Trans States Inspires High School Students to Become the Next Generation of Aviators

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Students from McClure High School in St. Louis get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes on in our maintenance hangar.

This spring, Trans States had the opportunity to welcome math students from McCluer High School in St. Louis to our corporate offices and hangar facility for the third year in a row.  Their instructor, Jenna Henderson, is a lifelong aviation enthusiast, who started organizing annual field trips to Trans States after learning about aviation career opportunities from her neighbor, Jan McCall.

Jan, a former Trans States pilot turned Aviation Studies professor, suggested that Jenna encourage her students to consider aviation as a career path.  The industry is facing a severe shortage of qualified personnel, and a recent study by Boeing projects extraordinary demand for pilots, mechanics and flight attendants over the next 20 years.  Jan proposed a field trip to Trans States’ St. Louis headquarters so that Jenna’s students could see first hand all of the different aviation career opportunities that they could pursue right in their hometown.

Even though many of Jenna’s students had never even flown before, let alone considered aviation as a career, she jumped at chance to visit Trans States with her students.  “Trans States is in my students’ backyard, and it offers many career paths that they may not even know about,” she explained.  An annual tradition was born.

This year’s tour included a tour of the cabin trainer that our flight attendants use to practice everything from the beverage service to emergency evacuation drills, as well as a demonstration of the Graphical Flight Simulators that our pilots use during training.

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Students also toured Systems Operations Control (SOC), where they learned about career opportunities in Dispatch, Crew Scheduling and Maintenance Control.  During the SOC tour, the students spoke with McCluer alum and Maintenance Controller Bryan Cross, who told the students about his career and the steps that he took to get where he is today.

The highlight of the trip is always the visit to the Trans States hangar facility, where students have the opportunity to get hands on with our Embraer 145 aircraft and watch our mechanics in action.  For many of the students, it’s the first time that they’ve ever been near an airplane.  “I’ve never been around this type of environment before,” student Carlando Dickens remarked.  “It’s different and interesting.”

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The trip is also a great opportunity for Jenna to show her students how the math skills they are learning in class will be important later in life.  This resonated with student Megan Robinson, who remarked, “It’s really interesting to see how the mechanics basically have to take the entire plane apart, and then put it back together.  With all of the measurements that they have to do, it makes sense that they would have to understand mathematical problem solving.”

Her classmate, Hailey Drake, agreed.  “I’m glad to see that what we learn in school becomes important later on in life,” she added. “Being able to use math calculations can help you do what you want to do for a living, just like the mechanics I’m meeting today.”

Assisting with the field trip was future Trans States pilot Adam Lange.  Adam, who is part of Trans States’ Aviators program for aspiring collegiate pilots, enjoyed the chance to teach people about the airline industry.  “I don’t remember ever having an opportunity like this when I was in school,” he admits. “It’s important that kids know about the options that exist in their own hometown.”

Trans States Chief Operating Officer Fred Oxley couldn’t be happier about the annual visit from the McCluer students.  “As an industry, it is our duty to inspire the next generation of aviators,”  he said.  “In the coming years, I hope to encounter these students flying our planes, fixing our planes, and serving our passengers.”

To learn more about career opportunities at Trans States, please click here.

Flight Crew’s Actions Will “Give the Gift of Sight to Someone who Needs it”

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When a Trans States flight diverted to Raleigh, a quick-thinking flight crew ensured that a critically important shipment of transplant tissues was saved.  The shipment contained corneas, which were en route to a medical center in Providence when the flight was diverted.

Fortunately, Flight Attendant Binh Kbuor noticed that the shipment had a notation asking for any delay information to be sent to a telephone number on the box.  Binh showed the notation to Captain Jason Secondi, who immediately followed up with MNX Global Logistics, the company that had coordinated the shipment.

In the below note, the COO of MNX Global Logistics explains how Binh and Jason’s actions ensured that the valuable tissues were saved and could be used in a future surgery.

“We were shipping corneas for transplant, when the flight was diverted to Raleigh. The pilot, Jason Secondi, took it upon himself to call the consignee in Providence from his personal cell phone and let them know the corneas were delayed. That information was passed to us at our call center, and we were able to speak directly to Jason several times.  He was extremely helpful, and although the intended surgery was missed, we were able to recover the shipment from a ground agent in Raleigh and return the corneas to the lab in Birmingham and salvage the precious tissue. Without Jason’s actions, this tissue would have been lost.

