Tag Archives: Flight Attendant

Hispanic Heritage Month: “SkyWest Changed My Life”

For SkyWest Flight Attendant JJ Jimenez Lopez, working in the aviation industry wasn’t something that had ever crossed his mind as he was growing up.

That all changed when a friend and fellow SkyWest Flight Attendant Vanna Hoang, encouraged him to look into it.

“I bumped into Vanna at a friend’s wedding and we just started talking about her career at SkyWest. She told me how much she loved being a flight attendant and told me that I would be a great fit,” JJ recalled. “She gave me some tips and the next thing I know I was in training and have been a SkyWest Flight Attendant ever since.”

“I’ll never forget JJ texting me and telling me that he got the job,” said Vanna. “I was super ecstatic for him and it’s been great having him at SkyWest.”

Although JJ and Vanna have been based in different crew domiciles over the years, JJ was able to pick up a trip for Vanna recently in what was a full-circle moment for the two of them.

“Vanna introduced me to SkyWest and the aviation industry, and the next minute I’m covering one of her trips,” said JJ. “How cool is that! Every time I see Vanna I make sure to thank her for helping me get here because SkyWest has changed my life.”

Growing up in the small town of Casas Viejas, Mexico – roughly four hours northwest of Mexico City – JJ didn’t have a lot of future career opportunities.

“The town had one phone,” said JJ. “Everyone had to share it and it didn’t take long for everyone to know each other.”

Wanting to give his children more opportunities, JJ’s father, Salvador, worked in the fields as a migrant worker in California. After several years, the family was able to move to the United States, and eventually settled in Utah.

“My parents worked two jobs and did everything for me and my siblings to have a better life,” said JJ.

Unfortunately, JJ’s parents both passed away just over a year ago. While the loss has been tough for him and his siblings, they are continuing to honor their memories by following their examples and keeping their heritage and culture alive.

“I’m proud of my heritage. It means everything to me,” said the Dallas-based flight attendant. “My parents taught me early on about the importance of hard work, dedication, and being proud of where I come from and who I am. My parents came from nothing and gave my siblings and me a better life. Their sacrifice and love is something that I’ll never forget.”

The values and teachings from his parents are paying off for JJ as he is now pursuing his dream to become a commercial pilot. As part of the process, JJ is using SkyWest’s Professional Leave Program (PRO) – which allows employees to maintain employment as they work toward obtaining the training and certifications to become a SkyWest pilot, A&P mechanic or dispatcher.

“I never considered being a pilot until I came to SkyWest,” said JJ. “But that’s what I love about SkyWest. The company is diverse, it’s my second home, I love my coworkers and it provides so many opportunities. I can’t tell you how many SkyWest pilots have taken me under their wing to give me tips and advice to help me succeed as I work towards becoming a pilot.”

The help from coworkers and the doors that have opened to him has not gone unnoticed to JJ, who makes it a point to pay it forward whenever he can.

“When I was working a trip in Detroit, I noticed a family who looked lost in the airport. I’ve been there too,” JJ said laughing. “I went over and introduced myself and asked if they needed any help. They didn’t speak English, but I was able to talk to them in Spanish and help them make their connecting flight. The kids were surprised because they had never come across a Mexican flight attendant before. I told them my story and let them know that anything is possible and to work hard and they will achieve it. I know that first hand because I’m proof of that.”

This past summer, JJ celebrated his five-year work anniversary. The flight attendant and soon-to-be pilot has no plans of going anywhere else.

“I love it here,” said JJ. “SkyWest is my family and I couldn’t be happier.”

To learn how you could become a part of the SkyWest team, check out our Careers page and apply today.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Goes Above And Beyond, Unknowingly Goes Viral

During a flight from Oklahoma City to Houston, SkyWest Flight Attendant Antonio Cromwell didn’t think anything of it when he sat on the floor to assist a passenger sitting in first class.

Later that night, his phone started buzzing with texts and calls from family and friends telling him that he had gone viral.

“At first, I thought people were joking with me, then I had coworkers reaching out and I knew something was up,” said Antonio.

The Chicago-based flight attendant did indeed go viral when a passenger snapped a photo of him playing Pokémon with a young boy to keep him entertained on a flight.

