Celebrating Women’s History Month

There are countless women at SkyWest Airlines who help to make us the best airline in the industry and who are helping to inspire future generations of female aviation professionals. In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked team members to share their thoughts about what the month means to them and their experience at SkyWest.

Ann Marie Nicholas – CRJ First Officer, MSP

Growing up, CRJ First Officer Ann Marie Nicholas was fascinated with planes and loved watching them fly overhead. During those moments, she hoped that someday she would have the opportunity to work in the aviation industry.

“I always thought about being a flight attendant and working in the back of the plane because I didn’t realize that women could be pilots and that it was something that I could do,” she said. “I flew with my family every year growing up, however, I never saw any female pilots on my flights.”

Eventually, she decided to chase her dreams and pursued a career as a pilot. During her first introductory flight in small, single-engine aircraft, Ann Marie wasn’t sure if they would even make it off the ground.

“I remember asking my flight instructor if this thing was going to be able to stay in the air,” she said jokingly. “But it was fun and I haven’t stopped flying since.”

From that moment on, she was hooked and Ann Marie hasn’t looked back.

“The aviation bug hit me pretty hard,” Ann Marie said. “After flying a bunch, I noticed that I would start to get restless when I wasn’t flying.”

Now, the veteran airline pilot is busy taking care of her family as well as flying across the SkyWest system that consists of nearly 2,000 daily flights to 236 cities across North America.

“I love working at SkyWest and my experience has been awesome,” Ann Marie said. “The saying ‘if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life’ is exactly how I feel about my job. I have great coworkers and the schedule and flexibility is great. With so many trips available, there’s really something for everyone.”

Knowing she works in a male-dominated industry, the Minneapolis native does all she can to give back and help inspire future female aviators. Whether it’s instructing or just giving tips and encouragement, the first officer is determined to change the narrative and misconceptions that only men are pilots.

“When I was doing an observation flight early in my career, I went to the gate agent so I could check-in and sit in the jump seat. And despite being fully dressed in my pilot uniform, the gate agent asked if I was a flight attendant. It was crazy and I couldn’t believe it,” Ann Marie recalled. “Fortunately, public perception is changing and I continue to see more female pilots every day.”

For those looking to enter the aviation industry as a pilot, Ann Marie had these words of advice:

“If you have a desire, go for it. Schedule an introductory flight and try it out. If you like it, don’t stop and don’t let anything get in your way. I took that step and it changed my life. I tell everyone that on the eve of my retirement, I want to say that I still love my job. And I know I can say that working at SkyWest.”

Lindsey Scott – ERJ First Officer, PDX

As a third-generation female pilot, SkyWest First Officer Lindsey Scott was born to fly.

As a child, Lindsey loved going to airshows and aviation events and frequently tagged along with her grandma, Mary Jean Barnes Sturdevant, who was often invited to speak at aviation events. It wasn’t until she was a little older that Lindsey understood why her grandma received so much attention for her flying.

Click here to read more about Lindsey and her inspiring grandma.

Nicole Crosby – Seattle Mechanic III 

Nicole Crosby joined SkyWest in 2017 as an A&P mechanic and loves working on all kinds of aircraft to ensure every plane is in top condition for every flight. She enjoys the teamwork environment of SkyWest, including working with another female mechanic, while also being able to put her own stamp on her work.

Nicole Crosby A&P Mechanic

“I was always the only woman mechanic at any one station at other companies, but now I have the privilege of working with another lady here in SEA,” said Nicole. “I think you’d be surprised by the number of female A&P’s that have been certified, worked on aircraft, but now use their skill sets in other positions here at SkyWest.”

Along with being an aircraft mechanic for over 20 years, Crosby has worked in Noise Abatement, as an FAA aviation safety counselor, as an airline and composites training facility maintenance Instructor, dispatcher, and homebuilt aircraft builder, among other positions. She’s repaired aircraft in general aviation and business aviation, from regionals to Boeing 767 aircraft.

