Category Archives: Making a Difference

SkyWest Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month and SkyWest is honored to recognize our Black employees who help make us the best regional airline in the industry.

Throughout the month, we will feature updates from employees across the operation Sharing their thoughts about what Black History Month means to them and how their culture and background have shaped their experience at SkyWest.

Lanshina Cooper – Flight Attendant, LAX

Lanshina has been on the SkyWest team for more than two years. She loves her job and is inspired by her history every day to be better.

“Everyone calls me Shawna and I’m also a Pro Standards member at SkyWest. I wear my wings high,” she said. “I am proud to embody the SkyWest family and I’m proud to represent the diversity and inclusion here.”

Her passion for travel and aviation helped her gain a greater love for her job and appreciation for everyone around her. When she saw the post for an upcoming Black History Month story, she could not miss a chance to share a photo that was especially meaningful for her in this month.

“I was on a sit in the San Jose airport, and I noticed two other crews around me,” said Lanshina. “We started talking and we realized that we were all based in Los Angeles. One of us was most senior, the other I had started in training with, and the youngest in the photo had just graduated InFlight training. We were happy to be together and celebrating being on this SkyWest journey together.”

For Lanshina, Black History Month means accomplishing the impossible.

“There was a time in America that black women were not allowed to do much,” she said. “The women in this photo represent what we can do now, and the impossible that we’ve accomplished!”

Kevin Lindsay Jr. – Captain, ORD

Captain Kevin Lindsay began his SkyWest journey over three years ago. Prior to joining the team, he was working a corporate job as a medical transport pilot. He was searching for another path on his flying career when a friend told him about a SkyWest interview in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I wanted to do more than what I was doing at my corporate gig,” said Captain Lindsay. “So, I decided to do the interview with SkyWest and I’m glad that it worked out! A great part of joining the team has been meeting other Black pilots and uplifting each other. We’re all professionals and we’re supporting each other in a career that we all love.”

Captain Lindsay’s love for aviation began at a young age. He was inspired by many Black heroes of aviation but mainly Captain William Ronald (Bill) Norwood. He attended the same college as Bill and looks up to the work he’s done for the Black community and for all Black aviators.

“Bill Norwood is someone who I saw myself in and he’s the reason why I went to Southern Illinois University,” said Captain Lindsay. “Black History Month is so important because of my story. I saw myself in Bill, a Black man who flew airplanes and was out making a difference. I knew that I would join him one day, and that I could make a difference too. That’s what this month is all about, commemorating all the great things that Black people have done. It’s about recognizing our history of contributions and the many who’ve shaped the world. This is our month to show everyone.”

During this month, Captain Lindsay says we could all help improve Black visibility in aviation.

“Black communities need to see representation,” said Captain Lindsay. “Outreach programs to these communities and HBCU universities is what we need to see more. Diversity isn’t specific to aviation, we all know that, but if we could show more people that there are so many options in this field then we could truly see a difference. We need exposure and we need people to see themselves in us.”

Yolanda Morgan – Flight Attendant, ATL

Yolanda knew she needed to love her job and that she wanted more adventure. After a friend pointed her to an ad for SkyWest, she applied and never looked back. She was excited to travel and to step away from a complacent job in corporate America.

“I wanted something different,” said Yolanda. “I was working for the state of Utah in different capacities, but I needed more. SkyWest was something different and I’ve loved it! I’ve been here since 1999, and that should say something.”

For Yolanda, Black History Month is a great reminder of the dialogue that is needed when people are curious to know more about being Black. She’s excited and happy to share with whoever wants to learn. 

This month also encompasses what Yolanda believes are the amazing attributes of a Black person: valor, Black greatness, accomplishments, and pride in being Black in the United States.

“It took time but I really appreciate the time SkyWest puts into acknowledging this month,” she said. “There is always a learning curve and I feel that the company is progressing as they’ve taken the time to celebrate diversity and differences. I like it!”

