Tag Archives: SkyWest People

Supporting Our Veterans From 6,700 Miles Away

The 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade recently returned to Minnesota after being deployed for 10 months in the Middle East. There they flew a variety of missions in Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria and faced a number of challenging conditions.

Among the many brave women and men in the brigade are 10 SkyWest pilots. Knowing how challenging a deployment can be and the many questions that can come up while away from work, leaders and other teams at SkyWest went out of their way to keep these pilots updated and informed.   

“SkyWest was super supportive, even with COVID-19 they still reached out and helped us,” said Auggie Peck, a CRJ first officer based in Minneapolis (MSP).

To help show their appreciation for the support they received, Auggie and the team made arrangements to bring back two flags that were flown during their deployment. On the certificate of authenticity, it points out that the flag was flown onboard a UH-60 Blackhawk during a three-day combat mission, one of the longest missions of the deployment.

“It’s hard being deployed, but SkyWest kept caring,” said Auggie. “We wanted to just say thank you.”

Auggie delivered the flags to Captain Chris Mayer, SkyWest’s chief pilot in MSP and a fellow Veteran, earlier this month. One will be displayed in MSP and the other will be presented at SkyWest’s headquarters in St. George, Utah.

“Auggie told me what he had planned to do while he was on deployment, but it was an emotional moment seeing the pride on his face when he brought them into the office,” said Mayer.

Mayer, who helped provide many of the updates the pilots received while overseas, says he just wished he could’ve done more to let them know they are supported. 

“SkyWest is home to many incredible people,” said Mayer. “Freedom isn’t free and it’s important with a deployment that you feel supported.”

Thank you to Auggie and all those serving with you, for your sacrifices and the work you do for our Nation. SkyWest is home to more than 1,500 active military members and Veterans and we are grateful for their service.  

Flight Attendants Celebrate Family

Melinda Lopez
Detroit-based flight attendant Melinda Lopez and her parents were born in California, but her grandparents came to the United States from Spain and Mexico.

“They came for a new experience and the rest is history,” said Lopez. “Being part of a Hispanic heritage is like being part of a big family. Everyone coming together with a lot of culture and traditions from different backgrounds is amazing and something I value.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of U.S. Hispanic communities and celebrate the influence and contributions of Latinx people.

Lopez’s family keeps up some traditions like making tamales at Christmas and fresh tortillas and salsa on special occasions. She attributes her heritage with influencing her to become the strong, proud Hispanic woman she is today.

Working at SkyWest has also given her opportunities to connect even more deeply with her family’s roots.

“Once I became a flight attendant, I was able to enjoy the perk of traveling abroad,” said Lopez. “I’ve traveled throughout Mexico and have gotten to see and know more of my heritage. I am grateful for this opportunity – next stop Spain!”

Lopez dreamed of being a flight attendant since she was a little girl. She encourages other Hispanic people interested in a career in aviation to follow their dreams and work hard. She has seen the aviation industry become a more diverse career field.

“I choose to fly with SkyWest because I used to travel on SkyWest quite a bit in and out of Fresno. I would observe the flight attendants and admire what a great job they did” said Lopez. “I always kept SkyWest in mind as a company that I would like to work for one day and finally that day came for me.”

Vanet Ortega-Garcia
For Boise Flight Attendant Vanet Ortega-Garcia, familia is everything! With a deep Hispanic heritage, Vanet is grateful for her experiences and continues to instill the Mexican traditions and culture of hard work and passion to her kids and future generations.

“For me, Mexican culture is about our strength, courage, loyalty and familia she said. “We are united, fierce, bold, colorful, hardworking and unstoppable loving warriors!”

The unity and strength of Vanet’s family and ancestors fills her with pride as she reflects on everything her family has accomplished.

“When I think of my culture I get filled with pride,” said Vanet. “I think of my abuelitas (grandmother) and abuelos (grandfather), my mami (mom) and my papi (dad) who broke their backs day in and day out to give my family a bigger and better tomorrow.”