Click here to read more about Nichole and her experiences.

Debby Thompson – Flight Attendant, MSP

It was a moment that Minneapolis (MSP) Flight Attendant Debby Thompson won’t soon forget.

After making her way to the gate to check-in, and then boarding the CRJ900 aircraft to work the last flight of the night, the nine-year veteran got a lovely surprise when she met her crewmembers working the flight from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa last month. Despite having worked thousands of flights in her career, that Saturday night flight was the first time that she can remember working with an all-female crew.

“It was fun and a proud moment for me,” said Debby. “I didn’t know beforehand it was going to be an all-female crew. Everyone was excited and it showed just how far women have come in the airline industry and that women can do anything they put their mind to.”

Click here to read more about Debby’s experience.

Women’s History Month: “My Grandma Inspired Me To Fly”

As part of Women’s History Month, PDX First Officer Lindsey Scott explains how she was inspired to become a pilot and reflects on her experience at SkyWest.

The saying “it runs in the family” certainly holds true for SkyWest pilot Lindsey Scott.

As a third generation female pilot in her family, Lindsey is grateful for her mom and grandma’s influence, bravery and example, which she credits for helping her get to where she is today.

Growing up, Lindsey always dreamed of being a pilot and loved going to airshows and aviation events. She frequently tagged along with her grandma, Mary Jean Barnes Sturdevant, who was often invited to speak at aviation events.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t understand why my grandma was speaking at all these events,” Lindsey said. “For me, she was my nice, sweet grandma, but for many, she was a celebrity.”

It wasn’t until she was a little older that Lindsey understood why her grandma received so much attention for her flying.

“In 1944, my grandma stepped off of a bus in Sweetwater, Texas and embarked on an adventure that would have ripple effects for generations,” said Lindsey. “As a civilian, she joined an elite group of women who would serve as pilots for the United States Air Force during World War II. The WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots) program was formed, and my grandma was part of the seventh class (44-W7), making her, and the women she flew with, the first women to be allowed to pilot aircraft for the United States military.”

More than 1,000 women were part of the WASP program. They went on to fly every type of aircraft the military had to offer, logging more than 60 million miles in the process. Some of the aircraft Mary flew were the T6 Texan and the BT-13. She was also an instructor who taught male pilots how to fly.

Fast forward more than a half-century later, Lindsey got the opportunity to fly in a T6 Texan over the east Texas landscape and reminisced about her grandma and other members of the WASP program who helped pave the way for future generations.

“As a teenager flying the T6 Texan, I can only imagine if my grandma thought about the opportunities she was creating and the paths she was blazing for the generations that followed, including me,” said Lindsey. “She’s an inspiration and the reason why I fly today!”

Lindsey started flying when she was 17 years old. When it was time to decide which regional airline she was going to join, she remembers visiting the SkyWest booth during an aviation conference and was blown away by what she saw.

“I was so impressed with how excited the pilot recruiters were about the company,” she said. “It was genuine excitement and I knew this was the place for me. After looking into the company some more, I didn’t realize just how big the company was and the number of flights, aircraft and bases they had. It was an easy choice for me and I’m so glad I picked SkyWest.”

After flying routes all over North America the past four years, Lindsey will begin training next month so that she can upgrade to captain and transition from the right seat to the left seat.

“It’s exciting and I can’t wait to get going,” she said. “I know my grandma is going to be smiling down on me and I’m forever grateful for her example.”

While Lindsey never got to fly with her grandma, the two cherished a memorable moment in Washington D.C. as they attended the 2010 Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring every member of the WASP program.

“It’s the highest honor a civilian can receive from Congress,” said Lindsey. “They had events at the 9/11 Memorial, The Pentagon, etc. and each member of the WASP was treated like royalty, including personal military escorts, as well as private tours for sites in D.C.”

But the most memorable moment for Lindsey was seeing her grandma light up as Mary introduced her family to other WASP members.