National Compliment Day

Happy National Compliment Day! We regularly receive emails, phone calls, notes and letters complimenting the incredible team we have here at SkyWest. Here are just a few of the messages we have received highlighting the care and service our people have provided: 


Flight 3377 Crew

My four-year-old daughter and I were on flight 3377 from San Jose to San Diego. When we boarded the plane we were sad and full of emotion because we had just said bye to my parents at another gate. They were heading back to India. Both of them are in their late seventies and their health is not good at all. Consumed by the emotion, and not thinking clearly, we had left my daughter’s backpack at the gate and boarded our flight. When we got to our seats, I realized we didn’t have her bag. I let the flight attendant, Shannon, know and she actually offered to watch my daughter while I ran back to get the bag. I was floored at her kindness! I got the bag and re-boarded the plane to find the pilots, Eric and Kevin, in the flight deck talking to my daughter and showing her around with Shannon. I was almost in tears at the kindness! And as a father of a daughter, who wants her to believe that she can be anything she wants to be, including being a pilot, I appreciated just how AMAZING these two pilots and Shannon were! As if that weren’t enough, upon take-off, Eric made an announcement welcoming us by name, and Shannon brought over a bar of chocolate from the crew. 

This crew had no idea about what we were going through with our family, but they made such an impact on us, and especially on my four-year-old daughter. For a little while, they took away her sadness from saying goodbye to her aging grandparents, and made her appreciate and enjoy the incredible kindness of your staff.


Mason City, Iowa (MCW) Team

Rave to the United Airlines crew at MCW. Had a 1.5-hour delay taking off due to mechanical. They explained everything, made anxious passengers feel calm, and gave complimentary water and snacks while we waited. When the green light was given, they got us on the plane and got the flight out in record time.


Flight Attendant Rebekah M.

Our experience on this last flight with our flight attendant, Rebekah, was extraordinary! My wife and I were upgraded to first class and our adult son, with learning disabilities, sat alone in coach. The three of us decided to do this as he wants to be independent, and this was a good chance for him to fly independently – 10 rows behind us. My son was super nervous, and my wife and I were frazzled. Rebekah read the situation, gave him an extra snack, checked in on him, and ferried messages back and forth. She respected his desire for independence but also provided a safety net for him. No one told her about his learning disabilities and a lot of people can’t see it because he is really good at hiding them.Rebekah assured us that this was just part of her job. I’m a teacher and I hear what she is saying, but this was way beyond what we can reasonably expect. This experience made a huge difference on our flight, our day, and the entire trip.


First Officer Justin S.

I would like to recognize one of your SkyWest Pilots. His name is Justin. He assisted a wheelchair passenger who was pushed to the wrong gate. He happened to be at A6, where the passenger was pushed to but she really needed to board and fly out of B5. He pushed her from A6 to B5. He didn’t have to push her but he did. I appreciate his willingness to assist.


Flight Attendant Grace C.

I want to recognize one of your flight attendants, Grace C., for the unique and personal approach she took to say, “Thank you.” 

Boarding my flight was routine as usual, I found my seat and sat down. Once in the air, the flight attendant took drink orders and served them to us as usual. Time passed and I happened to look down at my napkin and noticed handwriting. Of course, I was curious, and I picked it up to read…I was curious and motioned to the flight attendant and asked if she wrote the note. She told me that she had. I was stunned. I informed her that in all my years of flying, this was the most personal, and unexpected approach I had ever seen. The fact that she took her time to write a note on every napkin is above and beyond, and should be recognized. I am hoping that Grace knows that I appreciate the outstanding approach to customer service.


SkyWest OCC Team

Thank you to the SkyWest OCC team for sharing their expertise and helping to get our students excited about aviation! Our K-5th graders were taught weather patterns and helped make clouds with a hands-on experiment. What a great way to share the love of aviation with our kids.


Every day our amazing SkyWest teams are providing exceptional service to thousands of passengers on more than 1,700 daily flights. If you’re ready to join our team, click here to see the open positions that are available right now.

SkyWest Employees Raise Thousands for Utah Food Bank

SkyWest people are known for giving back to the communities where we live and work, and we are proud to recognize SkyWest people for donating nearly $9,000 toward Utah Food Bank. SkyWest’s people mobilized quickly to donate $4,300, and the company match of the employee contributions bring the total donation to nearly $9,000.

The Utah SkyWest Team partnered with Utah Food Bank to fight hunger in the state SkyWest was founded. The Utah Food Bank can stretch each donated dollar into $9.04 worth of food and necessities, growing the impact of SkyWest’s contributions to nearly $80,000.

Last year, Utah Food Bank distributed 56.1 million meals via a statewide network of 230 partner agencies located in all 29 counties.

If you’re ready to be a part of a team that is known for giving back, check out our Careers page and apply today.

 .

Recognizing A War Hero

SkyWest crewmembers Captain Jai Patel, First Officer Brian Osias and flight attendants Janae Hilton and Brenda Garrett recently had the chance to welcome August Sterling, onboard an American Eagle flight from Lake Charles Regional Airport (LCH) to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). August was a frogman for the U.S. Navy in 1951 and a Korean War Veteran. This flight was his first air flight and was taken to celebrate his 90th birthday with his family in Dallas.