We always appreciate our partnership with American Airlines Cargo, but at times like this, we must recognize Jason’s actions, going above and beyond, to assist us with this precious shipment.

As always, we thank you and your team for all your support, and a very special thank you to Jason for going the extra mile and assuring the tissue wasn’t lost and guaranteeing the gift of sight for someone who needs it.”

Crew Provides Five Star Service During Delay

When a flight is delayed, two things are key – communicating with your passengers, and keep them comfortable.  During a recent delay, Captain Jason Newell, First Officer Cecilia Ernst and Flight Attendant Ayana Spann did just that, providing constant updates from the cockpit and textbook-perfect service in the cabin.  Here’s what one of our passengers had to say about her experience:

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Five-star Fight Attendant Ayana Spann, showing off her joy-spreading smile!

I just wanted to give a shout out to Trans States Airlines Flight Attendant Ayana Spann. Captain Jason Newell and First Officer Cecilia Ernst.  They were amazing!   

When we got on the plane, Captain Newell announced that we were going to be delayed due to a paperwork issue, but both he and First Officer Cecilia Ernst  did a wonderful job keeping everyone updated.  Ayana had the biggest smile, a very positive attitude, and did whatever she needed to do to keep the passengers happy. 

When Captain Newell came back over the PA, he announced that the pilots had received the paperwork, but we were 1,200 lbs over in fuel and that flight would be further delayed while the issue was resolved. Right away, here comes Ayana with water service and a smile, making sure that everyone was comfortable throughout the delay.  She was a rock star!  Ayana did a wonderful job and is truly an asset to Trans States Airlines.  The pilots also deserve kudos for their part in keeping everyone updated, staying positive, keeping us safe, and getting us home. 

The crew was excellent, and they all represented the airline in a very professional manner.  Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Jessica H.

Our crews are true professionals who are committed to providing outstanding customer service – even when things aren’t going as smoothly as we would like!

 

 

Flight Attendant Shows that a Little Bit of Kindness Goes a Long Way

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Sometimes it’s the smallest things that have the biggest impact.  A simple gesture of kindness from a stranger can make a huge impression.  We received the below note from a passenger, who was blown away by the thoughtful actions of Trans States flight attendant Dwyght Lewis on a recent flight.

Dwyght Lewis, the flight attendant on our trip, gave me a HUGE smile when I entered the plane.  He immediately took my bag out of my hand and said that as soon as everyone sat down, he would bring the bag over and put it up for me, which he did. Before taking off, he then came by and told me that there were two open seats next to each other in the back of the plane, and that it might make my trip more comfortable to switch.  I took his kind offer and thankfully, we were very comfortable.  My son fell fast asleep as soon as we sat down.

Throughout the flight, despite having his regular duties, Dwyght came and checked in on me countless times to see if I was okay, comfortable and if I needed anything.  There was even a very rough patch of turbulence and he came by to check on us as soon as it stopped.  He reassure me that the flight was almost over and all was okay.  Prior to the flight ending, he told me that when we landed, to wait for everyone to get off, and he would come to the back and help me retrieve my bag and bring it to the front of the plane. Not only did he keep his word, but he took my bag, waited for my stroller and suitcase to come up from under the plane, and literally took it up for me.  He opened the stroller for me and told me that if I needed help even further, he’d be glad to help.  I told him I’d try to manage and thanked him.  My son was still asleep, and I was carefully trying to put him in the stroller, so it took a bit longer.

I then had to navigate down the terminal to catch an Uber. Right as I started walking away, he came up behind me and said,  “I have a son and I know how hard it is, let me help you.”  He proceeded to take my suitcase and bag along with his and brought me literally all the way outside to the curb where my Uber was waiting.  He then asked if I needed any other assistance.  Although he was heading out the same direction, he did not have to go out of his way to lend a hand.  He went above and beyond  in my opinion. He was friendly, courteous, thoughtful, and really phenomenal.

Tali V. 

We agree – Dwyght most certainly went above and beyond!  He’s been entered in our Above & Beyond contest, a quarterly contest that recognizes exemplary employees who go beyond the call of duty.  Thanks, Dwyght, for reminding us that it’s the little things that matter the most.