“My grandma was so happy and so proud to introduce my mom and me to her friends as a third-generation pilot family,” Lindsey said. “I was so overwhelmed with how proud she was of me. To know that what I was doing was that important to her, it was the best feeling ever.”

Women’s History Month: “Coming Back To SkyWest Was An Easy Choice”

It was a moment that Minneapolis (MSP) Flight Attendant Debby Thompson won’t soon forget.

After making her way to the gate to check-in, and then boarding the CRJ900 aircraft to work the last flight of the night, the nine-year veteran got a lovely surprise when she met her crewmembers working the flight from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa last month.

Despite having worked thousands of flights in her career, that Saturday night flight was the first time that she can remember working with an all-female crew.

“It was fun, it was rare, but it was awesome and a proud moment for me,” said Debby. “I didn’t know beforehand it was going to be an all-female crew. Everyone was excited and it was a very empowering moment for me. I love working with all my coworkers, however, that moment really showed how far women have come in the airline industry.”

That moment was not only noticed by crewmembers, but passengers as well who commented on the all-female crew.

“It made people pause for a second because many of them haven’t seen that before,” said Debby. “Everyone was supportive and very complimentary, and it was a reminder that women can do anything they put their mind to. I’m very proud of our SkyWest pilots, especially our female pilots. While it’s still a male-dominated industry, I continue to see more females flying at SkyWest and I love it.”  

For Debby, working in the aviation industry, specifically as a flight attendant, is something that she has always wanted to do. Since she can remember, Debby has always been fascinated with flying and combined with her love to provide great customer service, working flights 35,000 feet in the air was a natural fit for her.

“The saying ‘choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is so true and I really feel that way working at SkyWest,” said Debby.

After starting her career in 2004, the nine-year veteran worked for a couple of years before taking a break to help raise her family.

“I came back in 2014 and everything has been great,” she said. “It was a good break to help me reset and to focus and take care of my family. I really enjoyed working as a flight attendant and my kids noticed that. When they got older, they were the ones who were encouraging me to come back and mentioned how happy I was working at SkyWest.”

After looking online to see where the next recruitment events were going to be, Debby saw that SkyWest was coming to MSP.

“I went to it, and the next thing I know I was in training and was back working as a flight attendant,” Debby recalled. “SkyWest is a great company and it was an easy choice for me to come back, especially with the full support from my family.” 

One of the highlights for Debby is having the opportunity each day to connect with passengers and crewmembers and making them feel loved and appreciated on each flight.

“People are traveling for a lot of different reasons and you don’t know what people are going through,” she said. “Each day I choose to wake up happy so that I can be a positive influence and to help assist or turn someone’s day around. That’s what gets me up every morning.”

Debby’s positivity, kindness and love to serve, comes from her upbringing and the opportunity her adopted parents gave her.

“I was born in Korea and was put up for adoption. A sweet family from California took me in and adopted me and I am so thankful to them,” said Debby. “They have given me so much opportunity and so much love. They are a family of giving and that’s just how I was raised. My family is a wonderful example to me and that’s why I try to pass that on and make a difference each day.”

When the global pandemic hit last year, the airline industry, like so many businesses throughout the world, was hit hard. Wanting to keep everyone’s spirits up, Debby started making goodie bags to hand out to SkyWest crewmembers, as well as other airline workers traveling to and from work.

With a thoughtful note, as well as chocolates or a rice crispy treat attached, Debby has been handing them out or leaving them behind on flights for her fellow crewmembers over the past year.

“Sharing is caring and I enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about. One person can make a difference and small things can turn into big things.”

On top of that, Debby also recently started a sock drive to help local charities.

“Debby is always making the days of her passengers and fellow crewmembers brighter,” said Paul Caldwell, InFlight regional operations manager. “From creating goodie bags to starting a sock drive to help the less fortunate, I am so appreciative that she is always thinking of ways to make an impact on others. I can’t thank her enough for her care, compassion, and thoughtfulness for others, especially during this time that has been difficult for so many.”

