Tag Archives: SkyWest People

052530_01192017

Love is in the Air: Why I Love Flying

Brandon Fonda
Corporate Communications Coordinator

As chocolate hearts and red roses fly off the shelves for Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked our SkyWest Pilots to share what they love most about flying.

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I love flying because I’ve truly been able to make a career out of a hobby. Every day I come to work I get excited to be at the controls of an airliner and experience what few people can. 

-Kyle Lucas – CRJ Captain, ORD

There’s something so special about floating miles above the earth for hours on end. That’s why I love to fly.

-Will Young – CRJ Captain, MSP

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I love to fly because of the perspective it brings me. Beyond that I love the personal human interaction it brings to so many including myself. Flying has allowed me to see the purest human emotions from so many people. The greatest emotion being the love that flying allows when it unites friends, family and cultures.

-Scott Weddell – ERJ First Officer, SFO

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I am so happy with my career choice. I would never trade it. I love flying even on the more challenging days that test my skills.

-Mary Conti – CRJ Captain, PSP

I love that when I sit down in the flight deck, it is assumed that the guy or girl next to me is already a friend whether I have met them before or not. That is the SkyWest culture.

-Matthew S. Schroeder – ERJ Captain, DEN

ILoveFlying3SkyWest has nearly 11,900 professionals who love what they do. Everyday they share that love of aviation to over 208 destinations with a fleet of 370 aircraft. If you’re ready to love what you do, come join our team!

 

 

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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 Maintenance Teams Give Back in Salt Lake City

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

SkyWest’s maintenance team is among the best in the industry; and their experience working nose to tail on our four fleet types provides an unmatched level of expertise. Recently, mechanics at our SLC (Salt Lake City) maintenance base volunteered their time and expertise to the Leonardo Museum, sharing their love for the miracle of flight with the museum’s 180,000 annual visitors. After helping to reconstruct a C-131 aircraft inside the museum for the opening of the FLIGHT exhibit earlier this year, the SkyWest Maintenance team volunteered their time to restore the plane’s luster and shine.Leo Ryan and Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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SkyWest Scholarship Program Helps 32 Students Achieve Academic Goals

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

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

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

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

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

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

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

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Why First Class Pilots Choose SkyWest

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Put it all together and it’s clear that SkyWest pilots have more opportunity, exposure and access than any other regional pilot in the industry!

Today, SkyWest’s nearly 4,000 pilots operate more than 1,800 flights each day to more than 200 destinations throughout North America. But it doesn’t stop there – SkyWest is currently hiring new pilots to support the company’s continuing growth and new aircraft. The application process is streamlined, making it easy to take control of your career today. Find out more information about our pilot careers, or simply complete the application on skywest.com and a pilot recruiter will reach out to set up a convenient time for your interview. Take Control of Your Career. Apply at SkyWest Airlines today.

Doolittle Raid

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

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SkyWest Sets Performance Record with 40,000+ Flights!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest Airlines’ performance record continues, reaching 22 days 16 hours (and counting) without a controllable cancel. That means outside of weather and air traffic control-related issues, since Sunday, May 15, SkyWest has completed over 40,000 consecutive flights. This new record nearly doubles the previous record, set in March 2016, of 11 days 23 hours.

This is an extraordinary accomplishment that shows the dedicated, consistent work of SkyWest’s more than 11,500 people. The airline’s strong culture of professionalism, teamwork and success permeates the company from top to bottom and continues to set SkyWest apart from its competitors. Known for its unmatched team that works together for outstanding service and reliability, these aviation professionals operate nearly 1,900 flights each day to 209 destinations throughout North America with a fleet of 356 aircraft.

“This type of performance is only possible with exceptional planning and teamwork  from every employee,” said Mike Thompson, SkyWest Airlines Chief Operating Officer. “Our team has done a truly impressive job getting to this point, translating to real improvements as we continue to set a new reliability standard. We’re proud to kick off a strong start to summer and look forward to continuing to deliver the exceptional, reliable product our passengers have come to expect from SkyWest.”

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SkyWest strives to be the airline partner, employer and investment of choice, and in recent months has inked new flying agreements with each of four mainline partners – United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. This record performance also helped Delta Connection achieve its own record this past month.

Interested in joining the SkyWest team? Learn more on skywest.com/careers.

Read more stories about SkyWest People in Action.

Jen Johnson with an all-female crew on a recent flight.

SkyWest Pilots Help More Women Lean Into Aviation

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

It’s becoming more and more common to see women flying commercial aircraft, thanks in part to those like Mary Conti, Suzy Garrett, Jen Johnson and many others at SkyWest. Not only have they realized their dream of flying, but they continue to set an example for other young women and girls to follow.

Jen Johnson with an all-female crew on a recent flight.

Captain Jen Johnson with her crew on a recent flight.

Mary Conti
CRJ Captain based in Palm Springs, California
Hired in 1985, Mary is one of SkyWest’s first female captains.