Trans States Airlines Formally Signs off on New Flight Attendant Contract

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COO Fred Oxley finalizing the Flight Attendant contract with representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

It’s official!  Yesterday COO Fred Oxley and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters signed off on a new contract for our flight attendants.  The new contract, which was ratified in April by 69% of voting flight attendants, provides a number of enhancements, including improvements to pay and sick leave.  This contract also begins a commuter policy, which makes it easier for flight attendants who live outside of their domicile to commute to work.

An additional improvement gives flight attendants the ability to pick up extra hours at any of our crew bases.  Until now, when flight attendants wanted to pick up extra flying, they were limited to trips based out of their domicile.  However, now a St. Louis-based flight attendant can now pick up trip out of Denver or any of our other crew bases.  “The ability to pick up open time at any domicile was a big request from our flight attendants during the contract negotiation process,” said Shonn Clark, Director of Inflight at Trans States. “There were a lot of happy flight attendants when the new policy was announced.”

COO Fred Oxley says that the new contract is representative of the company’s deep-rooted commitment to  employee satisfaction, remarking,  “We work hard to make Trans States the kind of place where people want to build long-term careers.  It’s our hope that this contract will encourage our flight attendants to do just that.”

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a flight attendant, now is a great time to join our company.  We are currently hiring for open positions in St. Louis, Chicago, Washington D.C., Denver and Raleigh-Durham.  To learn more the benefits of becoming a Trans States flight attendants, or to apply online, please click here.

Ron Davis Brings a Wealth of Experience to New Role

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Congratulations to Ronald Davis, who has been named the new Manager of Inflight Standards and Compliance.  The Inflight department, which includes all of our Flight Attendants, is hugely focused on the role that our Flight Attendants play in the safety of our passengers, as well as on the customer experience.

Ron will be responsible for the standardization of Inflight policy across operational departments, as well as for the management of Inflight’s Safety Management System, or SMS.  SMS is a widely-used program in aviation that promotes a top down and bottom up approach to safety awareness.  SMS advocates that safety isn’t just the responsibility of management or front line employees, but that every single team member, from pilots and flight attendants to mechanics and office support staff, can play an important role in the safety of an airline.  Safety is always our number one priority, and we take our SMS program very seriously.

With nearly three decades of aviation experience, including an extensive Inflight background, Ron brings a wealth of experience to his new role.  He began his aviation career in 1988 as a Saint Louis-based Flight Attendant with Trans World Airlines (TWA). He held numerous positions within TWA’s Inflight department, and also worked at TWA’s corporate headquarters in its International Pricing/Tariffs, Advertising and Marketing division.  Ron joined our team as a Flight Attendant in 2002 and went on hold various positions in our Inflight Training department.

At Trans States, we believe in promoting from within whenever possible, which means that our employees have significant upward mobility opportunities over the ​course of their careers.  We love seeing talented employees build careers and progress professionally!

Operations Response Team Helps On-Time Performance

In this industry, every minute counts.  On each and every flight we operate, our passengers are counting on us to get them to their final destinations safely and on-time. That’s why several talented Flight Attendants are currently on special assignment to help minimize and prevent operational delays.  The Operations Response Team monitors the causes of delays at our hub airports so that we can better understand why the delays occurred and, and most importantly, what we can do to avoid them in the future.

The team is also on hand to jump in and help our crews in any way that they can, especially during quick turns.  A “quick turn” is when flight crews have only a short amount of time to deplane passengers, clean the cabin, re-stock commissary items, and board passengers for the next flight.  During quick turns, team members can be seen doing everything from helping load gate checked bags and cleaning out seat back pockets, to stocking commissary items and printing releases for our flight crews.

The assistance provided by this team can make the difference between an on-time departure and a flight leaving the gate late.  During a recent turn in St. Louis, the inbound aircraft  arrived late, and in order for the next flight to depart on time, the flight crews had just 20 minutes to deplane the passengers, clean the main cabin, change crews and board passengers for the next flight.  That would have been a tough goal to meet under normal circumstances, but a little extra help can make a big difference.  With the combined efforts of the flight crews and the Operations Response Team, the turn took just 18 minutes!