No matter which of SkyWest’s 18 crew domiciles that she has worked out, Debby is grateful for the opportunity to come back to SkyWest — with its family-friendly culture — and to work with great coworkers each day.

“People ask me why I don’t go and work at major airline carriers and I tell people it’s because I love it here and that it really hasn’t crossed my mind,” she said. “The fact that so many people are still here that I worked with when I first started at SkyWest, really says a lot about the company.”    

SkyWest is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month and we look forward to highlighting more female team members like Debby who continually go above and beyond to make SkyWest the best airline in the industry.

Join us: SkyWest is excited to take part in the virtual Women in Aviation Conference, March 11-12, 2021. As one of the largest regional airlines in the world – with nearly 2,000 daily flights and more than 450 aircraft — our recruitment team looks forward to chatting with you and answering your questions. Click here to join us and to learn more about taking your career to new heights.

Nicole Crosby A&P Mechanic

International Women’s Day: Nicole Crosby

Nicole Crosby joined SkyWest in 2017 as an A&P mechanic. She is part of our Seattle, Washington (SEA) line station where she helps ensure that aircraft are in top condition for every flight.

“I was always the only woman mechanic at any one station at other companies, but now I have the privilege of working with another here in SEA. I think you’d be surprised by the number of female A&P’s that are certificated, have worked on aircraft, but now use their skill sets in other positions here at SkyWest,” said Nicole.

Nicole first got started in aviation in 1989 when she was 13 years old, “My mom found a brochure about becoming an Airport Tour Guide at the Long Beach Airport (LGB). She knew I loved public speaking and thought it would be a good outlet for me.”

Inspired by giving tours, Crosby began working on her pilots’ license while in high school. (One of her many aviation accomplishments was gaining hours flying the esteemed Trimotor.) After high school, she went on to work for a small company to maintain airline and military ground support equipment. The two owners were A&P mechanics and encouraged her to pursue hers as well.

“I initially had maintenance in my mind as a fall back option; I was in school when 9/11 happened. Work was plentiful as a mechanic then, so my fall back became my career because I enjoyed what I did.”

Along with being an A&P, Crosby has worked in Noise Abatement, as an FAA aviation safety counselor, as an airline and composites training facility maintenance Instructor, dispatcher, and homebuilt aircraft builder, among other positions. She’s repaired aircraft in general aviation and business aviation, from regionals to Boeing 767 aircraft. She even participated three times in the PAMA Maintenance Olympics, where her all-female AWAM team placed.

“Don’t pass up the chance to consider an aviation maintenance career; it’s a great career for women,” said Nicole. “A trade career and its resources can take you places you have never thought of.”

Nicole loves her role working on the line because she gets to meet so many people while still performing her varied work tasks diagnosing, troubleshooting and fixing problems.

“I’m the happiest A&P you’ll ever meet. I meet people all the time who ask if I’m new because of how chipper I am.”

Over her 20-year career, Crosby has enjoyed seeing more women join the industry.

“Times have changed since I began. When working in maintenance, you are paid for your skill set, not your gender. It is very multi-disciplined to have an A&P. There are so many skills you can utilize that can be used in and out of aviation. Because of individualized training, no one person has the same experience path, and that’s good for a workgroup.”

Crosby is known for teaching and empowering others to accomplish their dreams.

To help others pursue their dreams she has given away 10 scholarships thus far – out of her own pocket – specifically with, WAI and AWAM, which has provided school financing, tooling or aircraft training to aviation students and professionals, alike. She also continues to teach people about applying for their own awards.

“I hope to retire from SkyWest,” said Crosby, “I’m in a positive place here and incredibly blessed to be with you all. I’ve had to deal with bullies everywhere I’ve been, except at SkyWest. I’m thriving here, not just surviving.”

As SkyWest celebrates International Women’s Day and month, we look forward to sharing the stories of some of our female team members who keep us #SkyWestStrong. Click here to learn more about becoming a SkyWest A&P Maintenance professional. SkyWest is also excited to be in attendance for the virtual WAI Conference, March 11-12, 2021. Join us to learn more about taking your career to new heights.

