Crew Scheduler’s Photography Catches the Attention of National Geographic

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“Pray for the Bees” was taken by GoJet’s own Nicholas Huber, and was featured on National Geographic’s website.

When he’s not on the job, GoJet Crew Scheduler Nicholas Huber is perfecting his photography skills.  “I picked it up as a hobby about a year and a half ago,” he explains. “I’m saving money to upgrade my equipment, but I got a digital camera and a couple of lenses to start with.”  Although he’s a relative newbie to the photography world, Nick’s work has already made waves among fellow enthusiasts, and has even been shared on National Geographic’s website.

So far on his photography journey, Nick has most enjoyed capturing nature photos, and it was a nature shot of a friend’s beehive that caught the attention of National Geographic. After showing the image to friends and receiving positive feedback, he decided to submit it to National Geographic’s YourShot program, which gives amateur and professional photographers alike the opportunity to share their photographs with National Geographic editors.  The best images are chosen to appear on National Geographic’s website and in National Geographic magazine.  To Nick’s astonishment, his photo was selected as one of National Geographic’s “Daily Dozen,” a daily showcase of the editors’ 12 favorite YourShot submissions.

“When they reached out to me and told me that my photo was selected, I was pretty amazed,” Nick recalled.  “It was the first time I’d ever submitted any of my work into a contest of any kind!”

Regarding Nick’s photo, National Geographic editor Matt Williams commented,

“Such an interesting frame, and I love the idea of you photographing this scene from the back. A great and creative idea when it comes to photographing a beekeeper and a bee hive. The light is excellent and I love how it reflects off of the beekeeper headgear and the honeycombs.”

In the future, Nick plans to put his employee travel benefits to good use so that he can photograph more unique and interesting places.  “I’m planning backpacking trips with friends to help familiarize me with more nature shots,” he remarked, “and I really want to photograph up and down the Washington and Oregon coastlines.”

Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2016 Revisited

With the year winding down, we thought that it would be the perfect time to put together a compilation of some of our favorite blog posts of 2016.  Here’s a sample of what our employees have been up to this year.

Piano Playing PIlot Delights Passengers at Chicago O’Hare

Captain Billy Hock isn’t just a talented pilot.  He’s also a musician and songwriter who spends layovers at O’hare playing the piano for passengers.

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GoJet Captain Billy Hock, meeting a fan after playing the piano at Chicago O’Hare

Pilot Recruiter James Douvier Explains What it Takes to Be a GoJet Pilot

In one of our most viewed posts of the year, pilot recruiter Captain James Douvier explains that there’s more to being a GoJet pilot than just being a great aviator.  James is looking for pilots who are going to come to GoJet and make a difference.

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Pilot Recruiter Captain James Douvier

Maintenance Control: The Unseen Face of Tech Ops

The majority of our passengers have most likely never heard the term “Maintenance Control.”  However, the safety and timeliness of our flights depends on this important group of GoJet employees.  This department is critical to keeping our airplanes safe, our flights on schedule, and our passengers happy.

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Maintenance Controller Steven Perez

Summer Interns Contribute to the Operation in Big Ways

During the summer of 2016, three talented young interns contributed to the operation in big ways.  Aviation students Morgan Hunlen, Jade Lubinski, and Alex Dupre all took full advantage of the opportunity to move their studies beyond the classroom, and had an abundance of new knowledge when they returned to school in the fall.

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Our summer interns getting a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the control tower at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

GoJet Flight Attendant Wins First Runner Up in the Miss North Carolina Pageant

Our employees do some truly astounding things in their free time.  Take GoJet flight attendant Juanette Roache – when she’s not providing stellar customer service at 37,000 feet, she regularly volunteers at her local soup kitchen and homeless shelter, as well as mentors children through the Boys and Girls Club.  Her community service led to an opportunity this spring to compete in the 20160 Mrs. North Carolina pageant, where she was named the first runner up and received the People’s Choice Award.

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GoJet Flight Attendant Juannette Roache

We have no doubt that our employees will continue to impress us next year.  We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.  Happy New Year!

GoJet SOC Collects Toys to Benefit Toys for Tots

When employees in our SOC wanted to give back to the community this holiday season, they turned to a very worthy organization – Toys For Tots.  Toys for Tots is a charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that collects new, unwrapped toys, and distributes them to children who may not have anything to open on Christmas.

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The toy drive was organized by Crew Scheduling Manager Stephani Mayhall, who was looking for something the SOC could do as a group to benefit those who are less fortunate.  “It’s important to remember, especially during this time of year, that there are people who aren’t as well off as we are,” she said.  “We’re employed, but those who aren’t may need help, and we wanted to get involved.”

Crew Scheduling Department Coordinator Heather Brown has been volunteering with Toys for Tots for years, and suggested to Stephani that the SOC hold a toy drive benefiting the organization. “I’ve been involved with Toys For Tots events since I was in high school,” Heather explains. “When I was in junior ROTC, I helped collect money so that we could buy toys to donate. I’ve also helped Toys For Tots wrap presents that have been donated.”

