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.
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.
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
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!
Our awesome employees can be always be counted on to go above and beyond the call of duty, even while off the clock. The below email from a Flight Attendant at another regional airline told us how Joseph Ostergar, a GoJet Pilot who was traveling as a passenger on her flight, jumped in and helped her with the inflight beverage service when her cart malfunctioned. The email is from a few months back, but it’s too good not to share! Here’s what she had to say:
On December 27, on a flight from Idaho Falls (IDA) to Denver (DEN), I had the pleasure of meeting one of your pilots, Joseph Ostergar. He made a huge difference in our flight that day.
When I pulled out the beverage cart to begin my service, the brake would not hold. It was a full flight with little time for me to run the beverages and stow the cart. Joseph saw that it was unsafe without the brake, so he said he’d help me! I was in shock at his amazing offer to do the service with me by holding the cart in place. He even iced the cups, making it easier for me to fill the orders.
In 9 years, I’ve only had one fellow flight attendant offer to help in a similar situation. To have someone from another airline entirely, and not even a flight attendant, went way beyond the call of duty. In the back of the plane an elderly man remarked “Why he’s a Christmas miracle!” after I explained why Joseph was working the flight with me.
Then I needed to figure out what the three letter city code JMS stood for, as the aircraft was continuing on to that destination, even though the crew was switching planes. I quickly asked Joseph if he knew. He looked it up on his app and told me that it was Jamestown, North Dakota. I then was able to properly make my announcement for those passengers continuing on to that destination.
Also, when he boarded he checked in with with our pilots and introduced himself, which I feel is very professional. The crew and I have not been able to stop thinking about his extraordinary actions on our flight. My father who was a professional football coach would have dubbed Joseph as MVP (most valuable player).
Joe will be entered in our first quarter Above & Beyond contest, a quarterly program that recognizes employees who go above and beyond what is required of them. We are so proud of Joe and all of the other GoJet employees who consistently go the extra mile to make things a little brighter
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.
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!”
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 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.
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 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!
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.
Sean, 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.
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.
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 Rodriguez
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 Schwendeman
(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
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 White
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!
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!
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!”
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!
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!
Kudos to First Officer Justin Zeller and Flight Attendant Hillary Eaton for mobilizing GoJet employees and our passengers last Friday to show their support for five-year-old Seth Lane by participating in “Wear Yellow for Seth.” Seth suffers from Severe Sombined 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 recrutiing GoJet employees to participate in the cause, but our passengers as well. We are proud to have such amazing and caring individuals as part of our GoJet family!