 .

Celebrating Black History Month

African Americans have, and continue to make, significant contributions to the aviation industry. This includes people like Perry Young Jr., who was the first African American to fly a commercial aircraft. He also trained many of the Tuskegee Airmen who played a pivotal role in World War II. There is also Bessie Coleman, who broke barriers as the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license and inspiring many future aviators in the process.

At SkyWest, many of our Black employees continue to inspire others today. In honor of Black History Month, we asked team members across the system to share their stories about how their heritage has influenced them and what Black History Month means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

Analise McDonald – Decatur Cross Utilized Supervisor

For Analise McDonald, Black History Month holds a special place in her heart. It is a time to rejoice, celebrate, and honor African American heroes who have made a difference in our nation’s history and made the world a better place.

From Bessie Coleman to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., Analise is grateful for the examples and the opportunity Black History Month provides to reflect on the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made.

“I think it’s important that we learn from the past, but also celebrate the present and look forward to the future,” she said. “History shows us what great people and leaders can do, and it inspires me to go out and make the world a better and more inclusive place.”

And if you talk to any of her coworkers, Analise does just that.

“Analise is my right-hand ma’am,” said Decatur Station General Manager Joey Confer. “She’s dedicated, tough as nails and is always willing to go above and beyond anytime she’s asked.”

The Decatur-based cross-utilized supervisor credits much of her work ethic, attitude and success to her family heritage.

“My parents and aunt are my role models. They have always encouraged me and have always been involved,” said Analise “They helped me to see my worth and helped me realize that I could do anything that I put my mind to. They also taught me that it doesn’t matter what the color of someone’s skin is. It’s about what is inside your heart and to let nothing hold you back.”

With that mindset, Analise jumped at the opportunity to switch careers and join the aviation industry when she was hired as a cross-utilized agent at SkyWest in 2017.

Analise is the first in her family to be part of the aviation industry and is grateful for the opportunity she’s had to see different places and work with several SkyWest teams throughout the system.

“I’ve worked at four stations in three years,” she said. “It’s been a little crazy, but I’ve also really enjoyed it. I’ve had great coworkers and everyone has been supportive and made me feel included and valued everywhere I’ve been.”

One of the ways that Analise has connected with her SkyWest family is by sharing her culture through food. These types of opportunities to connect with her coworkers are important and she sees it as a strength to the company.

“Everyone has different talents, experiences and backgrounds, and it’s important that we learn from each other,” she said.

Reggie Teague – Houston Maintenance Supervisor

For the past 20 years, IAH Maintenance Supervisor Reggie Teague has worked across the country and throughout the SkyWest system working on advanced aircraft systems, troubleshooting and doing inspections to help keep SkyWest’s fleet running smoothly.

Reggie has called SkyWest his “home away from home” and the company’s family-like environment has helped him feel included and supported from the moment he started. That camaraderie was on full display three years ago when Reggie broke both of his legs and was away from work for several months. The challenging time was quickly filled with love and support as current and former SkyWest employees kept checking on him.

As we celebrate Black History Month, the veteran A&P mechanic says he’s grateful for the opportunity it provides to recognize and reflect on the contributions of those – both past and present – who have made difference.

“I’m proud of my heritage and appreciate those who fought for equality and who helped pave the way before me,” he said.” My parents are my role models. They didn’t have it easy and they worked hard to make sure I had what I needed to succeed in life. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.”

Click here to read more.

Crewmembers Joseph Ngabo, Jessie Newton, and Diwan Williams Reflect on What Black History Month Means to Them

First Officer Joseph Ngabo, and Flight Attendants Jessie Newton and Diwan Williams, who have each had a chance to fly as part of an all-Black crew in the past, shared their thoughts about what Black History Month means to them and how their culture and background shape their experience at SkyWest.

