other things, she gave her best to her three boys and provided us with luxuries that she did not have while growing up. We have excelled because of her love, and we honor her for her dedication.”


Come join the SkyWest family! You can find information about SkyWest careers here.

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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!

 

SkyWest crew with the family.

SkyWest Crews Going the Extra Mile

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

SkyWest is home to countless caring and considerate employees. Recently, three stories about some of our incredible crews were shared with us that illustrate the type of people who make up the SkyWest family.


On a recent trip in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City based SkyWest Flight Attendant Jill Roundy noticed a small detail about one of her young passengers.

“He had a Make-A-Wish button on his shirt. Passengers may think we don’t pay attention to them but we really do,” Jill said. “This is the reason I’m a flight attendant. Everyone has somewhere to go with a purpose: a wedding, funeral, job interview, promotion or a birth of a child. We do our best to get them there and with the best intentions to read their mannerisms. But this was a first for me.”

SkyWest crew with the family.

SkyWest Crew (Flight Attendants Jill Roundy and Lacey Finnell, First Officer Aiden Eye and Captain Charles Butler) with the family.

The young boy and his family were on their trip home from fulfilling his wish to go to a concert of his favorite artist. Jill and the rest of her crew took the time to make the family’s trip special, giving them an extra tour of the aircraft after it landed. The little boy was thrilled at the opportunity and after looking into the flight deck, he asked Jill if he could sit in the captain’s seat. Captain Charles Butler was happy to oblige and stepped out as First Officer Aiden Eye took the time showing this young passenger the controls on the flight deck while explaining their functions.

“This only shows that the employees at SkyWest are by far just one great big family caring for the people that fly with us!” said Jill. “Happy to be part of the family.”


A brave six-year-old girl was having a tough day. As her family arrived at the airport in the evening, they made their way to the shuttle for a ride to the parking lot. As the young girl boarded the bus with her parents, noticing there were no open seats, Palm Springs based First Officer, Joe Myers, stood up to give his seat to the mother and daughter.

The girl has lost all of her hair as a result of cancer treatments. During the shuttle ride, a little boy made a comment to the girl about her lack of hair, and she began to cry. As the family got off the bus, Joe walked over to the little girl and told her she was the prettiest little girl he had ever seen. He then took off his hat and showed her his own bald head, telling her she was very special. Joe made her night when he removed the wings from his shirt and pinned them on her, telling her he was making her an honorary pilot.

First Officer Joe Myers

First Officer Joe Myers

Joe made the girl laugh when he jokingly told her, “Boys are made of cotton and are rotten!” before thanking the parents and walking away. The parents were in tears and so moved by Joe’s compassion and love toward their daughter that they went the extra mile to contact SkyWest and share their gratitude for First Officer Myers.

“I was blessed that night,” said Joe. “That little girl touched my heart and gave me far more than I could have ever given her. When I pinned my wings on her, I told her that pilots don’t cry and she could fly with me anytime. Maybe with some prayers she will be able to fly for SkyWest someday! I didn’t do anything that another SkyWest employee wouldn’t have done when faced with the same situation. I feel so fortunate to SkyWest and my wife Jackie for allowing me to pursue my dream! This is a family that I am so proud to be a part of.”

That night the little girl wouldn’t part with the wings and slept in her shirt with the wings safely secured on it. Even now, she will not take them off.


While boarding a flight in Seattle, Tiffany Miller, a Salt Lake City-based flight attendant, noticed one impeccably dressed young woman.

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw her turn around, so I turned to meet her sweet face. Tears were welling up in her eyes, and she spoke to me in a voice I haven’t heard in a while,” Tiffany said. “It was the same tone my children would have when there were monsters under their bed. ‘I’m very scared. Is it going to be really bumpy?’ and after hearing herself she openly started to sob.”

The passenger explained that she flies a lot but just passed through a storm that had “terrifying turbulence.” Tiffany told her that she too had just been through a similar storm, but that she anticipated that everything was going to be fine on the short flight and that she was in very capable hands.

Tiffany then went up to the flight deck to find that Captain Carl Wager had witnessed the exchanged and was wondering what he could do to help. He offered to go back and talk with the girl if she would find it reassuring. The young lady, still full of fear, accepted the offer. Carl went back to her seat, taking up precious moments needed to stay on schedule, to let the passenger know that he understood her fears and was aware of his tremendous responsibility to keep everyone safe.

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Captain Carl Wager speaking with passenger

“I am always confident with my pilots. I am grateful for the level of training, skill and knowledge they work hard to possess. Today I was truly grateful to also have a wonderful and kindhearted captain,” Tiffany said. “I looked down the aisle to see a very relaxed, very sweet moment. It was one that I hope I never forget. It was empathy in action: pure and simple.”