At Trans States Airlines, we look at each day as a new opportunity to be even better than we were the day before, and the feedback and assistance provided by the Operations Response Team is helping us do just that.  These team members are just a few of the hundreds of Trans States Airlines employees around the country working behind the scenes to ensure that our aircraft operate safely and on-time.

Chicago Crew Base Welcomes New Inflight Supervisor

 

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Chicago Inflight Supervisor, Hernane Diniz

Trans States employees are a talented and accomplished bunch, and Hernane Diniz, the new Inflight Supervisor at our Chicago crew base, is no exception.  An industry veteran with a diverse array of aviation experience, Hernane moved from Brazil to the United States when he was 18 to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot.  He earned his Private Pilot License from American Flyers Flight School, and went on to study Aviation Management and Safety at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  After finishing school, he became an International Customer Service Agent for United Airlines in Chicago, gaining valuable experience in airline operations.

In 2014, Hernane decided to further diversify his aviation resume by becoming a Flight Attendant.  He interviewed with several airlines, but chose to join Trans States, a decision that he is quite proud of.  Hernane has fond memories of the time he spent as a Chicago-based Flight Attendant, and says that it was a year full of fun days on airport reserve, trips to new places and great laughs with his crews.

After a year as a Flight Attendant, Hernane was selected as the Inflight Supervisor for the Chciago crew base.  In his new role, Hernane supervises the Flight Attendants based out of the Chicago base and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Chicago Inflight department, as well as for monitoring Inflight operational performance.  Of his new position, Hernane says, “I feel humbled and thankful for the opportunity Trans States Airlines has given me. I am looking forward to providing guidance and support to my co-workers, and as a team, delivering excellent service to our customers, while keeping safety as our number one priority.”

At Trans States, we want to give our employees as many opportunities as possible to grow their careers, and we promote from within whenever we can.  Hernane’s promotion from Flight Attendant to Supervisor is a perfect example of our commitment to our employees’ professional advancement.  We want to make sure that Trans States a great place for them to build careers and call home!

Flight Attendant Ischell Laxton Continues to Wow

Our Inflight team is very focused on the customer experience and works hard to provide a “Wow” experience for our customers on each and every flight. Last month we told you about Flight Attendant Ischell Laxton, who despite being a relatively new flight attendant, has been generating a seemingly endless number of rave reviews from our passengers.  The accolades for Ischell continue to pour in, and we wanted to share one of our recent favorites:

I am a United employee with 40 years of seniority and I had to take the time to compliment Ischell Laxton, the Flight Attendant that was on my flight 3362-27 HSV-DEN.  In all my years of flying I have never experienced a more pleasant, accommodating, helpful and generous crew member.

From the time we took off to the time we landed, she was all about the customer.  This 50 seat airplane on a 2 1/2 hour flight had no WiFi, no video, no meals, and was pretty full (39 out of 50), but the time went by quickly because of her.  Her announcements, safety demo, exit briefing, beverage service, follow up, cabin readiness, as well as anything else she could do, was delivered professionally and with a caring smile.  She obviously was by herself on this aircraft, but worked hard, and it was noticed by myself and others.  Believe it or not, a local Denver talk show host was on the flight and I heard him mention the flight on his radio show Saturday morning (his name is Ken Moon, on Denver station KHOW AM630).  This is an example of how good Customer Service (as well as bad) has a ripple effect.

Sincerely, James M

Ischell is a great example of how hard our Inflight team works to deliver a “Wow” experience for our passengers!

Superstar flight attendant featured in another company’s employee newsletter

Super star flight attendant Aryen Barr, shown here on his one year anniversary with Trans States!
Superstar flight attendant Aryen Barr, shown here on his one year anniversary with Trans States.

You know you’ve made an impression when you’re featured in another company’s employee newsletter. That’s exactly what happened to Trans States flight attendant Aryen Barr.  The editor of Phelebotomy Today flew with us recently and wrote about Aryen in a company newsletter article highlighting some of his best and worst customer service experiences. After telling readers about a bad experience he’d had with a contractor, the editor then had this to say about Aryen:

Contrast that with the world-class customer service I just received on my return trip from Montreal.  All passengers had boarded United flight 3345 from Washington Dulles to Louisville, Kentucky, myself included. I occupied seat 3A, which qualified as both a window and an aisle seat at the same time in the small, coach-only aircraft with no more than 20 other passengers.