“Black History Month means acknowledging and remembering the work and place African Americans have had in the United States,” said Ngabo. “It’s to bring awareness of how far we’ve come as a people from the beginnings of slavery to us getting our civil rights, to today.”

“Black History Month is a chance to reflect on what others have been through, and a time to learn something you did not know,” said Williams. “It brings awareness and is a time for people to learn more about Black history and culture. Black History Month is for everyone.”

Click here to read more.

Black History Month: “My Experiences Have Been Nothing Short of Amazing”

SkyWest talks with one of our maintenance professionals who reflects on his aviation career and what Black History Month means to him.

Reggie Teague, an A&P professional at SkyWest, is coming up on his 20th anniversary and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. The Houston-based maintenance supervisor has worked across the country and throughout the SkyWest system working on advanced aircraft systems, troubleshooting and doing inspections to help keep SkyWest’s fleet running smoothly.

As we celebrate Black History Month, the veteran A&P mechanic says he is grateful for the opportunity it provides to recognize and reflect on the contributions of those – both past and present – who have made difference.

“I’m proud of my heritage and appreciate those who fought for equality and who helped pave the way before me,” Reggie said.” My parents are my role models. They didn’t have it easy and they worked hard to make sure I had what I needed to succeed in life. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.”

Those lessons and traits have shaped Reggie’s fun-loving personality and a big reason why he’s made a lasting impression on all those he meets, especially his coworkers.

For Reggie, SkyWest has always been his ‘home away from home’ and the company’s family-like environment has helped him feel included and supported from the moment he started. That camaraderie was on full display three years ago when Reggie broke both of his legs and was away from work for several months. The challenging time was quickly filled with love and support as current and former SkyWest employees kept checking up on him.

“I had people who I hadn’t worked with in years calling me and asking how I was doing,” he said. “A bunch of employees even donated their hours to help me. I’m forever grateful to them. And that’s what SkyWest is all about. We are a family and everyone has big hearts!”

While Reggie has had other opportunities at mainline carriers, he says the connection he shares with the company has made staying with the airline an easy choice.

“SkyWest has always stuck by my side and they gave me a chance when everyone else closed their door,” he said. “My experiences here have been nothing short of amazing. I have made strong lifetime bonds with people in the SkyWest family. These are just some of the reasons that I never think about leaving. It really has been a great blessing to work here and I look forward to many more years to come.”

From working on jets to turboprops, Reggie has done it all. And what makes Reggie’s story so intriguing is that it nearly didn’t happen.  

Before joining SkyWest in 2001, Reggie worked as a hotel manager in Houston, Texas. He recalls pilots and flight attendants checking into the hotel talking about their fun trips or upcoming vacations.

“I was jealous. The only perk I could get was a free hotel stay,” Reggie said jokingly. “Hearing them talk about their trips got me interested, but I didn’t want to be a pilot or a flight attendant. I’m a guy who loves to build things, take stuff apart and then put it all back together.”

After a friend told him about the option to be an aircraft mechanic, Reggie was sold.

“I looked into it with my mom; we did some research and I decided to do it,” he said. “I enrolled and successfully completed A&P school in 18 months, then started applying to a bunch of airlines.”

With interviews at regionals as well as major U.S. airlines, Reggie was just excited to get started. Then the unthinkable happened: 9/11.

“When 9/11 happened, airline recruiters were calling me and letting me know that they were going into a hiring freeze. I was crushed. I said to myself, ‘that’s it. I’m not getting hired,’” he recalls. “Then a little bit later that day, I received a phone call from SkyWest and at that point, I just figured I was going to get the same reply as I got from all the other airlines. But I was wrong. They surprised me and offered me a aircraft mechanic position in Salt Lake City. I told the hiring manager that all the other airlines called me that morning and told me they were on a hiring freeze. The hiring manager replied, ‘We know, but we really want you’ and that has always stuck with me.”

After accepting the offer and moving to Salt Lake City, Reggie became the first in his family to work in the aviation industry, completing the trifecta of his parents and grandparents working in the transportation sector.