During the Korean War, August was captured by the Korean Army while setting charges to a bridge they were about to destroy.

“When we came up from the water, we were shocked and surprised. It was something to behold. They shot in the water to scare us and so we couldn’t swim away. We couldn’t escape the bullets in the water, so we gave in.”

Out of the five frogmen, only two survived. They were kept in prison for over two and a half years.

“They would beat us 25 hours a day, and we don’t have 25 hours in a day,” said August. “They didn’t stop trying to get information out of us. Asking us for everything we knew and all we would reply with was our name, rank and serial number.”

Finally with the war over, President Dwight Eisenhower negotiated a prisoner exchange, releasing August Sterling and others. He had two broken legs, a broken arm and had to have a metal plate surgically implanted. After being released from the POW camp in Korea, he was sent back to Lake Charles to be treated at St. Patrick’s Hospital.

We are honored to have the chance to celebrate August Sterling on his 90th birthday and we are forever grateful for his service to our country.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Uniquely Us

SkyWest is home to a diverse group of people who come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. SBP Station General Manager Jose Vasquez recently shared his thoughts about why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important.

SkyWest: Why is Hispanic Heritage Month important to you? 
Jose: To me, Hispanic Heritage Month, along with all other such celebrations, is an opportunity for all of us to learn about and grow in our understanding of one another. Humans are social creatures, and that understanding and appreciation is vital for our growth and for creating harmony in a shared world. 

Here in California, Latinos account for almost 40% of the total population. Hispanic culture is a part of our everyday life and a key part of my decision-making process here at SBP. As a Mexican-American myself, I am so proud of my culture and inspired by those who share it with me. My heart is filled with joy when I see the sugar skulls on Dia de Los Muertos and my nation’s flags flown together with the U.S. flag on independence days. It is celebrations like this that make me feel welcome and heard here in the U.S.    

SkyWest: How does SkyWest support diversity in aviation? 
Jose: Amembers of an industry that spreads to all corners of the planet, I feel these celebrations to be such an integral element in the connections we make every day with each other and with our passengers. Having insight on another’s culture can be the catalyst in forming a long-lasting work relationship or an incredible aid to helping distressed passengers. SkyWest is an excellent company to work for as they have always made me feel welcome. I feel SkyWest best shows its support for diversity by always appreciating the insight from our multicultural workforce, by striving to offer opportunities for bilingual and multinational employees, and most of all by keeping us all connected with our families and our homes abroad. 

SkyWest: What brought you to SkyWest?
Jose: I have always had wanderlust. My mother, being an adventurous soul herself, made it possible for me to explore both Mexico and the U.S. during summer breaks throughout my youth. During these trips, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience different foods, beliefs, and cultures within my own culture which opened my desire to learn more about the world we live in and unlocked my passion for hospitality. As a first-generation Mexican-American in my family, I was nervous about the job market. Nevertheless, I was given an opportunity and chance to experience the world at SkyWest on January 4, 2005, at the Modesto, California station. Now almost two decades later I am the general manager for my station at SBP and try to give that same chance to other hard-working and wanderlust souls as it was given to me back in 2005.

Thank you, Jose, for sharing your story with us and helping us understand the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month. We are fortunate for the influence and difference Hispanic culture has made for our SkyWest team!

Click here to see the open positions on our unique team!

SkyWest Celebrates Pride

One of our San Francisco-based flight attendants celebrated Pride in a very special way this month. Veronica Rojas was on an Alaska mainline flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles when she surprised her girlfriend, Alejandra, with a proposal at 30,000 feet in the air. Alejandra, a new Alaska Airlines pilot, said yes, but there was a twist. She was also planning to propose to Veronica the same day. Watch the video that Alaska captured on this unforgettable flight.

“All the love and support is just super overwhelming and amazing,” said Veronica.

Throughout the month we’ve also heard from several other employees about what Pride Month means to them and how they are celebrating.

“Pride Month means more than just supporting those in the LGBTQ+ community, but support for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, gender, race, national origin etc.,” said Matt Taft. “It’s a month where I stand in support for equality for everyone; everyone deserves to be treated equal, and everyone deserves to be loved the same.”

“Not only do members of the LGBTQ+ community come together,” said Greg Smith. “But, this is also an opportunity to welcome others in the celebration of equal rights.”

