Pilot and Passenger Race to Retrieve Cell Phone Before Departure

We’ve all experienced it at least once – that sinking feeling you get when you realize that you’ve lost your cell phone, with all of your contacts.  That’s exactly the situation that one of our passengers was recently faced with.  After boarding a flight to St. Louis, he realized that he’d left his cell phone, with all of his business contacts, in the terminal.  With just 15 to go minutes before departure, the odds of retrieving his phone before take-off didn’t look good.  That’s when Captain Jacob Sutherland stepped in.

Captain Jacob Sutherland
Superstar pilot, Captain Jacob Sutherland

I wanted to share with you an unbelievable experience I had with one of your Captains and Flight Attendants on a recent flight from New York to St. Louis.   After leaving the gate by shuttle bus and boarding my flight on the tarmac, I that realized I had left my phone in the airport’s Sky Lounge. All 100 of my client contacts for a conference that I was to run in St. Louis were stored in that phone. More importantly, that phone number was the only way that I could be reached over those next four days.

I explained this dilemma to Flight Attendant Melanie McKetchem, and she kindly asked the cockpit if they could help. Captain Jacob Sutherland contacted the terminal to see if it could be retrieved. But with only 15 minutes to departure, it was not possible to get my phone to the plane in time. So, the Captain decided that he and I could take the bus back and race to the lounge to get it.

What played out next must have looked to onlookers like a scene from a movie. Captain Sutherland and I jumped on the shuttle back to the terminal, literally sprinting over the bridge to the lounge. There, my phone was just about to be handed over to security.  My phone was then returned to me, and the Captain and I once again sprinted, this time back through the two terminals to the shuttle bus. Somehow, we were back on the plane in enough time to depart on schedule, and touched down in St. Louis 20 minutes before our expected arrival time.

I have been on hundreds of flights since the 1970s, and this is by far the best experience that I have ever had. If Captain Sutherland is typical of your flight staff, then your company and passengers are in very capable hands. The Captain saved my trip and event with his quick initiative and decision making ability. I thank these two flight personnel for their great efforts on my behalf.

Thanks to Captain Sutherland and the hundreds of other GoJet employees who are out there giving it their all for our passengers, each and every day.  If you’d like to work with truly extraordinary and thoughtful people, click here to check out a list of current openings.


Captain John Chalfant Puts Nervous Passengers at Ease

Captain John Chalfant

Nothing makes passengers nervous like inclement weather.  Even the most seasoned flyers can get apprehensive with weather on the horizon.  When passengers are on edge, frequent and honest communication from the cockpit is essential to putting their minds at ease.  GoJet Captain John Chalfant exemplified just that on a recent flight from Raleigh to New York.  Here’s what a passenger told us about her experience with Captain Chalfant:

This is a letter of thanks; thanks for a great airline. Clean planes, comfortable, seats and professional crew and cabin attendants. It is noticed and appreciated.  When I get on one of your flights, I truly do breathe a sigh of relief. 

On Monday, May 23, 2016, I was on board a flight from Raleigh-Durham to New York/LaGuardia.  There were storms up and down the East Coast, and passengers on board were nervous – you could feel it in the plane.  Captain John Chalfant announced that the flight was going to be choppy, but he would get us above the clouds as quickly as possible.  He assured us that he would take care of us, that we would be safe; that it was his job to be sure we would be okay.

The sincerity of non-scripted conversation certainly perked up the passengers. Following that announcement, there was almost an audible sigh of relief amongst the passengers.  Once at altitude, when the seatbelt light was turned off, Captain Chalfant encouraged us to, “Explore this ‘vast’ airplane with bathroom facilities” (there was only one).  We all laughed, and laughter goes a long way in building rapport between employees and customers.

Many of  us thanked him for his conversation. But to me, that is not enough. I wanted your airline and your Captain to know just how much his sincere conversation meant to me and to my five-person team on that plane.  I hope that Captain Chalfant continues to have conversations with the passengers that are more than the scripted ,”Your safety is our concern so, sit back and relax.”