“My dad worked on cars and my grandpa worked on trains. Since I work on planes now, our family has the whole transportation sector covered,” he said smiling.     

SkyWest is proud to celebrate Black History Month and appreciate the contributions of all those like Reggie who help make the airline the best in the industry.

A Match Made at the Airport

Moving halfway around the world to start their careers as airline pilots, SkyWest Captains Daniel Suber and Kylie Dewar — who didn’t know each other until they met at SkyWest — admitted they got more than they bargained for when they joined the world’s largest regional airline.

“We went from seatmates to soulmates pretty fast,” Daniel said with a smile.

“To this day, our family still laughs and reminds us, “We can’t believe you went all the way to America just to bring home an Australian,” added Kylie. “I knew SkyWest was a great company — and it’s certainly surpassed all my expectations — but I just didn’t realize they would also help me find my true love too.”

Before coming to SkyWest, Daniel worked as a flight instructor and also helped fight wildfires during the fire season. Wanting something more, Daniel applied with Qantas and got accepted.

“Everything seemed great at first, but because positions were full, I had to wait until a position opened up,” said Daniel. “After about a year I was getting tired of waiting. Then I heard about SkyWest and after doing some research, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. What jumped out to me was its departures and massive fleet. SkyWest has more airplanes in its fleet than all the airlines in Australia combined.”

For Kylie, becoming a pilot was something that she had never planned on doing. Before coming to SkyWest, she started out as a flight attendant at SkyWest Australia, which later became Virgin Australia. 

During her time as a flight attendant, Kylie remembers going into the flight deck during trips and just being in awe of the views. And although she enjoyed being a flight attendant, she knew something was missing. After talking with some of the pilots, they told her to take a flying lesson and to try it out.

“I thought they were crazy. I kept thinking, ‘there’s no way I could afford to be a pilot, let alone learn how to fly.’ But I ended up taking a lesson, loved it, and the rest is history.”

After completing her flight training and being hired at SkyWest, a friend put her in touch with Daniel so she could get some advice about the airline and to help answer questions about life in the states.

“I didn’t waste any time, Kylie said laughing. “Daniel was super helpful with everything. Coming from Australia, I didn’t know where to send my mail and everything. He told me that I could send it to his place and that he would hold everything for me. He could have gone through all my mail and took everything, but he didn’t, and that trust only deepened between the two of us.”

Before Kylie upgraded to captain, the duo was able to schedule several trips together. In fact, they flew for a month with one another in what Kylie describes as the ultimate test for Daniel.

“That was the final test and he passed,” Kylie laughed. “But honestly, it was a big blessing for me as he was a great mentor and really prepared me so that I went into my upgrade with a lot of confidence.”

To top it off, the couple got engaged on Christmas Eve at a place where it all started: Chicago O’Hare.

“You could say it was a match made in an airport,” Daniel said with a smile. “I had been thinking of proposing for quite some time, but things kept changing, especially with the pandemic and everything. We are both based here and the airport has been a big part of our lives. It has a lot of significance for us and with all the decorations and lights, I jumped at the chance.”

To set up his plan, Daniel convinced Kylie that there was a crew Christmas party at the airport. Daniel recruited a friend to take Kylie’s picture in the decorated hall on their way to the party. The friend was recording the event and captured the moment when jumped out and got down on one knee.

“It worked perfectly,” said Daniel. “She fell right into it.”

“I had an idea it was coming, I just didn’t know when,” added Kylie. “Daniel isn’t the best at keeping secrets, but I have to admit that he got me good.”

After a wild year with the ongoing pandemic, 2020 ended in the best way possible for Daniel and Kylie.

“We are both grateful for SkyWest and the opportunities it has given us,” said Daniel. “The company gives you the resources you need to succeed and it’s been a blast. I’m not sure why anyone would want to leave.”

“We can’t see ourselves ever leaving,” added Kylie. “The flying is awesome, the crews are amazing and we have such a great team throughout the system. We love our jobs and love being at SkyWest.”