As part of Pride Month SkyWest’s beWell program has also provided an LGBTQ+ Ally Guide to help us all become better colleagues, friends, partners and allies. And you can find advice, inspiration and support from people who are on a similar journey in the Sanvello Pride Community.

At SkyWest we are proud to recognize Pride Month. No matter who you are or what you believe, you’re an important part of the team.

 .

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all our SkyWest dads and to the fathers who helped inspire us to follow our dreams! Here’s what a few SkyWest people had to say about the dads in their lives in honor of Father’s Day.

Alec Wheeler – ERJ Captain (BOI)

“My dad has been my inspiration to fly since my very first flight lesson. We have encouraged each other through thick and thin. Having the opportunity to operate a professional flight deck with him is the highlight of my career! Thanks for everything, Dad!”

Russell Fields Jr. – Mechanic III (FWA)

“When I was a kid, my dad would take me to work with him and my favorite part of the day would be watching the mechanics doing maintenance on the aircraft. This early introduction from my dad is why I decided to be a mechanic. We’ve both been at SkyWest for a couple years now and it’s great to now work alongside him. Working with my dad pushes me to be a better mechanic because he shows me every day to be the best in everything I do. It definitely makes for an interesting job. Happy Father’s Day Dad.”

Dylan Bechtold – ERJ Captain (SLC)

“Some of my earliest memories are of flying with my dad and other pilots when he went out on flight training trips. I remember going to the sim when I was a kid and being able to “fly” the plane with him. It was the most fun I had as a kid and it sparked a love for aviation that I’ve carried through into my career here at SkyWest. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to fly and to one day be like him. My dad has always pushed me to do what makes me happy and has helped me along the way. I am so lucky to have been able to work with him in the sim and in the air in my professional career, and I’m so grateful for all the help he’s given me throughout the years. Happy Father’s Day Dad!”

 .

AAPI: Pilots Embrace Asian Family History

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we asked several team members to share what this month means to them. 

Adam and Daniel Malik – ERJ First Officers, LAX

E175 First Officers Adam and Daniel Malik are first-generation Asian American brothers. They make up a small percentage of Asian pilots in America and hope to inspire more.

“We hope to change that percentage by encouraging diversity and inclusion,” said Adam.

Their pilot dreams began when they were young. Growing up in Buffalo, New York, their childhood home sat under the approach path of the Buffalo Niagara Airport (BUF). The brothers would watch the aircraft overhead while they were playing in the backyard.

To start their aviation journeys, they began fueling and washing aircraft at a local FBO. Working there, they earned money to complete flight training and attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale together. They were in the same new hire class and were sim partners at Surf Air, Envoy Air, and Compass Airlines.

After being furloughed at Compass Airlines, the brothers came to SkyWest. Once again, they were placed in the same new hire class and had the privilege of being sim partners throughout training. Now, they are both based in Los Angeles.

“May is a special month for us and our fellow Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals,” said Adam. “We are proud to work for a company that recognizes diversity and inclusion, and encourage others to never forget where you came from.”

Both Adam and Daniel enjoy setting an example for others hoping to achieve their dream of becoming a pilot and are proving anything is possible for Asian Americans.

Kizna Loosle – CRJ First Officer, MSP

Kizna Loosle’s dream to become a pilot started when she was a little girl. For her 10th birthday, Kizna went on her first discovery flight and knew that was what she wanted to do!

Kizna grew up in Las Vegas and attended a high school with an aviation magnet program. She received her private pilot’s license her senior year and then went to Utah State University where she studied aviation.

At Utah State, Kizna was a flight instructor, taught ground school on campus, and had a student internship for SkyWest Flight Operations. During that time, she knew SkyWest was the best fit for her. Before coming to SkyWest, she gained flight hours by flying tours for Scenic and Grand Canyon Airlines. She met her husband at USU, and they were new hires together at Scenic and also at SkyWest.

Kizna started at SkyWest on the Brasilia before moving to the CRJ. She is the co-chair of SkyWest’s Family Support Committee, something that she is passionate about as a mom. She is also a mentor and conference committee member for the Professional Asian Pilot Association (PAPA) and is currently coordinating cultural events for their first expo in July.

“I am proud to be a Japanese and Filipino Woman,” said Kizna. “Recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and spotlighting different cultures is really important.”

Kizna has two daughters that she teaches her heritage to. As a family, they enjoy eating Japanese and Filipino cuisines and learning about different parts of the world. Kizna’s grandmother was one of her greatest supporters and having her granddaughter in the airline industry was monumental for her.