“A father and son boarded the plane and they didn’t have seats together,” said Antonio. “The father asked if his son could sit at the front so that a flight attendant could watch over him during the flight. It wasn’t a big deal and I was happy to help.”

Before takeoff, Antonio introduced himself and talked with the boy to see what his entertainment plans were for the flight. The boy mentioned that he was looking forward to playing an online game against his cousin.

Knowing the boy would need to purchase internet to play his game online, Antonio asked him if he had anything else to play with that didn’t require an internet connection.

To Antonio’s surprise, the boy pulled out Pokémon cards and the rest was history.

“I was more excited than he was when he pulled out his Pokémon cards,” Antonio quipped. “When I was a kid, collecting Pokémon cards was a big deal and I didn’t realize that kids still did that. We talked about our collections and then I told him I would be back in a bit so that I could serve and help other passengers.”

After attending to other passengers, Antonio noticed the boy still wanted to play games online against his cousin. Without hesitation, Antonio went ahead and purchased the internet for him so that he could play.

“Seeing him having fun and playing with his cousin… that’s what it’s all about,” said Antonio. “I was just doing my job and didn’t think it was anything special. I always try to provide great customer service.”

“Antonio is a wonderful example of core4 and really even beyond that level of caring,” added Sarah Murphy, SVP of United Express. “Truly a bright star!”

At the end of the flight and as the family deplaned, the boy told Antonio that the next time they are on his route, he’ll be sure to bring him some Pokémon cards.

 “I’m going to hold him to it,” Antonio said laughing. “But honestly, it was great to make someone’s day and that’s why I love my job.”

The Chicago-based flight attendant is grateful for the opportunity to be a flight attendant and to follow in his aunt’s footsteps.

“I had an aunt who was a flight attendant for more than 30 years,” he said. “She would commute to Chicago and I would get to ride with her to and from the airport sometimes. When she finished her trips, she would tell me about her experiences, places she’s gone and the people she met. It sounded like the dream job and was something that I wanted to do.”

Coming up on his five-year work anniversary, Antonio is thankful he took a chance and followed his heart to become a flight attendant.

“I’m so blessed to have come to SkyWest,” he said. “It’s been amazing and the past five years have flown by. I’ve made so many friends and love interacting with passengers and having positive experiences. I’ve had a bunch of jobs over the years and being a flight attendant is the first time that I can truly say that I love going to work every day.”

When asked what advice he has for people thinking about an aviation career, Antonio replied: “Do it! It’s not your typical 9-5 job, but that’s what makes it so great. It’s a different lifestyle and I love it. My only regret is that I did not become a flight attendant sooner.”

Make an impact and join SkyWest’s amazing team today.

“SkyWest Is An Extension Of Our family”

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, flight attendants Anna and Piraya Supa – both sisters – share what their heritage means to them and reflect on their experiences at SkyWest.

Traveling between the United States and Thailand each year to visit their extended family, Anna and Piraya Supa – both sisters and now SkyWest Flight Attendants – fell in love with aviation, traveling and experiencing the different customs and cultures of both nations and surrounding countries. 

“I was always fascinated with aviation and flying,” said Anna. “Seeing crews walking through the airport and heading to destinations all over the world was exciting and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

After the Supa family moved permanently from Thailand to the United States, that desire soon became a reality as Anna fulfilled her dream of becoming a flight attendant. After applying for a position, Anna attended a group interview in Portland, Oregon (PDX) and started her training soon after.

“I was so excited when I got the news,” she said. “For me, one of the best things about being a flight attendant is making everyone’s travel experience a memorable one. I’m so glad that I came to SkyWest and the opportunities it has given me. The company is an extension of my family, and I have met so many wonderful people and have made so many friends.”

For Piraya, traveling to different places and experiencing different cultures has always been something she’s enjoyed. And after seeing her sister, Anna, have the time of her life at SkyWest, Piraya couldn’t wait to join in on the fun.

“Anna played a big part and inspired me to become a flight attendant,” she said. “I ended up going to the same hotel that Anna went to for my group interview and it’s been an amazing ride ever since.”

In their spare time, Anna and Piraya love traveling the world and exploring new countries, cities and cultures. Out of all the places they’ve visited, the one spot they make sure to visit each year is their homeland: Thailand.

“The travel privileges at SkyWest are amazing and allow us to see our extended family as often as we’d like,” said Piraya.