To the more than 13,000 SkyWest employees and many more who share a love for all things aviation: Happy Valentine’s Day!

SkyWest Team Members Reflect on What Black History Month Means to Them

An important part of Black History Month is recognizing our Black employees who help make SkyWest the best regional airline in the industry. First Officer Joseph Ngabo, and Flight Attendants Jessie Newton and Diwan Williams, who have each had a chance to fly as part of an all-Black crew in the past, shared their thoughts about what Black History Month means to them and how their culture and background shape their experience at SkyWest.

“Black History Month means acknowledging and remembering the work and place African Americans have had in the United States,” said Ngabo. “It’s to bring awareness of how far we’ve come as a people from the beginnings of slavery to us getting our civil rights, to today.”

Ngabo has always loved planes. He enjoyed plane watching as a child and has wanted to be a pilot since he was two. As he pursued his dream, Ngabo’s parents were always a great support and taught him the importance of working hard.

“We bring in the hard work ethic our parents taught us,” said Ngabo.

That work ethic has helped Ngabo, who joined SkyWest in 2019, navigate some unique aspects of the industry that can be difficult to adapt to, including low seniority and continually changing schedules.

“Black History Month is a chance to reflect on what others have been through, and a time to learn something you did not know,” said Williams. “ It brings awareness and is a time for people to learn more about Black history and culture. Black History Month is for everyone.”

Williams, a military veteran, was never interested in flying before he came to SkyWest. A friend convinced him to apply and he has now enjoyed his more than eight years in the skies.

He says that he is grateful for the lessons he learned growing up in a military family. Hard work, discipline, and respect are lessons he learned for an early age that he continues to bring to work every day.

For Newton, Black History Month is important because it raises awareness and highlights opportunities for people to learn more about Black history.

“It’s a chance for us to reflect on what others have been through. It’s also a time to learn something you did not know,” said Newton. “I’m proud to know I’m helping to inspire the next generation of Black aviation professionals.”

Newton was always interested in becoming a flight attendant but it wasn’t until talking to her terminally-ill aunt that she decided to make her dream a reality.

Along with inspiring her to become a flight attendant, Newton’s family taught her to always act and look professional regardless of the task at hand. No matter how difficult her day, Newton always makes sure that her passengers are taken care of with a smile.

SkyWest is proud to celebrate and continue to enhance the diversity of our unmatched team of more than 13,000 aviation professionals across the country.

 .

SkyWest named a Top 50 Best Place to Work by Glassdoor

SkyWest Airlines is excited to announce we have once again been named a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, Best Places to Work for 2021.

This award is based entirely on the feedback of employees who have voluntarily and anonymously shared reviews on Glassdoor during the past year. This feedback resulted in SkyWest being named a top 50 best company to work for in 2021.

“SkyWest people have pulled together more than ever during this incredibly challenging year,” said Chip Childs, President & CEO of SkyWest. “I am extremely proud of the chance I have to work with this outstanding group of professionals and to witness the work they’re doing to take care of each other and our customers every day.”

To determine the award recipients, Glassdoor evaluates all company reviews shared by employees over the past year. Despite an unprecedented year in the aviation industry, SkyWest people continued to demonstrate remarkable teamwork, service, and quality. Here are just a few examples of what they had to say:

“I love my job and my company they are doing amazing things for their employees at this time of COVID 19. Keep appreciating your employees the way you are doing now, and we will continue to love and work hard for our beloved Airline.” – Flight Attendant Review, October 2020

“One of the BEST companies to work for, hands down! [SkyWest] Always has every employee’s best interest in mind, competitive pay, great maintenance on aircraft, great people to work with,” – E175 Pilot Review, August 2020

“Management is caring and understanding. We have great benefits and I love the atmosphere here. I’ve only been here a few months and everyone feels like family!” – IT Employee Review, March 2020

We are looking forward to continued success in 2021 thanks to our team of more than 13,000 and the unmatched work they do to make SkyWest a great place to work each day.