Although Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year, Vanet and her family, make sure they celebrate their heritage each and every day.

“Being Mexican is walking into a full house and being greeted by your primos (cousins) your tias (aunts) and tíos (uncles), “she said. “There’s also that random tío who isn’t really your uncle  but he’s been part of the family for so long that he is family.”

With great food and Mexican music – which is so full of life – Vanet can’t help but start dancing to the rhythm and beat of the music.

“Being Mexican is togetherness, helping out one another, and always being there,” she added. “Being Mexican is my superpower!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Friendship Built from Adversity 

           Santana & Patrick

It all started somewhere in the air between Helena, MT (HLN) and Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) when flight attendant Michael Gray saw that Santana, a 14-year-old onboard, was noticeably ill. The young passenger went from looking fine to suddenly appearing pale and in obvious pain.

Michael notified forward flight attendant Julia Jarratt, who began providing updates to the pilots in the flight deck. As they offered assistance and support, Santana’s condition worsened until he spiraled into a seizure.

Upon landing, the crew did everything they could to get the plane and emergency medical technicians to the gate quickly. The crew helped lift Santana from the back to the front of the plane so EMTs could reach him quicker. Michael, along with Santana’s 19-year-old brother on the flight, was able to call the boys’ mother to let her know what was going on.

     Michael Gray

The crew says Santana’s brother was remarkably calm. He knew his younger brother’s health history and was able to help provide care for his brother while keeping his mother informed of what was happening, recalls Michael.

“It was truly a team effort in providing care,” he said.

“Every passenger deserves the best we have to offer because we are there to serve them,” said Julia. “I would want someone to care for and treat my brothers the same way.”

For many emergencies, this is where the story ends: medical personnel take over, and everyone goes on their way. For this SkyWest crew, it was only the beginning.

Santana’s mother (Sarah) would later send SkyWest a message thanking the crew, “Throughout the ordeal, Captain Carroll called me numerous times on his personal cell phone, keeping me up-to-date despite being done with his shift. He took the boys under his wing, giving them Dutch Bros gift cards, water and sharing experiences about a youth group that he’s involved in for my youngest. When I wasn’t on the phone with him, he texted me, literally keeping me from hysteria.”

    Julia Jarratt

After Santana was cleared by EMTs to continue traveling home, the boys had four hours before their final flight. Airport Operations Supervisor Rebekah Hales and Capt. Carroll walked them to their departure gate.

“They were not unaccompanied minors but helping them was the right thing to do,” Rebekah said matter-of-factly.

Rebekah then waited with the boys and informed the gate agent of the event to ensure any extra assistance would be available. At the same time, Capt. Carroll made arrangements for another SkyWest pilot — who happened to be heading home as a passenger on the same flight as the boys — to be seated near them as additional support.

“This arrangement provided a lot of comfort in knowing someone could watch the boys and help if

     Rebekah Hales

needed,” said Capt. Carroll. Once the flight took off, he also called Sarah to give her an update and provided her with a link to track the flight. Capt. Carroll continued providing text updates to Santana’s mother until they departed.

When asked why the SkyWest team went above and beyond to help the family, First Officer Dave Sagunsky said, “I don’t consider what we did going above and beyond. It’s what we do — we take care of our passengers.”

“I am so privileged and honored to have flown with Pat, Dave, and Julia,” said Michael. “We all came together as a team to help a young man. It truly makes me proud to work with SkyWest and work with an amazing team of individuals.”

    Dave Sagunsky

“I’d like to say I’m special, but so many at SkyWest would do the same thing,” said Capt. Carroll.

Santana has since recovered and was able to travel again a month after this event. Capt. Carroll later arranged his schedule to meet Santana at the Salt Lake City International Airport so that he could give Santana a tour of the flight deck.