“We love visiting Thailand and are proud of our heritage,” added Anna. “Growing up we loved to watch our grandma cook in a traditional outdoor kitchen. That was just one of the customs and traditions we learned and that is where we learned to love Thai food and to cook.”

Anna’s favorite dish is Khao Soi, a Laotion meal, while Piraya loves Thai egg rolls.

Whether at work or at home, Anna and Piraya love sharing their culture and experiences with friends, coworkers and passengers.

“We love it and are always flattered when people ask questions,” said Anna. “We enjoy taking crewmembers out for Thai food and taking them on a culinary journey. We also make guidebooks for people who are curious about traveling to Thailand and experiencing everything that it has to offer. It’s a special place.”

Although Anna is based in PDX and Piraya is in Boise, Idaho (BOI), the two sisters still do as much as they can together.

“We’re best friends,” said Anna. “She’s the first one I call when I have bad news, and the first one I call when I have good news.”

That’s why it’s no surprise to see both sisters catching up with each other at the crew hotel or getting meals together when their paths cross throughout the SkyWest system. Over the years, both Anna and Piraya have had the opportunity to work several trips together too.

“It’s the best,” said Piraya. “It’s so much fun and we hope to do many more work trips together.”  

SkyWest is proud to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and appreciate the contributions of all those like Anna and Piraya who continue to help make the airline the best in the industry.

AAPI Month: SkyWest Pilot And Flight Attendant Fulfill Dreams

SkyWest pilot Claudia Liu and flight attendant Joel Larimer share what Asian American and Pacific Islander Month means to them and how their culture and background has shaped their experience at SkyWest.

CRJ First Officer Claudia Liu did not follow the “typical” path to becoming a pilot.

“I was always interested in art so after high school I attended the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Apparel Design,” she said.

After working in the fashion industry for three years, she decided it was time for a change. Her mom suggested she apply for a pilot cadet program with Eva Air in Taiwan.

“Growing up in Taiwan it was almost unheard of for a female to become a pilot,” Claudia said. “My family is pretty traditional and I had some family members who did not approve or believe I could become a pilot.”

Despite it being such a big change, Claudia decided to apply and immediately found that she loved flying. She eventually moved to California as she was building up her flight hours and earned her CFI.

“For me, the path to being a pilot was not easy. I had no basic knowledge or foundation of what it takes to become a pilot,” said Claudia. “There were many times where I questioned myself and wanted to give up. I am so glad I pushed through it.”

One thing that helped the process was the friends and supporters that Claudia met along the way, especially Michelle Lee. While they met in flight school, both are now flying at SkyWest. Michelle is a CRJ captain based in LAX.

“Ever since she upgraded to captain I have been looking forward to the day when we would be able to fly together,” said Claudia.

That chance finally came this past December when the two women were able to bid on the same trip.

“It was such a cool experience,” said Claudia. “In my experience it’s rare to see two female pilots in the flight deck and even less common to see two Asian female pilots. I really hope it will inspire and encourage other Asian females to consider becoming a pilot.”

Joel Larimer – Flight Attendant, SEA

After moving from Guam to the United States in 2003, Seattle (SEA) Flight Attendant Joel Larimer fulfilled his dream of becoming a flight attendant.

“It was always something that I wanted to do,” he said. “I went to a SkyWest open house with a friend, ended up getting hired, and the rest was history.”

For the past 16 years, Joel has been a fan favorite 35,000 feet in the air as he sings, dances and helps provide a great travel experience for passengers. Several frequent fliers have on his route have nicknamed him “jukebox” because he’s always singing on the plane.

“It’s a great way to break the ice, cheer people up and it’s a great conversation starter too,” said Joel. “A lot of people then ask about my background and it’s great to be able to share my culture, customs and traditions with them.”

Sharing his culture goes beyond just talking with passengers or making famous Chamorro food dishes for coworkers. It’s about informing, inspiring and helping to connect the world.

“Everyone has something to contribute and it’s important that we appreciate and celebrate the differences that we have,” he said. “We can all learn something from each other and we must not forget who we are or where we came from. 

When he’s not flying, Joel can be found teaching the language as well as cultural dances to more than 100 students. In 2012, he started Guma’ Imahe — a nonprofit organization — teaching youth about Guam through dance and music. The group has grown from 25 students to more than 100 and includes some Polynesian dance as well.