Mary, when did you decide to become a pilot and how did you end up flying for SkyWest?

Mary: When I was 23, I became a pilot for my personal use, because no one hired female pilots (in 1976). I owned my own airplane, and when I finished my bachelor’s degree, I did some instructing. That led to a job selling airplanes, which led to a corporate job. I ended up flying tours out of Moab, Utah which then led me to flying for SkyWest. 

Obviously, there have been some changes in the industry since you began. What have you seen change?

Mary: There are so many more females in aviation now! Only a few airlines were hiring female pilots when I started here. I was one of the first two female captains SkyWest had! There just weren’t many of us, but as more females started applying to be pilots, the entire industry has changed. 

Any advice for women who are considering an aviation career?

Mary: I am so happy with my career choice. I would never trade it. I love flying. I love being out flying even on the more challenging days that test my skills. I think it’s the love of flying that brings pilots in, male or female. So my only advice is, if you have a real love for flying, do it!

And there are real opportunities here at SkyWest. We have really good bases for people. As far as regionals go, SkyWest is the best. It’s a place where people want to stay. A lot of people, like me, come thinking that it’ll just be a starting place and they realize they love it! The company is strong. We’ve lasted all this time. I’ve seen so many other regionals go upside down or go away completely, but SkyWest is a good, stable company. We have a great reputation with our partners. I don’t think SkyWest will be going away any time soon. And above all, no one treats their people as good as SkyWest does.

Suzy Garrett with her family at the Great Wall of China.

Captain Suzy Garrett with her family at the Great Wall of China.

Suzy Garrett
CRJ Captain based in Los Angeles, California
Suzy was the 11th female pilot hired at SkyWest.

Hi Suzy! So, when did you KNOW you wanted to be a pilot?

Suzy: In 8th grade. I was flying out of Phoenix and it was a beautiful day. There were puffy white clouds and blue skies, and I knew right then that I wanted to fly for a living.

 Why do you love being a pilot?

Suzy: The variety of my days; I’m not just in an office.

 What makes SkyWest a good choice for a pilot?

Suzy: Well, my husband is also a pilot and he flew for SkyWest too! We have three kids and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit for our family. I was really able to have my cake and eat it too. Here at SkyWest, I was able to be senior faster and hold a line that worked for my life and my family life. SkyWest made it really easy to tailor my schedule. Having so many domiciles also makes it great!

Plus it’s a great company. It’s really fantastic! I never have worried about being furloughed or the company’s stability. I can count on SkyWest to be reliable. Those looking at choosing which regional to fly at should consider that portion! Don’t just look at the regionals as a quick stepping stone. You want a stable company no matter how long you plan to be there. Choose somewhere that is going to be a strong, stable company.

What other advice would you give someone who is looking at becoming a pilot?

Suzy: Number one would be, don’t take no for an answer and don’t give up. When I first started out to become a pilot, the military was the main path. I’m only 5’1” and the military and the major airlines had height requirements for their pilots. Everyone told me I should just quit, but I kept with it and soon the height requirements went away! Also, back then, there weren’t women pilots. There is a stereotype of who a pilot is and what they look like, but don’t believe it! Just go for it. You don’t have to be a John Wayne character to fly a plane! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!

Jen Johnson
ERJ Captain based in Denver, Colorado
Joined SkyWest nearly 13 years ago.

Jen, when did you decide you wanted to be a pilot?

Jen: All I ever thought about was being a pilot. My dad and I flew in a 172 that belonged to one of his friends and I loved it. My dad got sick, but I knew it was for me. There still is nothing else I could see myself doing.

What three words would you use to describe your time flying for SkyWest?

Jen: I love it. I’ve been here 12 years. I’m a check airman on the E175, and I just love it here. I love where we fly. I love the people I work with.

What do you enjoy most about being at SkyWest?

Jen: The comradery here is great. It’s like a family. You know each other and remember each other, and there is a family feeling and people care about each other from the chief pilot down.

Any advice for women considering a career as a pilot?

Jen: You can do it! It’s a male-dominated field, but there’s no good reason you can’t do it. I suggest that you go fly! Once you get in the air one time, and the flying bug bites you (if it bites you like it did me) you’ll be hooked. Go out and try it!

How have you seen the role of women in aviation change since you began?

Jen: When I was a new hire here, 12 ½ years ago, I might have flown with another female pilot once during the year. I fly with a lot more female first officers now. There’s not a ton – it’s still an exciting thing when I get an all-female crew – but it feels like there are a lot more coming, and that’s a good thing.

SkyWest Airlines is home to more than 11,000 of the best professionals in the airline industry. Those who are ready to pursue their dream of flying should apply online at www.skywest.com today!

SkyWest is also proud to work with groups like Women in Aviation International to help advance the role of women in aviation and will be attending the 27th annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee March 10-12, 2016. Learn more at www.wai.org.

And check out our blog highlighting one of our new CRJ First Officers who, after attending a Women in Aviation Conference, she knew that she wanted to fly for SkyWest.