Thank you to Capt. Carroll, First Officer Sagunsky, Michael, Julia and Rebekah for the incredible compassion and care you provided. It made an unforgettable impression on this family and is a great example of the exceptional service the SkyWest team is known for.

                                  Santana

Pilots Complete Heroic Rescue Mission in California

From right to left: SGT Cameron Powell, SGT George Esquivel,W5 Joseph Rosamond, CW2 Brady HlebainSkyWest people are known for going above and beyond and it’s not just limited to our flights. Brady Hlebain, a SkyWest first officer, and Joseph Rosamond, a member of SkyWest’s pilot cadet program, who are part of the California National Guard, flew a CH-47 Chinook helicopter that helped rescue more than 200 people trapped near Mammoth Lakes California.

The call for assistance came in on Saturday, September 5. Hlebain and Rosamon, along with their flight engineers, Sgt. Cameron Powell and Sgt. George Esquivel, knew that the night flight would not be an easy one. A view from the flight deck

“I have done search and rescue missions, hundreds of combat hours overseas, as well as aerial firefighting, but this mission was very complex and dynamic to say the least,” said Hlebain. “Our team was an experienced group of guys who are all experienced in missions of this nature. We constantly train with night vision goggles, mountain flying, high-elevation, limited power margin, multi-ship flight, navigation in unfamiliar areas, dust landings, low visibility flight, firefighting, unimproved landing zones and first aid. However, it is rare that we do all of those things at the same time.”

The team was given coordinates of the location of those needing to be rescued, but had no idea how many people would need their help. As they were flying, they soon realized the coordinates they were given were not as accurate as they had hoped. Even as visibility dropped due to high flames and smoke, the team did not give up and were able to get Night Vision new coordinates. They flew from ridge to ridge, avoiding the clouds and smoke as best they could, before finally landing in the wee hours of the morning at the Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest.

Flying the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Rosamond and Hlebain made multiple trips to save more than 200 people from the fast-moving forest fire. They were assisted by another team flying a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. With so many unique challenges on top of tough conditions, this mission was one of the most difficult of their careers.

“The only word I can use to describe it is Apocalyptic,” added Rosamond. “It was extremely difficult to see the terrain and what was in front of us. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but our crew worked perfectly together, which allowed us to accomplish our task.”

Hlebain said the team didn’t want to be made out as heroes and noted that they are tremendously grateful to their families for their sacrifice and for allowing them to do these kinds of missions.

“The recent media coverage has made us out to be heroes, but our team agreed that we didn’t do Mammoth Lakeanything that any other aircrews wouldn’t have done had they been in the same situation,” said Hlebain. “We were only one piece of the operation and couldn’t have done it without the help of local EMTs, police, firefighters and many other agencies.”

“The bravery from each and every crew member on board both the CH-47 and the UH-60 were amazing and I could not have done it without them,” added Rosamond. “They each made a personal choice to continue into the worst of conditions.”

When he’s not fighting fires and participating in search and rescue missions, Hlebain can often be found onboard one of SkyWest’s nearly 500 jets flying passengers to destinations across North America.

While balancing two jobs at once is a challenge for anyone – especially in the aviation industry – Those recused during part of the operation Hlebain added that he is grateful for SkyWest and the support he has received which has allowed him to do both.

“Knowing two different aircraft, two sets of rules, and especially balancing two schedules can be difficult,” he said. “That being said, SkyWest has been incredibly supportive and provides me the opportunity to do both. When there is a conflict of schedules, SkyWest has been nothing short of perfect for my work/work/life balance.”

Thank you, Brady, Joseph, and the rest of your team for your efforts, bravery, dedication and sacrifice to save the lives of so many.

SkyWest CEO Named a Utah Business CEO of the Year Honoree

SkyWest congratulates CEO Chip Childs, who was selected as a Utah Business CEO of the Year Honoree for 2020.