“I started dancing when I was 12 and it helped connect me to the culture,” said Joel. “That’s why I started Guma’ Imahe to give back and to help connect people to their heritage.

Serving others and giving back is what led Joel to become a flight attendant. But when he first told his parents of his decision to join the aviation industry, they were caught off guard, seeing as how he had his teaching degree.

“My parents were a little skeptical at first when I told them, but they were also very supportive at the same time. Now they use the flight benefits more than I do,” Joel said laughing.

Coming up on his 16-year work anniversary, Joel has no plans of going anywhere else.

“I love it here,” he said. “SkyWest provides a great work-life balance and it’s full of great people. I’ve made so many friends here and I fly with crews who are respectful and who appreciate me and my cultural differences.”  

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.

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.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Helps a Young Passenger Starting a New Life

SkyWest flight attendants cross paths with countless passengers from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances. That extensive background is what made unaccompanied minor Janiyah stand out to Chicago-based flight attendant Tina Meeke on a recent flight.

“I’ll never forget the feeling of sadness as she walked towards me. She looked a little nervous, and had nothing but a tiny drawstring backpack that laid flat to her back. Her clothing appeared unkempt.”

Tina briefed Janiyah individually about the flight, as required for all unaccompanied minors, and asked whether she had the United Airlines app so she could watch movies throughout the flight. Janiyah responded that her mom had taken away her phone and that all she had were the clothes on her back.

When Tina prodded, Janiyah then explained that she was moving in with her great grandmother because she and her mom could “no longer live together”.

SkyWest flight attendants are extensively trained to identify and report abuse or trafficking, and with that training background and after learning Janiyah was on her first flight with a one-way ticket, Tina says a red flag came to mind.

“At first I thought it was a human trafficking situation,” admitted Tina.
However, before the door closed, Janiyah asked Tina if she could use her phone to call her friends. She said they did not know she was moving because of the sudden nature of her departure.

Tina’s heart ached for the young girl. She made a conscious effort to brighten Janiyah’s day, if only for the flight. She checked on her regularly and ensured Janiyah received a First Class snack box, delivered with a personalized note card.

“I wrote her a little note telling her how special she was, and that we were honored to have her on our flight. I also gave her my contact information in case she needed to reach out to me.”

After deplaning, Tina walked with Janiyah to meet her great grandma. On their walk, Janiyah mentioned she hoped her grandmother could get her some clothes because she only had what she was wearing. Tina reminded Janiyah of her contact information and told her grandmother that she would like to help get her started with some clothes and school supplies.

Tina was so affected by her interaction with Janiyah that she decided to share how she was inspired to help one of her passengers that day. Almost immediately, she began to hear from her friends and SkyWest colleagues asking if there was something they could do to help. “I was overwhelmed with the amount of SkyWest people who came forward and wanted to help our passenger,” Tina said.

Within hours, 93 people had donated over $4,000 for Janiyah, many of them from SkyWest.

“All of this was happening at the height of airline uncertainty due to COVID-19, but we are one big family,” said Tina.

A few days later, Tina made arrangements to take Janiyah shopping for supplies. The two had a wonderful outing, purchasing school supplies, clothes, shoes, and a computer and phone with a 1 year of prepaid calling. In addition, several packaged gifts and over $500 in nonperishable food items were delivered to Janiyah.

Tina also collected the names and addresses of everyone who donated or provided supplies. She gave Janiyah pre-addressed envelopes to write thank you cards to the people who helped make it all possible. Within two days, Janiyah had written a thank you note to everyone on the list. Her joy and gratitude was profound.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to help someone else,” says Tina.

Tina’s unexpected connection with Janiyah may seem out of the ordinary, but SkyWest people are known for extraordinary service and compassion.

We are family, but we also care about our passengers,” she said. “SkyWest is just different; everyone looks for ways to step in to help others.”

A Friendship Built from Adversity 

           Santana & Patrick

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

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

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

     Michael Gray

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

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

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

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

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

    Julia Jarratt

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

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

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

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

     Rebekah Hales

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

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

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

    Dave Sagunsky

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

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

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

                                  Santana

Mother Son Flying

Mother and Son Take Flight Together

Family Flying Together“Mom, secure the cabin.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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