Follow Your Dreams: Leslie Hernandez Chronicles Her Story of Becoming A Trans States Flight Attendant

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Leslie Hernandez poses for a pre-flight photo on Trans States’ Embraer-145 aircraft.

Traveling from city-to-city to provide passengers with excellent customer service and a smile is the career that Denver-based Flight Attendant Leslie Hernandez always aspired to have. After graduating from high school, she began laying the foundation to her dream career. Read more to learn how Leslie became a flight attendant, what she enjoys about being based in Denver, and why she loves Trans States’ close-knit company culture.

What inspired you to become a flight attendant?

Growing up, whenever my family and I traveled for vacations or to visit other family members we always flew. Every time I saw the flight attendants on the airplanes, I always envisioned myself becoming one of them some day. I loved how they carried themselves. They were always kind and very personable to all the passengers. I became so enamored with the flight attendant lifestyle, that I watched vlogs and read books about the occupation religiously.

What are the steps you took to become a flight attendant?

At the age of 18, I enrolled in a 5-month airline academy in Vancouver, WA to gain more knowledge and insight about aviation. Attending the academy was exciting, because it showed me more and more that this was the right career path for me. I was still only 18 when I completed the 5-month course, which meant that I was ineligible to apply for the airlines. Since I wasn’t 19 yet, I relocated to Alaska and accepted a seasonal position working for a cruise line in Alaska to help me manage my responsibilities.

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Leslie en-route to her first flight of the day.

Then, once I turned 19, I applied to work for Trans States Airlines and was invited to Denver for an interview. The recruiters I met at the interview were all very friendly! They welcomed me with open arms and truly made me feel comfortable. I did so well in the interview that the recruiters decided to hire me on the spot. The rest is history! I’ve now been with Trans States for almost two years and I absolutely love it here!

How was your experience in the training process?

My flight attendant training with Trans States was intensive because there were so many different subjects that I was responsible for learning. The goal of the training was to ensure that I knew what to do in any situation that could possibly happen.  During training I met some amazing people that I am still close with and consider to be good friends today.

What is your favorite memory from training?

My favorite memory from training was when myself and a few of my classmates used our flight benefits to travel to Chicago over the weekend for lunch. The trip gave me a little taste of what was next to come in my career.

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Trans States Flight Attendants from left to right: Rebecca Lee, Carla Franco, Leslie, and Alisha Nieshe.

Why do you love working at Trans States?

The people are what makes Trans States such a great company to work with. When I come into work every day, I look at my colleagues as more than coworkers – they’re my family. Everyone is always willing to help you if you don’t understand something, or have questions about anything. Another perk about Trans States is the passengers that I interact with on every flight. I love that I can meet people from all over the world and create memories with them that will last a lifetime. My work as a flight attendant isn’t just a career, it’s a lifestyle.

Walk us through a day in the life of a Denver-based flight attendant.

I’m based in Denver, Colorado, but I live in Norco, California, which is a city in Riverside County, California. Since I live in Norco, I commute back and forth to Denver. As a line-holder, I fly in one day prior to my trip to make sure that I am prepared when my flight begins. On the day of my trip, I report to the airport an hour prior to the flight departure and go to the crew lounge to check my mailbox. After I check my mailbox, I head out to the aircraft, and proceed with my pre-departure duties. My pre-departure duties consist of checking all the safety equipment and ensuring that the cabin is safe for the flight. Upon completing my duties, I board the flight and make sure that I provide an unforgettable experience for all my passengers.

What are some of your favorite overnights?

A few of my favorite overnights include Rapid City, South Dakota, and Great Falls, Montana. I love to travel to Rapid City in the summertime, and while I’m there I watch movies outside on a projector under the night sky. When I travel to Great Falls, I love to go bike-riding through the trail leading to the Giant Springs. After completing one-to-five flights a day, I’m always excited to reach my overnight and explore the new city that I’m in. Working for a regional airline has allowed me to see the smaller cities that I never knew existed; I’ve grown to love and appreciate those cities. There is something special in every overnight that Trans States has to offer – from the local restaurants and friendly people, to the amazing views flying over the snowy mountains in Denver.

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Beautiful waterfall from Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, Montana.

Where do you love to travel, while using your flight benefits?

Traveling is a major passion of mine and I love to travel even when I’m off the clock. The perks of my flight benefits are that I can travel anywhere that I choose. Sometimes I use them to travel back home to California and visit my family, or I travel to New York to visit friends. One time I used my benefits to travel to Mexico with my mom and we relaxed on the beach.

What advice do you give to aspiring flight attendants?

My advice to aspiring flight attendants is to always know that the sky is the limit. You’re capable of achieving anything you put your mind to and if becoming a flight attendant is your dream job, then chase after it. Your dream is attainable if you remain positive and dedicated!

