Tag Archives: SkyWest Family

Mothers Day 2016 story

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.

Cropped

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

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

48_Image

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.

11822540_10206970350314434_7767312092244007857_n

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.”