Tag Archives: SkyWest

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.

“She Went Above And Beyond For Us”

During a recent flight from Salt Lake City to Burbank, California, SkyWest Flight Attendant Shannon Dilling Damota was just going about her duties and doing her best to provide excellent customer service during an unfortunate delay. She didn’t think anything of it when she was entertaining kids and passing out snacks.

But to the Kaye family, Shannon’s efforts to take care of them and other passengers was everything they needed after a long and stressful day. The family, including two seven year olds and a two-year-old toddler, started their trip in Idaho but were faced with several delays and flight changes due to some unexpected operational issues at their departing airport.

“It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” said Mitch Kaye. “Luckily the day was saved thanks to the SkyWest crew, especially Shannon who went above and beyond for us.”

After landing in Salt Lake, the Kaye’s hurried to make their connecting flight to Burbank. Once onboard, the crew had to perform some troubleshooting due to the cabin lights flickering on and off, causing the aircraft to temporarily go dark. Shannon got out her flashlight and was busy keeping everyone entertained.

“When I heard their little girl say, ‘The monsters are coming,’ when the lights went off, I quickly grabbed my flashlight and started doing hand puppets to distract her. We also played peek-a-boo and I danced in the aisle like a fool to help calm everyone down. It worked, so it was worth it,” Shannon said laughing.

Shannon was also able to help the family move into their own row in the back of the aircraft, allowing their youngest to fall asleep on the late flight.

“Shannon went above and beyond for us and helped us get through our trip,” said Mitch. “Despite the delays and plane changes, she provided a great experience and made us appreciate flying. I work at a service department for a dealership and understand things like this happen from time to time and that things break down. For me, it’s how a team handles these situations that can set you apart from the competition and SkyWest was consistent and kept us updated throughout the day. We wouldn’t hesitate using SkyWest again.”

When Shannon received those kind words from the Kaye’s a few days later she couldn’t help but cry knowing her actions helped make a difference.

“They were happy tears,” Shannon said smiling. “It meant so much to me. I was just doing my job and honestly didn’t think anything of it. It just goes to show just how far kindness can go, especially in these chaotic times. You don’t know what someone else is going through and I just try to show kindness and help wherever I can. That’s what it’s all about!”

SkyWest’s team of aviation professionals, including our more than 4,000 flight attendants regularly go out of their way to ensure our passengers have a great travel experience on every flight. If you’re ready to make an impact, join the SkyWest team 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.

Pride Month: “SkyWest Was the Perfect Fit for Me”

SkyWest is proud of our diverse team. As part of Pride Month, we are sharing stories and experiences from some of our LGBTQ+ employees. Here is what Stevie Russell, a Chicago-based flight attendant had to say:

What does it mean to be part of the LGBTQ+ community?

One word that jumps to mind when I think about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is freedom. Freedom to just be unapologetically me and not hide. To be accepted, loved and understood for all that I am. Within our community, there’s no judgment or expectation to be anything other than our authentic selves. It never matters what part of the community you make up, including if you are an ally, you are always welcomed with loving and open arms.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month, to me, is a time to promote love, equality, self-affirmation, recognition and to educate. To show we are not ashamed of who we are and to try and end the stigma around the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for all the hardships of the ones before. I am able to be who I am today because they were brave enough to have fought and rallied before me. So, we honor them and ourselves to continue to love and educate everyone.

What has your experience been like at SkyWest?

I joined SkyWest this year as a flight attendant and was part of the first class that graduated in February.  Immediately, I felt very welcomed and accepted. Everyone I have met, from instructors to pilots and other flight attendants, has been so helpful and kind. I have always been open about my sexual orientation and I am very happy to be at a company that is so open and accepting of people from all walks of life. Whenever talking to someone, and me being a lesbian comes up, they never falter or treat me any different, and I love that. I love the feeling of acceptance at SkyWest and all the people I’ve met.

Talk about your journey to SkyWest, your experiences and what inspired you to join the aviation industry. 

Before starting at SkyWest, I worked for the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a city carrier. It was a nice job and I loved my coworkers. However, I have wanted to be a flight attendant for quite some time and even applied to a few carriers right before I got hired at USPS.  At the time, I thought the post office was a better fit because it was close to home and it gave me the ability to help out my family. Towards the end of my career there, I was unhappy and really wanted to get out to see the world and meet new people from all walks of life. So, I applied to become a flight attendant.