Selected from over 200 nominees of top Chief Executives across the state, Childs’ leadership contributions in the state were recognized in March and officially announced in June for being a leader in the airline industry and for his work across organizations.

Chip has been known as a leader in the aviation industry for years, but this award recognizes the importance of his leadership in the state of Utah, with SkyWest is a key part of the national transportation system through its four major airline partnerships.

Part of his nomination for the award read, “Chip’s vision and strategy continue to drive success and helps support vibrant economies with air service in small to medium-sized communities connecting them to the broader national airspace. Under his leadership, SkyWest continues to set the standard for excellence in the regional industry.”

Chip was also recognized for his unique approach and transformative leadership, and for implementing a significant fleet transition plan for improved profitability and efficiency while continuing to enhance a culture of respect, teamwork and communication across the organization.

CFO Rob Simmons, stated, “he does an amazing job running the company with the numbers, but also with the heart.”

 Chip’s focus has always been the people of SkyWest. He said, “I’m just a lucky guy to represent the amazing professionals at SkyWest. It’s an amazing responsibility to “hire the best, train the best and treat them the best, and that philosophy is the backbone of what SkyWest accomplishes each day.”

Congratulations Chip, and thank you for your leadership! 

A Surprise Retirement Flight

Flying is in the DNA of Evan and Lee Broadbent. The brothers came to SkyWest over three years ago and are both based in MSP. Evan is a CRJ captain and Lee is a first officer on the CRJ.

Their father, Lance, was a Marine pilot flying RF-4s. After his time in the military, he was hired by American Airlines and finished his career as a check airmen and FAA designee on the A320.

“Growing up around aviation and seeing what a cool job he [Lance] had, it was a pretty easy decision to follow in his footsteps,” said Lee.

“My dad is the reason why I chose this career,” said Evan. “He is my biggest role model.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decrease in passenger demand, Lance decided to take early retirement from American. As a result of this early departure, he never got the opportunity to enjoy a celebratory final flight. Evan and Lee decided they might be able to help recognize their dad and put together a surprise that none of them will soon forget.

“It was by far the coolest day in my aviation career,” said Lee. 

After finding a flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Bemidji, Minnesota (BJI), Evan and Lee coordinated with ATC and the team on the ground in BJI to help recognize their father. Then, they invited their dad to fly with them in the jumpseat. It was something the trio had attempted in the past, but last-minute schedule changes prevented it from happening.

“[A few months ago] he had told all of his friends he was about to ride with us. When it didn’t work out, he was fairly upset,” said Evan. “To say the least he was absolutely stoked to ride with his sons.”

The flight started routinely, and Lance had no idea what was planned. However, as they took off, he began to learn this was no ordinary flight.

“When we first took off, before the tower handed us off to departure, the tower congratulated him on his retirement,” said Evan. “At that moment, he knew something more was happening.”

Throughout the flight, ATC passed along their congratulations to Lance as they checked in with each facility. When they arrived in BJI, the flight was greeted with a water cannon salute and the airport team presented Lance with a congratulatory bottle of Champagne as he deplaned.

“To have my brother as the captain and our dad in the jumpseat – I can’t put into words how special this was,” said Lee

“He was in shock and borderline in tears,” said Evan.

Both brothers reflected that this unique flight was an amazing experience and a special day for their entire family.

“It was just very cool we were able to make this day happen,” said Lee. “To see the smile on his face meant the world to me.”

“I looked back at him just before pulling into the gate and I could see all of the emotion in his eyes. That was a special and heavy moment,” said Evan.

Thank you to all the dads like Lance for being such great role models and inspiring the aviators in their family to follow their dreams!

 

Mother Son Flying

Mother and Son Take Flight Together

Family Flying Together“Mom, secure the cabin.”

Trenton Crull’s announcement from the flight deck was a moment a lifetime in the making and a thrill for both him and his mom.