Do you have any goals you wish to achieve as you continue your career with Trans States?

The main goals I wish to accomplish is to continue to expand my knowledge of the company and travel to more international destinations during my personal time.

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Leslie strikes a pose at Lake Chapala in Jalisco, Mexico.

To learn about our flight attendant careers, click here: http://www.transstates.net/careers/Pages/flight-attendants.aspx.

Flight attendant positions are available in our crew bases located in Chicago, Denver, and St. Louis. Apply now to be invited to an upcoming interview session! https://useast.appvault.com/jobs/searchjobs.aspx?v=transstatesrms

Trans States Flight Attendant Adopts Cat from Animal Rescue Group in Puerto Rico

The great thing about airline employee flight benefits is that you can use them however you choose! You can travel to a serene tropical paradise for vacation, travel within state limits over a weekend, or even arrange a travel to Orlando to adopt an animal in need from Puerto Rico. When Trans States Flight Attendant Rebecca Reid found out about a cat named Louie, she knew in her heart that it was meant for her to adopt him. Read more to learn how Rebecca discovered Louie, the process she took to adopt him, and how he is adjusting to his new home.

Rebecca and First Officer Randi Schildknecht met while flying the line together. Through their newfound friendship, conversations about pets and Louie in particular blossomed. Randi had previously lived in Puerto Rico, and her neighbor worked for Friends of Culbera Animals, Inc., a nonprofit animal rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals.

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Randi and Rebecca after uniting with Louie in the Orlando Airport.

“Randi sent me a picture of a tiny black and white kitten that needed a home,” Rebecca said. “She knew I was a lover of cats, and thought that Louie would make a great addition to our family. After a few hours of staring at the adorable kitten’s photo and after speaking with my husband, I made up my mind that I was going to provide Louie’s new home.”

Once Rebecca reached a decision, her journey of adopting the adorable kitten from Puerto Rico began immediately.

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Rebecca adopted Louie from a nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico.

Rebecca used her flight benefits to fly from St. Louis to Orlando and waited for Louie to arrive in Orlando. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to her meeting point at no cost, and was even more thrilled to welcome Louie to his new home. As an advocate for pets, Rebecca encourages her colleagues and friends to consider pet adoption in locations that need it most.

“I strongly encourage my fellow crew members to adopt outside of their hometowns!  Since Hurricane Maria’s aftermath, Puerto Rico has found itself left with many homeless pets,” Rebecca said.

All is well in the Reid’s household with their newest furry friend, Louie. According to Rebecca, Louie is doing great and seems to be adjusting well to his new home and cat siblings.

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Rebecca’s cat, Louie, is enjoying is new family in St. Louis.

“We let him socialize with his furry sisters a lot each day, so they all can become more acquainted with one another,” Rebecca said. “My husband and I also have a guest room specifically dedicated to Louie for him to indulge in play and other activities he chooses to do.

Explore our flight attendant careers page to learn more about Trans States Airlines’ open positions and benefits. https://bit.ly/2Gh8xaS

 

 

New Trans States Flight Attendant Follows Her Mother’s Career Path

Growing up, Lauren Allsup knew the career path she wanted to pursue from seeing her mother, Karen Allsup go to work everyday as a flight attendant with Trans World Airlines. Her mother’s strong work ethic and genuine passion for impacting others’ lives through excellent customer service is where her inspiration stems from. Read more to learn how Lauren’s mother inspires her career path and the advice her mother gives her to have a fulfilling and lasting career.

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Karen Allsup pins her daughter, Lauren Allsup’s flight attendant wings on her.

“When I was younger I noticed the twinkle, my mother had in her eyes, and the big grin across her face before leaving for work. She had a genuine glow that showed me that being a flight attendant wasn’t just a job for her, but it was what she loved,” Lauren said. “Once she put on her uniform she stood a little taller and made it her mission to always treat others with respect and dignity. Seeing her possess all of those great traits in her position showed me what it means to have a truly meaningful career.”

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Lauren and her classmates at their flight attendant graduation.

Choosing the right airline to fly for can be challenging for some, but for Lauren the decision was easy. Lauren saw how friendly and welcoming Trans States’ flight attendant recruiters were, which led her to work with the airline.

“I chose to work with Trans States because it was close to home, and I knew it would be a great start into my career. Trans States offers everything I look for in a career and more. This company truly feels like a family.” Lauren said.

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Lauren and some of her classmates at their graduation.

Trans States flight attendants complete training for six-weeks at our Flight Attendant Training Center in St. Louis, MO. During the training, candidates are expected to pass a hands-on evaluation on the Embraer-145 aircraft, along with other tests.

“Trans States’ Flight Attendant Training Program was challenging, but very helpful and informative. I did exceptional through the training program because of my excellent instructor Kim and my classmates, who all served as a great support system for me,” Lauren said.