This young pilot is a gem. I would trust him with my life and the lives of those closest to me in any flying situation- that is high praise and not said lightly

Thanks, Barb

Captain Chalfant’s professionalism and dedication to his passengers are second to none.  He is a shining example of what GoJet is all about, and we are so proud that he is part of our team!

Congratulations to the Fourth Quarter Above & Beyond Winners!

The fourth quarter Above & Beyond contest is officially closed, and we’ve got another outstanding group of employees to highlight.  These employees were nominated by their co-workers for going beyond what their jobs require of them to positively impact those around them.


Captain Davis spends the afternoon with a passenger honoring our veterans.

The Flight Ops winner was Captain Sean Davis.  Captain Davis, went above and beyond for one of our passengers after a recent flight to Washington D.C.  The passenger, an elderly military veteran, had missed a memorial event in Syracuse for his fallen comrades, and was quite distraught.  Sean offered to spend his entire layover in D.C. with this gentleman, and accompanied him to Arlington National Cemetery and the Veterans’ Memorial for an afternoon of reminiscing and honoring our fallen heroes.

Flight Attendant Katy Knoll, who told us about Sean’s kind actions, said “This gentleman was so appreciative, and it warmed my heart to see such caring on Sean’s part!”


Debra Thornton
Flight Attendant Debra Thornton

Flight Attendant Debra Thornton took the prize in the Inflight category.  She was nominated by Captain Brent Furrow, who told us how a recent flight was short a flight attendant and was at risk of a late departure.  Debra just happened to be on the same flight, and without the pilot even asking asking, graciously volunteered to complete the security checks and stand in during the boarding process until the reserve flight attendant was able to make it from the crew room to the plane.  Ms. Thornton’s actions allowed the flight to begin boarding on time, and as a result, was able to achieve an on-time departure.

Shift Inspectors Scott Ducouer and Jack Adams

Shift Inspectors Scott Ducouer and Jack Adams from our Tech Ops department took home the Team/Flight Crew prize for the fourth quarter.  Scott and Jack were nominated by a co-worker, who told us that their attention to detail during their oversight of heavy checks have resulted in manual enhancements and other changes that have improved our overall fleet reliability.

Crew Scheduler Kwani Harris

Quentrenea Harris (Kwani), a GoJet Crew Scheduler, won the fourth quarter SOC award. She was nominated by a flight attendant who told us how Kwami not only walked her through a stressful situation over the phone, but also stayed on the line with her much longer than she had to, even after her shift had ended.


Robert Wiersema

Robert Wiersema is the fourth quarter Tech Ops winner.  Here’s what the co-worker who nominated him had to say:  “Robert  always tackles any task assigned to him with a positive and energetic attitude.  He is also responsible for preparing our GoJet PAP Facts Newsletter and for chairing the quarterly CASS Meeting with the FAA, and has done so with outstanding results.  Robert is continuously  tasked with creating placards for our CRJ 700/900 aircraft, and his results always exceed our expectations. He has proven to be a step above all.”

Repeat nominee Lori Foerster in our Training department took home the fourth quarter Corporate award.  Lori was nominated by a co-worker, who told us, “She comes in early, leaves late, comes in on the weekends, and even works from home most nights. She is always so sweet and kind to everyone that she speaks with, regardless of the situation. She is a super star!”

What amazing individuals will win the first quarter 2106 contest?  We can’t wait to find out!


Captain Sean Davis Personifies the Above & Beyond Spirit

GoJet employees are caring and compassionate individuals who truly care about their co-workers and our passengers.  One such employee is Captain Sean Davis, who went above and beyond for one of our passengers after a recent flight to Washington D.C.  The passenger, an elderly military veteran, had missed a memorial event in Syracuse for his fallen comrades, and was quite distraught.  Sean offered to spend his entire layover in D.C. with this gentleman, and accompanied him to Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial for an afternoon of reminiscing and honoring our fallen heroes.