“I’ve had the privilege to fly both my mom and dad while they were passengers on my flight before, but being able to work with my mom as the flight attendant was pretty special,” said Trenton. “Being able to say, ‘Mom secure the cabin’ just made it all that more meaningful.”

Trenton is a SkyWest CRJ captain based in Colorado Springs, Colorado (COS) and Melodee Crull is a flight attendant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (MSP), so the opportunity to work flight 4037 between Minneapolis and Bismarck, North Dakota together earlier this year was a rare treat.

“I told my passengers they were part of a very unique flight, as my son was one of the pilots and we were working our first flight together. ‘Mom, secure the cabin’ definitely brought laughter from the passengers,” said Melodee. “As I sat in the jumpseat upon takeoff, it was hard not to tear up thinking about my son flying the plane that I was working as a flight attendant. It’s not often that so many dreams come true in one day!”

Mother and son have crossed paths a few times since Trenton’s early days at SkyWest when he was stationed in Detroit, Michigan (DTW). Once Trenton moved to COS, their schedules got more difficult to coordinate.

“I have wanted to do this since I found out Trenton was joining me at SkyWest in November of 2017. Believe me, we’ve tried several times to get things to work out,” said Melodee.

“Luckily I had three weeks off waiting for my captain Initial Operating Experience and I found a trip to pick up in MSP,” added Trenton. “There was already a flight attendant on it, but my mom messaged her and worked it out to get on that trip.”

Melodee attributes her love of airplanes to her father, who worked at Cessna and Boeing in Wichita, Kansas when she was young. Being a flight attendant was always her dream, but for several years she filled her life with caring for a family. In 2017, the perfect opportunity came for Melodee to revive Mother and Son Flighther childhood dream and she interviewed with SkyWest.

“I love my crews. I have made so many great friends and anyone who has flown with me knows, I am a bit of a comedian and love to joke around and have fun. I also love interacting with my passengers! I have so much fun kidding around with them,” said Melodee. “I love that SkyWest has provided the opportunity to visit places I would otherwise never have got to visit.”

Her happiness at SkyWest influenced Trenton’s decision to come to SkyWest as well.

Melodee remembers her son aspired to be a pilot as early as the 2nd grade. A local pilot in the Crull’s hometown would take kids up on a flight as a reward for completing a school reading program every year and Trenton got to fly with him a few times.

“After that first flight I was hooked. I loved flying, but I didn’t know how to make it a career,” said Trenton. “It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I started looking at how to pursue aviation as a career.”

Trenton completed flight training at the University of Central Missouri. He taught there for about a year after earning his certifications and then took a job flying private jets in St. Louis. When he earned the flight hours and experience to move to a regional airline, and with some urging from his mom, he applied at SkyWest.

“I remember texting him and saying, ‘YOU HAVE TO APPLY WITH SKYWEST! This company is amazing,’” recalled Melodee.

“She talked highly of SkyWest as a company and how fun the crews were and it was then that I started looking more in-depth at it,” said Trenton. “She was a big factor in my decision to come to SkyWest.”

“Trenton has recently finished his upgrade to captain and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Melodee. “He is a great person, with compassion for people and he truly loves his career, that’s what makes him a great pilot. I would be honored to fly with this captain any day.”

Thank you to all the moms like Melodee who inspire us to pursue our dreams in the aviation industry.

Experience Pays: First Officer Balances Career and Family with SkyWest 121 Program

Lucy Czupryn, a SkyWest Airlines E175 first officer based in Chicago, started her career as a pilot flying for a different 121 operator. She spent five years gaining valuable flight experience and building her seniority. Then, she shifted her focus to starting a family and left aviation.

“When I started my family, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to come back to aviation,” said Czupryn. “SkyWest made it possible for me to come back to what I love doing. We have several programs to foster and encourage women to return to the workforce.”