With more than 15-years of experience as a flight attendant, Karen has a wealth of knowledge to give to her daughter to succeed in the aviation industry. One piece of advice from her mother that Lauren lives by is to always smile!

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Karen Allsup was a flight attendant with Trans World Airlines for 15 years.

“My mother told me to always smile even in difficult situations. The situation may appear hard, but in the long run you will get through it.” Lauren said. “Some things won’t always come easy, but it’s important to take a deep breath and know that you will conquer it!” Lauren said.

Visit the Trans States website for more information on flight attendant careers: https://bit.ly/2Gh8xaS

 

Former Trans States First Officer Credits Training for Rewarding Aviation Career

Trans States’ incredible First Officer training program provides pilots with the experience and knowledge they need to launch lasting flying careers.  Former Trans States First Officer, Captain Elyse Swedberg is now the Denver-based Chief Pilot with Frontier Airlines. She credits our First Officer training footprint as a valuable foundation, setting the tone for her current role with Frontier. Read more below to learn why Captain Swedberg chose commercial aviation as her career path, what she loves about Trans States’ company culture, and the advice she gives to young aviators.

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Frontier Airlines Denver-based Chief Pilot, Captain Elyse Swedberg.

Tell us what prompted your initial desire to fly.

After my fiance was killed in a tragic accident, I decided to pursue a career I never imagined I could do. I embarked on a career in commercial airline aviation because it was different from other careers I worked in and I knew it would provide me with a rewarding career path.

How did you begin your flying career?

Before I started flying I got my Real Estate Brokers license at 18 and sold real estate for several years. After my life took an unexpected turn, I started flying as a Flight Attendant with two different regional airlines.

What made Trans States stand out to you as you were choosing a regional airline?

I went to a job fair in Las Vegas, and Trans States recruiters sold me! Of all the regional airlines there, they were the only ones who really seemed to care and give me the time of day. People make the airline, that is 100% true with Trans States.

Describe your training experience with Trans States Airlines.

Trans States has an amazing training program. The instructors are so knowledgeable and love to share that knowledge with their students! They are very supportive and encouraging, yet they also expect a lot out of you because they want the best for you. Instructors want to make sure that when you go on the line, you are not just going to succeed with Trans States, but throughout your entire career.

How do you feel the Trans States Airlines training has prepared you for your career with Frontier?

Trans States provided me with all of the tools that are needed to become a pilot in the 121 industry. They prepared me to operate a jet in the most safe and efficient manner possible. The training also showed me how to use the resources at my disposal to accomplish the task at hand.

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Captain Swedberg in front of the Frontier Airlines airplane.

What advice would you share with young pilots?

The advice I give to younger pilots is to chase after your dreams, because there’s no limit to what you can achieve. You start out as a First Officer and can eventually become a Chief Pilot, but it’s all dependent upon you working hard to get to that point. All of your hard work will pay off in the end!

 

 

Helping Our Passengers and Pets: How Steve Thomas Went Above & Beyond

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Zoey the Seeing Eye Dog on the flight with her owner from Chicago to Colorado Springs.

A visually-impaired customer was waiting to board her flight from Chicago to Colorado Springs when her seeing eye dog, Zoe, became ill. Trans States ORD Base Manager, Stephen Thomas graciously stepped in to make the customer’s trip a positive experience. Read the customer compliment below:

When something or someone goes out of their way to make a positive impact, I have to share!

During a 30-minute layover from Chicago to Colorado, my dog Zoe became ill while guiding me to the gate. After TSA explained the procedure for cleaning up after Zoe, I was certain that we’d missed our flight. We were informed when we got to the gate that our flight was delayed. With more time on our hands, I thought it was a good idea to take Zoe to pet relief.

Upon our journey to the pet relief area, I realized that it was outside of security. I asked a gentleman coming off the escalator to confirm if the area was indeed outside of security. Stephen Thomas introduced himself and confirmed that it was. Because I wasn’t authorized to go outside of security, Steve took it upon himself to take Zoe to pet relief for me! When Steve and Zoe returned, he informed me that our plane would be boarding soon. We quickly placed Zoe’s harness back on and Steve escorted me all the way to my seat. He also gave me his telephone number and told me to call him anytime I am in O’Hare.

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Trans States ORD Base Manager Stephen Thomas.

Zoe and I have had our share of bad experiences while flying, but this was the opposite. In this exceptional circumstance when Zoe was sick, and we had a very tight connection, Steve made quite the difference. He really did not have time to do this, but he wanted to make sure it happened. He never treated me with pity as a blind person or grabbed my arm as Zoe was guiding (which so often happens in airports)! He just wanted me to make sure I didn’t miss my flight! 

Kudos to Steve for a job well done!