Before coming to SkyWest, I did a lot of research on different carriers. I read about the company and learned how SkyWest came to be. I even looked up employee testimonies and found it to be a very open, accepting, and awesome place to work. It was a no-brainer for me after doing the research and knew that SkyWest was the perfect fit for me. One thing I really love about my job is getting to meet new people and make new friendships. I have met and heard so many amazing stories not only from my coworkers but from the passengers I talk to on my flights.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming part of the aviation industry?

Just do it. You won’t regret it! This is an amazing and ever-growing industry. You get to meet so many different people and see so many beautiful places. This is a career where going to work doesn’t actually feel like work.

What advice do you have for those who want to be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community?

Don’t just have an open mind and heart, but research and ask questions to someone that you know is a part of the community. There are so many different sexual orientations out there; learning what you can about them really helps to understand the people within the community and what it really means to be an ally.

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month

SkyWest is proud to have a global team with many cultures represented throughout our workforce. This month we celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Month by catching up with SkyWest team members across the system to share what their heritage means to them and how it plays a role at SkyWest and in their local communities. Here’s what they had to say:

April Keil – Crew Scheduler, HDQ

Since joining SkyWest nearly 20 years ago, April Keil has spent her aviation career working in Crew Support. She has been a vital part of the operation and despite working nearly two decades in her role, she has no plans of slowing down.

“I love it here. SkyWest is my home-away-from home and while 20 years sounds like a lot, it’s gone by fast,” she said. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

For April, who is both Samoan and Chinese, celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month is important to her because it’s an opportunity to recognize the contributions of those – both past and present – who have made a difference, and to share her heritage with her kids and all those around her.

“Family is everything in the Samoan culture and family is everyone. We believe it takes a village to raise a child and everyone helps out. During a trip back to Somoa, I had kids run up to me shouting ‘Auntie, Auntie, look what we found.’ They grew up with that mentality that anyone who is your elder is your aunt or uncle. A lot of the Polynesians who are younger than me in Crew Support also call me ‘Auntie.’ I got some strange looks from my boss before I explained everything,” April said laughing.

After moving from Samoa to the United States in 1996, April wanted to make sure her kids didn’t forget where they came from. After working at SkyWest, April made the most of her travel privileges by taking her family often to visit Samoa.

“We still have a bunch of extended family over in Samoa and it’s been wonderful and such a blessing to be able to visit them,” said April. “I love showing my kids around, getting them in touch with their roots and teaching them more about their heritage, culture and traditions.”

Wanting to share that with others back home, April and her family opened up a dance studio – Siva Pasefika or “Dance Pacific” – to share the Polynesian culture with the community.

“We started Siva Pasefika in 2006 and it’s been fun sharing and teaching the Polynesian ways,” said April. “My kids are a lot older now and they have taken the lead and it’s been a lot of fun to watch and to see the culture being carried on.”  

In addition to the ability to travel and see family, April says the work/life balance, the comradery and friendships she’s made at SkyWest is what keeps her happily coming to work each day.

“SkyWest has been so good to me. It really is my second home,” she said. “I always look forward to coming in every day, even when some of my shifts start so early in the morning. I enjoy what I do and I have great coworkers who have become my lifelong friends.”

Anna and Piraya Supa – Flight Attendants, (PDX and BOI)

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 throughout the world.

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

After seeing her sister, Anna, have the time of her life at SkyWest, Piraya couldn’t wait to join in on the fun and was hired two years later.

Over the years, both Anna and Piraya have had the opportunity to work several trips together and enjoy visiting extended family in Thailand.

Click here to read more about Anna and Piraya’s experience.

Claudia Liu – CRJ First Officer, LAX

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

After applying, Claudia quickly realized how much she loved flying. She eventually moved to California to build up her flight hours and earned her CFI. Despite the big change, one thing that helped was the friends and supporters that Claudia met along the way, especially Michelle Lee. The two met in flight school and are both flying at SkyWest. The two flew their first trip together this past December in what was a memorable moment for both women.

Click here to read more about Claudia and her experiences.

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.

And 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 nicknamed him “jukebox” because he’s always singing on the plane.

For Joel, 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.

Click here to read more.

 

“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: “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.