When Czupryn returned to the workforce, she decided to take advantage of the SkyWest Industry Experience Credit program. This program offers pilots a pay credit match for their years of FAR 121 experience, up to 10 years. The match also applies credit for 401(k) matching, profit sharing, and leave time accrual.Lucy Czupryn“Prior to that program, there wasn’t anywhere to go to make a lateral move,” said Czupryn. “The 121 program made it an easy choice to pick SkyWest because with my experience prior to my leave, I was able to start at SkyWest with a higher hourly wage. This program made it affordable for me to return to the workforce.”

Czupryn also leaned on the SkyWest Family Support Committee as she balanced raising a family and returning to the skies. The committee, formed in conjunction with the SkyWest Airlines Pilot Association, is a group of SkyWest peers dedicated to supporting women and men through welcoming a new child into an aviation family. This committee provides support through the leave of absence processes, fitness for duty while pregnant and during postpartum, maternity uniform exchanges, pumping, or weaning in preparation to return to work, financial planning for parenthood and one-on-one mentoring.

Through this program, SkyWest provided Czupryn a stable and supportive place to resume her professional pilot career.

“With my flexible schedule, I get to fly and still spend quality time with my family helping at the school, watching their games and practices, or just cuddling and watching movies together.”

Czupryn lives in Northwest Indiana with her husband and four children and loves taking her family on adventures. She enjoys seeing new places and expects her career to one day take her to the stars.

“When I was little, I always wanted to be an astronaut,” said Czupryn, who is still striving for space. “I love flying. I love being above the clouds and looking out at the world.”

With her parents’ support, Czupryn grew up attending science camps and classes at local college campuses. She learned to assemble computers and studied successful women, including her own mom. Czupryn’s mother graduated from Purdue University in the first class of computer science majors and set an example for her daughter of being a woman in a male-dominated field.

In high school, Czupryn set her sights on becoming a professional pilot. She followed her mother’s footsteps to Purdue, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in professional flight and a master’s degree in aviation technology while flight instructing to gain flight hours.

“I love the technical challenge of operating aircraft. It’s exhilarating to take off and land such a large vessel and bring people safely from point A to point B,” said Czupryn. “Connecting people to important events in their lives brings me enjoyment as well.”

Czupryn is one of several SkyWest employees who attended the 2020 Women in Aviation International conference. She encourages prospective aviators to keep studying and work hard. “Don’t give up. Find other professionals in the field to talk to about their journey,” Czupryn advises. “And make sure to check out ‘SkyBest’!”

To learn more about the opportunities available at SkyWest and how you can receive industry experience credit, click here.

The Love Language of Flight!

A passion for the miracle of flight is one of the most common motivators for people joining the airline industry. And finding others who share that passion can lead to great relationships and, in some cases, even the love of their lives. This Valentine’s Day, we asked a few SkyWest couples to share how SkyWest helped them find each other.

Kelli Golden, air transportation supervisor, and Gage Wuthrich, dispatch supervisor, are preparing for their upcoming wedding next month. They initially met when they were assigned to the same shift and became friends. From there, the relationship quickly blossomed. 

“Gage was my dispatch trainer,” said Kelli. “So it was very natural for me to come up and talk with him and ask questions.” After being friends for a while they decided to start dating and of course, the rest is history.

Still, they kept their work and personal life separate for a while.

“Some of our co-workers didn’t know we were dating until they got our wedding invitation,” Gage said.

Kelli added that it’s great to share the same schedule, so they can sleep by 8 p.m. on the weekend — since they’re at work before the sun comes up. Of course, while they enjoy the camaraderie, sometimes they have to give each other space since they work just a few feet away from each other. At the same time, the couple noted that their shared understanding and passion for aviation has brought them closer together.

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Dontay Riley, manager of flight attendant performance, met his fiancée Matt Frisbie when visiting Salt Lake City during a work trip. The two met during flight attendant training and the rest has been history. 

“We met when I was in Salt Lake City training SkyWest flight attendants. We really hit it off,” says Dontay.

