Third Quarter Above & Beyond Winners


Congratulations to the Third Quarter Above & Beyond winners!  We had many truly exceptional nominations this quarter, which made selecting winners difficult for the leadership team.  Thank you to those of you who time the time to nominate your co-workers for recognition!

Each winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card, and each person who submitted a winning nomination will receive a $25 Visa gift card. The company gave away $550 of gift cards this quarter!

Inflight Winner: Gwendolyn RodriguezGwenRodriguez2
Nominated by: Customer Compliment
We received this note from Poppy Harlow, a CNN news anchor, who told us how Flight Attendant Gwen Rodriguez comforted her during rough air on a recent flight.

“I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had on my flight from Cleveland to LGA last night. There was a lot of turbulence and I am a nervous flier. Flight Attendant Gwen was so immensely helpful. She talked me through my fear, sat next to me, and helped calm me. She went above and beyond to make me feel safe. I really appreciate all she did–it meant the world to me. Just wanted to share my experience. She made me ever more loyal to Delta!”

Flight Ops Winner: Thomas SchwendemanThomasSchwendeman
(Thomas received two nominations this quarter)
Nominated by: Captain Brett Smith

“On August 29, my crew and I arrived at our aircraft to work flight 3684. While we were doing the pre-flight, I received a phone call from Captain Schwendeman. He was in the aircraft next to us and noticed they had first class meals in their galley. We checked our plane and we did not have meals, so Captain Schwendeman personally carried the meal boxes to my aircraft to swap them out.”

Customer Compliment
“I work for a consulting firm based out of Chicago and have called United my airline since 2004. Many folks believe the winter is the worst time for weather delays around Chicago, but I’d challenge that and say my longest delays have been due to summer thunderstorms. I was on a return leg from Toronto to Chicago on July 6, which ended up being delayed by six hours.

I would like to commend Captain Thomas Schwendeman for his professionalism, courtesy, transparent communications, and putting his passenger’s safety and comfort first. We spent the majority of our delay on the runway awaiting updates and Captain Schwendeman was candid and frequent in his sitreps. After we deplaned and had to clear customers and security at Toronto, he was the first back at our gate to answer any passenger questions. He even opened the doors a second time to allow two very late and out of breath passengers to board. I usually thank your pilots after a dicey landing, or making a tight time window. This was the first time, in a long time, that I’ve been able to shake a captain’s hand and be thankful for delivering impeccable service. You should be proud of Captain Schwendeman and his representation of the United Airlines brand on the front lines.”

Team/Flight Crew Winners: Captain Henrick Carter, First Officer Jeffrey Lastowski and Flight Attendants Alyssa Miller and Holly Lykens

Alyssa Miller
Alyssa Miller
Henrik Carter
Henrik Carter

We received the below email from a flight attendant at another regional airline who wanted to tell us about how one of our crews went above and beyond to help her when she was going through a very difficult time.

My name is Lisa and I’m a flight attendant at another regional airline. My son has been very ill and was hospitalized in June. After being gone for eight days, and spending much of that time at the hospital with him in Connecticut, I was trying to fly home from LaGuardia to Wilmington, North Carolina, where I live. There had been bad storms up the East Coast, so most flights were canceled or oversold. In desperation, I decided to fly to Raleigh, where I knew it would be easier to get home the next morning. I didn’t know if I even have enough money for a cheap crew hotel because I had to take a leave of absence for Chris’s illness.

When we landed in Raleigh, I discovered that the cheapest crew hotel was oversold. I asked your crew where they stayed, and I called that hotel, only to be informed that all of the Ra­leigh hotels were full and that there was nowhere for me to stay. Holly graciously offered to share her room with me, and Captain Heinrich told me to come with them to their hotel and they would take care of me. As if that great gesture wasn’t already enough, Jeff and Holly concocted a plan with Heinrich and Alyssa’s help to drive me home the next morning. When we got to hotel they took me out for a drink and a snack, and told me of their plan to rent a car the next morning and drive me home to Wilmington. They had a long layover and they said it would be fun to take a road trip, rather than just stay in their hotel room like many of us so often do.

Jeff, Holley and Alyssa drove me to Wilmington the next morning, and we took a 30 minute detour to Wrights­ville Beach to splash our feet in the water. I kissed and hugged them goodbye, and I still can’t think about their kindness without crying, because you have no idea what it meant to me to feel so hopeless, so broke, and so afraid my son would never recover, and then have these four treat me like family. They were literally angels to me. Although he’s still in the hospital, today my son is doing much better, and I honestly felt that their kindness was God’s message to me of hope.

If there’s any award you can give them, please bestow it on these four superhuman heroes who came to my rescue. I will never forget the kindness, and I want you to remember it as well. Please forward this email to all of them and thank them again on my behalf. I have given a lot of kindness over the years, and I have received a lot, but I can tell you that this was the most meaningful thing that is ever been done for me by complete strangers. Thank you for hiring such great people.

SOC Winner: Ernie Spencer
Nominated by: Adam Timperley, Crew Scheduling Manager

“On the evening of August 18, due to severe weather, we had a flight divert to Columbia, MO. As the weather continued to impact St. Louis, flight crews exceeded duty time limits and were no longer able to operate the flight out of Columbia. With no revenue service to get a crew in position, Ernie volunteered his personal vehicle and time to transport a reserve crew from St. Louis to Columbia to recover the operation and avoid taking further delays or cancellations the following day.”

Maintenance/Tech Ops Winner: Toby Long
Nominated by: Randall Berkbigler
“Toby Long’s performance is exceptional. He comes in early to start planning his day before anyone else and schedules his assignments before being asked. Toby’s attention to detail is evident while accomplishing audits, as he is always on the lookout for safety hazards or risks that could affect aircraft operational performance. He then forwards these issues to upper management with recommendations on how to improve safety and efficiency. When preparing for an audit, Toby continuously looks for cost savings by searching for the best deals on travel and hotel accommodations. Toby has been working at GoJet Airlines for less than a year and has already proven himself to be a great asset to the Quality Assurance Team.”

Corporate/Station Employee Winner: Calvin Whitecalvinwhite
Nominated by Tammy Hoevel
“Calvin White is the most dedicated person that I’ve worked with. His focus is to make other’s jobs easier. He makes an effort to “read what you need” and acts quickly and effortlessly to manage many tasks! He usually forgoes lunch just to maximize his day! Best co-worker ever!”

Congratulations to the third quarter winners! Check email or Comply for most recent Above & Beyond newsletter, which includes all of the other awesome third quarter nominations.

The fourth quarter contest is officially open!  Nominations can be submitted via the link on the main page of the employee website and via the link here on the blog.  Let’s end 2015 on a high note and set a record for nominations this quarter!

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