After everyone had found his/her seat, the pilot announced that our departure would be delayed by about 15 minutes.  Moments after the announcement he began distributing cups of water to all the passengers. Personally, I was parched, and really appreciated the effort.  On his way back toward the front he saw my empty glass and offered a refill instead of simply collecting my empty cup.

Once airborne for the quick 1-hour flight, he began the scheduled beverage service. “Water, no ice,” I said. He continued down the cabin recording the other orders. Moments later, he’s distributing the orders. When he sets the paper napkin down on my tray table I noticed the following hand-written scrawled on it:  “Thank you for flying with us, Mr. Ernst. We hope to see you again, your business is greatly appreciated!”

I was shocked. Instead of staring mindlessly at the bulkhead as we taxied down the runway and climbed to our cruising altitude, this young man was personalizing napkins for all his passengers. Unbelievable.  He’s the kind of employee you build a company around. It’s people like this that tip the scales. If United staffed every flight with this caliber of customer service mastery, I’d fly no other.

The Inflight team’s efforts to provide Flyer Friendly service to every passenger on every flight are clearly paying off, and our passengers are noticing.  Way to go, Aryen!

Flight Attendant Yewande Martins Goes Above & Beyond

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Thanks to IAD Flight Attendant Yewande Martin for going above and beyond to give our passengers the best possible Inflight service!  We received the below note from Debbie Fowler, Technical Publications Manager at the hangar, regarding a recent experience she had with Yewande on a delayed flight.   

Recently I went on a trip to Dulles, Chicago and LaGuardia to check on the out-station manuals.  I had the pleasure of having a very pleasant flight attendant with the name of Yewande.  In watching her, you could tell she enjoyed her job and she knew it very well. Our flight had been delayed from STL-IAD several times, and she made everyone forget about that as she made each and every person feel great as they boarded.  As she gave the emergency instructions, she was very thorough, but had fun with the customers.  Then an overhead panel needed fixed so while the mechanic was working, she started singing and asked several passengers to sing with her, which some of them actually did.  It was a great distraction from a delay.  Yewande needs a giant pat on the back for a job well done.

Thanks for the training you are doing, as this young lady certainly is a great example of a great Trans States Airlines employee.

We love it when employees take the time to recognize each other for a job well done!  Yewande will be entered in the 2nd Quarter Above & Beyond contest and is in the running to win a $50 Visa gift card.  If Yewande wins, Debbie will win a $25 Visa gift card for nominating her!

There’s only one more week to submit your nominations for the second quarter Above & Beyond contest!  Nominations may be submitted via the link on the employee website or the link here on the blog.  Thanks to those of you who have already taken the time to tell us about the extraordinary things your co-workers do each and every day!

Cynthia Robertson Named New Inflight Manager

Cynthia Robertson

The Inflight department is pleased to announce the addition of Cynthia Robertson to the Inflight leadership team.  Cynthia will be the Inflight Manager for our IAD and ORD-based flight attendants.

Cynthia was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Kensington-Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Cynthia attended Montgomery College and then went on to the University of Maryland-College Park to study business and marketing.  After college, she was an Account Executive for a large California bank for 15 years, before retiring from banking to raise her three children.  She later went back to work part-time managing a fitness club.   A longtime love of aviation (her grandfather was in the Royal Air Force) led to her decision to pursue a new career as a flight attendant.  Cynthia joined the Trans States Inflight team as a flight attendant in May of 2010 and became a Check Airperson in July of 2012.  Regarding her new position, Cynthia says,

“I thoroughly enjoy my job, as well as training new flight attendants.  I look forward to my new position and I thank everyone here at TSA for making my career so rewarding.”

Make sure to stop by the crew room the next time you’re in IAD to meet Cynthia!

Trans States In-Flight Team Posts Outstanding December UA Performance Numbers

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Great job, Trans States In-flight team!  Our In-flight performance numbers for December continued to climb.  The things that our flight attendants do to go the extra mile, including addressing customers by name and thanking them for their business, make a big difference.  Keep up the good work!

