Tag Archives: Spirit of SkyWest

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SkyWest Teams Strong at ORD Plane Pull for Special Olympics

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

As part of SkyWest’s Appreciation Week festivities, Chicago based crewmembers joined together to raise money for The Special Olympics in the ultimate tug of war – competing to pull a plane by a rope. ORD plane pull 2

Teams “SkyWest” and “SkyWest Strong” put their muscles to the test pulling an Airbus A300; no easy feat considering it weights nearly 180,000 pounds! Beyond raising funds for a great cause, a good time was had by all!

SkyWest believes in supporting the causes our people are passionate about through the Spirit of SkyWest: Our People in Action program, which is set up to allow SkyWest contributions for any SkyWest team member participating in an eligible charitable 501(c)(3) cause. It’s just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the communities we serve through our amazing people.

 

 

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SkyWest Bands Together in Relief Efforts

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

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

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

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

SkyWest Crisis Fund Recipients Rebuilding

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

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

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

2017 Scholarship

SkyWest Scholarship Program Awards 45 Outstanding Students

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Congratulations to this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! SkyWest is home to the best and brightest in the industry and that fact was emphasized by the caliber of employees and dependents vying for a shot at this year’s awards. More than 150 driven students with lofty goals and aspirations applied for a chance to receive one of three different scholarships to assist them in their pursuits of higher education.

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Coincidently, as SkyWest celebrates 45 years of flying in 2017, this year’s evaluations resulted in awards for 45 remarkable students! The recipients had a diverse range of academic ambitions to enhance their lives and those around them. In fact, Presidential Scholarship recipient Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first solo flight. He continues to fulfill his childhood aviation dreams by helping to lead SkyWest’s exceptional pilot training program for its fleet of over 100 E175 aircraft. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Factors to find ways to continue enhancing aviation safety and training. And Chicago ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini who also received a Presidential award, is now studying to receive a Master’s Degree in Aviation and Transportation Science after serving in the Israeli Air Force and bringing his dream of flying to America as he plans to advance his career in aviation

ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini

The SkyWest Scholarship Committee, made up of representatives from each of the SkyWest employee groups, volunteered countless hours to evaluate more than 150 applications. Each application was scored on a variety of criteria, including GPA, career interests, future goals extracurricular activities and unique challenges. With so many bright and goal-driven applicants, the committee was charged with the difficult task of identifying the cream of the crop!

From graduate students to college freshmen, each of the recipients exemplifies what sets SkyWest apart: dedication and hard work to achieve big dreams. Congratulations to each of this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! We look forward to watching you soar in your academic and professional pursuits!

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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 Mini Indy 2016 Wins Big for Charity

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

The engines revved and the checkered flag flew at the Ridgetop Raceway in St. George, Utah as 34 teams from around the globe recently vied for racing fame at the 2016 SkyWest Mini Indy! The airline industry’s premier charity event, Mini Indy includes Indy-style cars racing up to 25 MPH, a finger-lickin’ BBQ pit master’s competition and golf against the scenic backdrop of Southern Utah’s unmatched beauty – all to benefit those in need!

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

Since its inception 16 years ago, the SkyWest Mini Indy has raised more than $1 million for United Way Dixie. Those donations have helped countless people in need in Southern Utah, with 100 percent of the proceeds staying in the community to help those who are struggling to meet their basic physical and emotional needs.

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

In conjunction with the event, nearly $50,000 was raised in 2016 to benefit the SkyWest Scholarship Program through the Mini Indy Golf Tournament and a drawing to win a CAN-AM Outlander Max 400 4-wheeler, generously donated by Bombardier. In the last 15 years, the SkyWest Scholarship Program has helped hundreds of SkyWest employees and their family members achieve their higher education and professional goals.

2016 SkyWest Mini Indy

Mini Indy is just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the community. To get more information on the excitement and the partners involved in Mini Indy, visit www.miniindy.org.

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SkyWest Employees Team up Against Cancer

Wes Horrocks
Corporate Communications Manager

Supporting the fight against breast cancer is a passion shared by many at SkyWest Airlines. And the efforts of hundreds of employees from across the country this past October are a great example of the commitment they have to raise awareness and find a cure.

Kicking things off, SkyWest employees ordered hundreds of new pink uniform items to wear throughout the month. Proceeds from the pink ties, scarves, shirts and more are sent to support breast cancer research.
BCA Pilots
Onboard flights, specialty food and beverage items were available for passengers who wanted to support the cause. On one flight, SkyWest flight attendants were excited to see more than $550 in donations from several generous customers.

On the ground, SkyWest employees based in St. George, Utah organized a bake sale that featured a wide assortment of handmade, pink desserts and other treats. The sale, along with an annual Chili Cook-Off, lead to thousands of dollars in donations to the American Cancer Society.

SkyWest BCAEmployees also sharedpersonal experiences and words of encouragement to help support those who have and are fighting:

I’m thrilled to be a survivor! To all you fighters out there Fight On! We can beat this thing! – Debora Cunningham – customer service agent, Colorado Springs

To those who are fighting and to those who are co-battling with a loved one, embrace what you have.  Fight hard.  You WILL survive! – Jenny Stewart, internal evaluator, St. George

Breast cancer doesn’t know your name, age, income, skin color or religion! it’s just there trying to make trouble and I fought it twice, with the love from my family, friends and co-workers. As long as we got each other we have hope for a cure! – Laura Walker – flight attendant, Chicago

No matter where they are based or what job they perform, SkyWest Airlines’ more than 10,800 employees are an incredible example of what can be accomplished by working together support the fight against cancer.

Slamming Cancer One Dunk at a Time

jp walks out like a boss

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest’s history is one full of ambition and perseverance. It’s little wonder then that SkyWest people and their families exhibit those same attributes. Need proof? Look no further than five-year-old JP Gibson, grandson of SkyWest Crew Time Coordinator Sherri Gibson. JP was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the age of two. Since then he has faced the disease with so much determination and tenacity that even the Utah Jazz took notice and signed JP to a contract in October.

Signing Contract

Fulfilling his dream of joining the Jazz, thanks to the Anything Can Be project, JP quickly took the sports and media worlds by storm. After signing his one-day contract in the presence of Jazz executives and media personnel, JP took to the court to showcase his skills. He entered the Jazz preseason, intrasquad scrimmage to a huge ovation from the thousands of fans in attendance at the Energy Solutions Arena.

jp dunking

This phenomenal boy has not only achieved his goal of playing for the Jazz, but he and his family have brought increased awareness and funding to pediatric cancer. His parents, Josh and Megan, have become active lobbyists for pediatric cancer care and are involved with CureSearch in Salt Lake City. And even though he’s only five, JP has brought hope and courage to people across the country.

JP’s story is filled with hope and determination, and is a testament to the human spirit that is displayed by SkyWest people and their families every day. Please join the entire SkyWest team in supporting JP in his fight against cancer, and wishing him a long and healthy life!