Flight Attendant Katy Knoll, who told us about Sean’s kind actions, said “This gentleman was so appreciative, and it warmed my heart to see such caring on Sean’s part!”

At GoJet, we think that it’s important to recognize those employees who go above and beyond the call of duty, and our Above & Beyond program is a quarterly program that does just that.  Sean’s actions were the personification of the Above & Beyond spirit, and he, along with our other outstanding employees, has been nominated to receive a fourth quarter Above & Beyond award.
PrintSean, thanks for going to extra mile to make this gentleman’s day brighter.  It’s people like you who make GoJet such an amazing place to call home.



Customer Service Spotlight: Flight Attendant Keisha Mathes

We love hearing from passengers who are impressed by our crews!  Thanks to Timothy S., who took the time to tell us about the extraordinary service he saw GoJet Flight Attendant Keisha Mathes provide on a recent flight:

I had the pleasure of flying on a GoJet aircraft on November 20, 2015, where Ms. Keisha Mathes provided superior flight attendant services.

The weather across the north-central US on that day was such that many airports were behind schedule.  On our passenger manifest were 12 soldiers en route to Nevada following training. The plane was about half-full after seating, so the passenger load had to balanced.  The crew did a great job of patiently and courteously moving many of the soldiers into seats that better balanced the load.  This meant that some troops got moved into first class seats–the first time flying ‘up front’ for some of these very young combat engineers.

Ms Mathes was extraordinarily courteous and helpful with these troops on UAL3664.  She explained the service menu options for drinks, and I opine those soldiers felt like kings.  Ms Mathes’ courtesy and professionalism was truly appreciated; they were very gracious in return for her respectful service attitude.  Following drinks, she offered the usual array of snacks but in the traditional presentation tray reserved for first class passengers.  The troops appeared almost unwilling to accept any snacks, for fear of being a burden.  But they did so, respectfully. And Ms Mathes courteously returned to ask them whether she could refresh their drinks, after noticing some empty glasses.

Following a long week of training, and then waiting for the delayed departure of their flight, these young engineer soldiers welcomed the comforts provided by Ms. Mathes and the other crew members.

Ms Mathes is a tremendous asset for GoJet; She represents the brand and the United alliance of airlines extremely well. My congratulations to her, and to her trainers.  Her professional actions and courteous words brought high credit to the GoJet/United family during a harrowing day at the beginning of an already busy family holiday/vacation week in our great nation.

Most respectfully,

Timothy S.

Flight Attendant Gwen Rodriguez Goes Above & Beyond

above-beyond graphic

Turbulence can often make even the most experienced flyers nervous.  However, for those who are anxious flyers under the best of circumstances, turbulence can be a nerveracking experience.  We received the below note from Poppy Harlow, a CNN news anchor, who told us how Flight Attendant Gwen Rodriguez comforted her during a 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 flyer.  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!

The GoJet Airlines Above & Beyond program is a quarterly contest that recognizes employees who go above and beyond what’s expected of them to provide outstanding service to our passengers. Gwen’s willingness to go out of her way to set this passenger’s mind at ease makes her a perfect example of the above and beyond spirit, and she was entered in the third quarter contest in the Inflight category.  The leadership team is currently reviewing third quarter contest submissions, and winners will be announced soon!

First Quarter Above & Beyond Winners Announced


Congratulations to our First Quarter 2015 Above & Beyond winners!  This was our biggest quarter for Above & Beyond participation to date—we received 68 nominations this quarter, far surpassing nomination totals from all previous quarters.  We are excited that so many of you took the time to tell us about the extraordinary things your co-workers are doing!