Because he was traveling from Chicago to Salt Lake City often, Dontay and Matt were able to see each other regularly and their relationship grew. After dating for six years, the couple was engaged last March when Dontay proposed in Puerto Vallarta. The couple is excited to marry in the same city in late October!

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CRJ Captain Timothy Grunden and Flight Attendant Phiola Grunden first met when they were assigned as crewmembers on the same flight. It was Phiola’s initial training day and Timothy was in the process of upgrading from first officer to captain. For dinner one night, Timothy told the rest of the crew he wanted to go out but no one else wanted to go. Timothy recalls, “Phiola must have felt sorry for me.”

They continued their separate journeys from there, but the two reconnected later after Phiola learned that Timothy had finished his upgrade via a mutual friend on Facebook. She reached out to congratulate him on the promotion, and a few Facebook messages later the couple was dating. Phiola and Timothy got married in July last year, after dating for two years and moving between domiciles to be closer together. They have since welcomed home a baby boy, whom the couple says is destined to work in the aviation industry.

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Dispatcher Bryan Button, and Vanessa Button, crew scheduler, originally met in San Diego, but said working in the same building at SkyWest has brought them closer. When Bryan moved to St. George, Utah, he planned on flying back to San Diego to visit Vanessa every few weeks. But the distance was no match for this couple. Vanessa surprised him and, despite being away from each other for five months, the couple only went one weekend without seeing each other! After Vanessa finished her degree in San Diego, she moved to St. George to be closer to Bryan and joined the SkyWest family as a crew scheduler in 2018. The couple was married in October last year and have enjoyed the unlikely aviation pairing of a dispatcher and crew scheduler.

Bryan and Vanessa say their relationship helps them understand and learn more about what the different teams do and how they work together to make the airline work.

“It’s fun because I am asked dispatch questions from my team, and dispatch will come over to my desk and ask me scheduling questions,” said Vanessa.

The couple also mentioned that understanding the very specific “airline speak” makes it easy for them to talk about what happened at work and the other being able to immediately understand what their spouse means.

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David Furlong and Randy Villanueva are both flight attendants in Chicago. They meet in 2005 in Sacramento, and after David told Randy about being a flight attendant, Randy quickly joined the SkyWest family. The couple was married in 2014 after being joined in a civil union since 2012. Randy said working with his partner is great because they know what each other needs.

“We had a medical emergency a few months ago and I just had to look at Randy and he knew exactly what I needed.” The couple said most of the time other crewmembers don’t know they are married, but love to work with them because they are such a great team.

***

Each couple had insight and advice to share for dating and marrying in the airline industry.

Bryan and Vanessa said the airline attracts a certain type of person who makes great friends and partners.

“We have the same friends, so even when Bryan is not at work, we go out with the same people,” Vanessa said.

David and Randy both agreed having boundaries is important to their relationship since the couple often finds themselves working on the same flight. “It’s great to work a plane with two galleys because it gives us that extra space,” the couple said jokingly.

Timothy and Phiola said communication is key. Whenever Timothy is traveling, he makes sure he texts Phiola as soon as he can after he lands.

“Skype and Facetime are great because for four days we have a long-distance relationship,” Timothy said.

Dontay said that they started to be more mindful of taking trips together. “We both take work trips often, so when we have the opportunity and our schedule allows we like to join each other on work trips,” she said.

Kelli and Gage, noted the importance of respecting each other’s space and enjoy having someone the can “talk shop” with. But their number one piece of advice was to be friends before you start to date. “You don’t need to rush into it,” said Gage.

All five couples said working together and speaking each other’s work-language has helped each couple grow closer together. Each couple also mentioned how supportive their coworkers are to their relationships and how SkyWest really is part of their extended family.

To the more than 14,000 SkyWest employees and many more who share a love for all things aviation: Happy Valentine’s Day!