“I’ll never forget the way she always beamed with pride when she saw me in my uniform,” said Kizna. “I’m grateful every day that she had the courage to move to America from the Philippines.”

Kizna likes the welcoming atmosphere at SkyWest and connecting with her coworkers.

“Representation truly matters and it’s fun to learn about each other’s amazing backgrounds,” said Kizna.

Check out our careers page to see our current openings.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all our SkyWest moms and to the mothers who helped inspire us to follow our dreams in aviation! Below are a few notes that our employees shared in honor of Mother’s Day:

Kylie Powell – ERJ First Officer

“My mom, Viki Powell, has always been such a big support throughout my life but especially through my aviation career. She helped me during flight school with many motivational words and guidance to get through those long study nights. She’s even traveled across the country to help me move. (I was first based in Chicago as a new first officer and moved to Salt Lake City.) My mom has always been excited to hear about the traveling adventures this job has brought me and has always pushed me to experience the best in life. Now that I’m in captain upgrade training, she couldn’t be more proud and tells me so very often. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her love and support. I love you Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!”

Mitch Young – Field Services Supervisor

“What can anyone say about the person that makes impossible things happen every day? I know I am where I am today because of the support and the miracles my wife and the mother of my children gives our family every day. She has been there through thick and thin nearly my entire 18 years at SkyWest. A lot of that time she runs things alone due to my travel to maintain the IT systems around the company. I am just very blessed and very thankful for having this wonderful mom in my life.”

Brandi Wallin – InFlight Instructor

“My mother, Darcee Yates, has always taught me, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” In fact, since 2013, my mom has enjoyed walking the Camino de Santiago; a pilgrimage many people from around the world take in Spain. She has walked it five times and each time it add up to 100 miles or more. If it was as all about seeing St James’ church in Santiago, she could have gotten there a lot quicker.

“Darcee inspires me because she is the total opposite of me. She started with SkyWest in 2000 and I later joined in 2005. When I would tell people whose daughter I was they would always say, “We love Darcee!” With sincerity, I would have to apologize that I wasn’t her. She has always been an easy going and accommodating person.

“Travel has really opened a lot of opportunities for us to see new places together. While the destination is interesting, the journey is what has made Darcee the great person she is today. I could not do this job without the love and support I have from her. It wasn’t until I became a mom that I could understand how much love my mom has for us kids. “Happy Mother’s Day Darcee!”

Jeff Garn – CRJ Captain

“My wife, Heidi, is the biggest reason why I have a career. She worked full-time while I trained. Then when I became a flight instructor, she was my first student so she could see if I was any good at it. She followed me to Palm Springs when I was based there flying the Metroliner and has gone on too many trips to count with our kids in tow so I didn’t have to be alone for four days.

“Heidi later worked on the ramp for SkyWest and was a very dedicated and hard-working ramp agent. I was always glad to see her when I was pulling in from a trip because I knew she would get everything done with a smile. She takes that same dedication into being a flight attendant now, and we have actually had a handful of trips together. It is always great to be working together.

“She is an awesome mom to our four daughters and even inspired our oldest, McKenzie, to become a SkyWest flight attendant too! She is incredible and I’m glad to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!!”

Marie Jensen – Flight Attendant

“My mom, Sandi, started as a flight attendant at SkyWest in November 2015 and later convinced me to join. We’re both Salt Lake City-based and we’re both in InFlight Training.

“Our story started with my mom at a flight school she worked at for many years. After watching countless pilots get hired with SkyWest and hearing all the wonderful things she said about the airline, she was intrigued. She decided to give the flight attendant group interview a shot and that’s where it all started! After tagging along with her on a few trips I fell in love with the lifestyle and the people here. On a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico with a fantastic crew, I was convinced and I applied to SkyWest.

“I started training and coincidentally she had just been accepted as a new hire instructor when I began. It was incredible to be learning the curriculum at the same time she was learning to teach; it was great. I just recently joined the new hire training team as well and it’s been a blast to be able to teach alongside her.

“My family has been involved in aviation my whole life and my goal is to eventually become a pilot for SkyWest. I’m still early in my flight training but my mom has been my biggest supporter and a wonderful inspiration during my time here. She’s a wonderful person, very kind, compassionate, and so much fun to work with! It’s been awesome to be able to work with her out on line and in Training. I’m so happy that we’ve been able to make this incredible journey together!”

 .