This quarter also marks the first time that we are rewarding those who nominated their co-workers, in addition to the winners.  In the case of multiple nominations for the same individual, we either selected the nomination that did the best job of describing a co-worker’s above and beyond actions (i.e. went into extensive detail about a particular event, described how a co-workers actions exceeded their regular job responsibilities, etc.) or, in the case of multiple nominations that were equally specific, we randomly drew a submission from the eligible nominations.

Corporate/Station Employee: Bruce Kustes & Michael Jones                                     Nominated by:  Lester Schuetz, GoJet Quality Assurance

Bruce and Michael were our on-site inspectors for the United Wi-Fi prototype at DFW.  They were required to work long hours for 7 days a week for the duration of the modification, and acted in the capacities of Inspector, Company Liaison, Parts Receiving Inspector and Ramrod.  Bruce and Michael did a great job, and the end result was a quality product.

Flight Ops:  Larry Balocca
Nominated by:  Pamela Hamlett, Flight Ops

Pamela who told us how Larry helped an elderly woman on his flight after the woman’s wheelchair assistance did not arrive and she was going to miss her connecting flight.  Larry found a wheelchair and took her, along with her bags and dog, to the gate of her next flight.  Larry went above and beyond the call of duty and represented the company in an outstanding way.

Inflight:  Edmond Sanjines                                                                                   Nominated by:  Lisa Krawczyk, Inflight

Lisa saw Edmond assist two elderly women by carrying their luggage down the stairs at the airport, then going back up and escorting them down.  When Lisa inquired as to whether the escalator was broken, Edmond said the escalator wasn’t, but that the women were scared to use it.  Edmond took the initiative to help others, even when it wasn’t required of him.

SOC:  Ben Dunbar                                                                                                   Nominated by:  Jancer Thomas, RDU MX

Jancer Thomas who told us how Ben Dunbar is always the consummate professional, continually going the extra mile to ensure that the outstations have all the support they need.  His system knowledge is beyond compare, and on multiple occasions, he has been the saving grace that has prevented departure delays.

Maintenance:  Rebecca Luer                                                                                   Nominated by:  Randy Berkbigler, GoJet Quality Assurance

Rebecca was nominated by Randy Berkbigler, who told us how Rebecca has a positive and energetic attitude, and always gets the job done, no matter what the circumstances.  Recently, Rebecca was in Fresno, CA performing a Repair Station Maintenance Provider Audit when she was asked if she could do an additional audit the following day at another vendor, 350 miles away.  Rebecca immediately asked when and where she needed to go.  Regarding Rebecca, Randy said, “Her self-initiative and forward thinking are traits that I admire.  She is definitely a vertebrae in the backbone of the GoJet Airlines team!”

Team/Flight Crew:  First Officer Justin Zeller & Flight Attendant Hillary Eaton             Nominated by:  Nikki Lutz, Flight Ops/Corporate

Justin and Hillary mobilized GoJet employees and our passengers to show their support for five-year-old Seth Lane by participating in “Wear Yellow for Seth.”  Seth suffers from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID) and underwent his second bone marrow transplant on March 27.  As Seth’s favorite color is yellow, his family requested that everyone wear yellow on the day of his surgery and share the photos via social media.  Justin and Hillary rose to the occasion, not only recruiting GoJet employees to participate in the cause, but our passengers as well.  What a great way to create a positive relationship with co-workers, inspire teamwork, and most importantly, make a little boy smile.

Each winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card, and the person who nominated will receive a $25 Visa gift card.  We will be giving away $550 worth of gift cards this quarter!

This could be yours!

In addition to the winners, we received many outstanding nominations this quarter.  Please join me in also congratulating all of the nominees for their exceptional service.  I am proud to work with such a hardworking and talented workforce.  Keep up the good work!

And finally, please remember that nominations for the second quarter Above & Beyond contest will be accepted until June 30th.  You can submit your nominations online via the link on the employee website or via the link on the employee blog.  Please take the time to let us know whenever you see one of your co-workers providing above and beyond service to our passengers or to their co-workers!