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Stephani Mayhall (left) and Heather Brown (right), with representatives from the Marine Corps Reserve

It’s often hard for SOC employees to take part in fundraising activities at GoJet headquarters, because those activities usually occur during daytime business hours from 9-5.  The SOC is a 24 hour operation, and many employees work nights.  Stephani and Heather wanted to make it very easy for everyone to participate, so they set up a large collection box in the SOC, where gifts could be dropped off at any time.

In addition to appreciating how convenient it was to participate, employees were also very enthusiastic about helping out a charity affiliated with the Marine Corps.  “People here really appreciate our military,” Heather explained.  “Many of our employees are are former military, so this really resonated with them.  “People really got into it,” Stephani added, “and we plan to bring this back again next year!”

The toy drive was a big success, bringing in nearly 70 toys for Toys for Tots.  Stephani and Heather are already planning on doing it again next year!

Christmas is just five days away, but the Marine Corps Reserve is still collecting toy donations.  Click here to learn more.

The GoJet SOC Enjoys a Good Meal for a Good Cause

For many, the Thanksgiving holiday was a long weekend, filled with family, food, football and shopping.  However, many GoJet employees, including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and those in Systems Operations Control (SOC), sacrificed Thanksgiving with their families to make sure that our passengers arrived at their holiday destinations safely.

Our SOC employees celebrated Thanksgiving in the office, with an incredible spread from Mimi’s Cafe.  The feast offered something for all appetites, including a wide variety of vegan offerings.

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But the restaurant’s delicious and extensive menu was just part of the reason why the SOC chose Mimi’s to cater their holiday dinner. Mimi’s relationship with the Children’s Hunger Fund was what sealed the deal.  “We found out that for every order placed, Mimi’s would donate a meal to the Children’s Hunger Fund,” explained Heather Brown, who coordinated the meal.  “Our order resulted in the donation of 16 meals to children in need.”

The SOC is keeping that same spirit of giving rolling into December, with a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots.

 

Systems Operations Control Prepares for Jonas

 

Systems Operations Control (SOC) at our headquarters in St. Louis is in overdrive today as it prepares for much of our operation to be impacted by winter storm Jonas.  Jonas, which forecasters predict will dump up to two feet of snow in places, is expected to hit the Eastern Seaboard and much of the South over the weekend.  Proactive planning is key to minimizing the impact of Jonas on our customers—hundreds of flights have already been canceled in advance of the storm, giving travelers as much time as possible to make alternate plans and reducing the likelihood of passengers being stranded at airports over the weekend.

The GoJet SOC is also proactively planning for Jonas.  Two of the key departments housed in the SOC are Crew Scheduling and Dispatch, both of which have been working overtime to ensure that crews and aircraft are moved away from the cities that are expected to be hit the hardest by this weather event.  However, when making decisions about where to move crews and airplanes during the storm, the SOC must also think about where those crews and airplanes need to be after the storm.  Once the weather has passed and the airports have re-opened, our customers are counting on our crews and aircraft being in place and ready to go.

Other proactive measures to weather the storm include having extra employees on hand to assist our schedulers and dispatchers, as well as additional phone lines and a dedicated email address to ensure that our crews can get the information they need over the weekend.

While we can’t stop the storm, we can do everything in our power to be prepared for it. Once the storm has passed, it’s our priority to return to full operational strength as quickly as possible—and we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen.

GoJet debuts new SOC

GJSOC If you’ve been to the headquarters building in St. Louis recently, a large area on the third floor may have caught your attention. Dark, lit only by blue lighting, and looking like something straight from science fiction, the new GoJet SOC (Systems Operation Control) is causing everyone who walks by to do a double take the first time they see it. The new GoJet SOC opened its doors on January 13 after having to vacate its previous location due to the flood at the headquarters building last August. The SOC’s spacious new digs now house several departments, including Maintenance Control, Dispatch, Scheduling, and support staff. IOE Coordinator Lisa Damm is a big fan of the new layout. “I like how the new layout distinguishes the various departments within the SOC, without the departments being isolated from one another,” says Lisa.  “When you walk in, you know what department is where, but we’re all together as a family.” Features include a conference room and break room, as well as six TV screens that show flight tracking, maintenance delays, weather updates, and rolling performance statistics. Additionally, one of the screens will soon be used to as a scheduling board, allowing the scheduling team to see reserve availability at a glance. The question that everyone asks when they see the new SOC for the first time is, “What’s up with the blue lights?” Most SOC employees work from at least two computer screens, and studies have shown that blue lights increase productivity and eliminate eye strain from computer screens. Consequently, blue-lit SOCs are becoming more common at airlines. Most notably, Southwest recently completed a $30 million renovation of its NOC (Network Operation Center), complete with blue lighting. Don’t just stop and stare when you see the newly redesigned SOC for the first time—step inside for a tour! The team would love to show you around.

Photo of the Week: Kilt day in the SOC

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From left: Art Brandt (MX Controller) & Shaun Gottlieb (STL SOC)

The GoJet employee blog will feature a weekly “Photo of the Week” contest.  If you’ve got a great photo of GoJet employees on the job or of our aircraft, send it to communications@gojetairlines.com.  The weekly winner will be posted each Friday.

Our first Photo of the Week, of “Kilt Day” in the SOC, was submitted by Shaun Gottlieb. Thanks, Shaun!