Pink October In-Flight Neckwear Available for Purchase

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October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For the sixth year in a row, flight attendants will have the opportunity to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October by wearing specially designed “Pink October” neckwear.  This company approved neckwear may be purchased during the month of October from Uniform Coordinator Debbie Puzniak.  Debbie can be reached at 314-222-4357 or by email at dpuzniak@transstates.net.  Debbie’s office hours are 0730 – 1400, Monday – Friday.

 

Flight Crew Makes First Flight Special

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A big shout out to Captain Scott McAleer, First Officer Stephen Schneider and Flight Attendant Justin James for giving one of our smallest passengers a great first flight!  Elle’s mom took the time to send us this note:

I was writing this email to tell about the AWESOME flight myself and my family had on our flight from St. Louis to Cleveland on 9/12/14. The flight was the first time we were flying with my 13 month old daughter and it was a late evening business flight that was over booked. When we boarded the plane I was greeted by JJ, whom made me laugh right away by asking me where the baby was. I was confused for a moment as my husband had the baby and was not yet in view and I didn’t have any of the noticeable “baby” items on me at that time. I then realized that JJ was paying attention to people boarding the flight from the moment they were visible on the Jet way. As we were seated JJ was very attentive to our needs. He was able to make our flight home one of the BEST flights I have ever taken.

Child & Justin James

In addition to the service we and all of the other passengers received during the flight JJ and pilots took some time after the flight for some photos. Attached is a photo of JJ and my daughter Elle, I have also attached a photo of Elle in the pilot’s cap as they both came out to speak with us after the flight and pose for photos. This was service that you do not experience on flights any longer. I will make sure I fly with your airlines every chance I can just for the hopes to have JJ and the flight crew again.

Thank you for wonderful experience, great photos and memories!

 

 

Flight Attendants Earn 10-Year Service Pins

Director of In-Flight Services Shonn Clark recently presented five flight attendants with their 10 year service pins and recognition certificates.

Congratulations, and thanks for all of your hard work!

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Flight Attendants, forward to aft:  Joan Findley, STL, 10 years; Jacqueline Langton, STL, 5 years; Jill Rowley, IAD, 10 years; Danyelle Johnson, STL, 5 years; Cydney Smith, STL, 10 years

Flight Attendant Justin James Continues to Wow….

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A big thanks to Flight Attendant Justin James for continuing to wow our passengers with his exceptional customer service.  Here’s what one of our passengers had to say after a recent flight with Justin:

Gentlemen,

As  a 1K and recent Million Miler, I obviously travel a lot, and have been loyal to United, its partners and regional carriers for more than 30 years. As changes have occurred in the industry, air travel has become more and more difficult for everyone, including flight crews. As airlines have merged, routes have been reduced, planes have gotten smaller, space has become tighter, and flights have become fuller, I have seen the frustration that it causes among the passengers and flight attendants alike. In the end though, the airline industry is a service industry, and therefore relies on its customers to be successful.

I can’t help but notice how over the past few years, flight attendants have become less patient with flyers – a lot of which is understandable due to annoying and unruly passengers – and even unprofessional,  which is my opinion is inexcusable. I can’t tell you how many times I encounter flight attendants that complain about work hours, pay, gate agents, and other issues while standing at the front of a plane and don’t even acknowledge the passengers as they board. It has come to the point where I almost expect this behavior, which is disappointing. This past week I was on a flight where the flight attendant started her beverage service and actually walked down the aisle with the beverage cart not addressing or even looking at any of the passengers unless they stopped her or otherwise indicated that they wanted something to drink. Apparently she was more interested in getting back to her book or whatever it was she was doing to pass the time.

I don’t mention any of this because I want to lodge a complaint. In fact it’s the exact opposite.

Last night I flew from Chicago to Allentown and encountered one of the friendliest, most courteous and professional flight attendants I have ever seen. His name is Justin James. Justin did exactly what I would have expected him to do while the plane was boarding: smile, greet passengers and help expedite the process. It’s what he did afterward  that caught me by surprise. As he was serving beverages, I noticed that as he came down the aisle, he was addressing people by name. I’m used to that in the first class cabin of a large jet, but in all my years of flying, this is the FIRST TIME it has ever happened to me in coach class of a regional jet! I was so caught by surprise that I felt like I had to say something and we struck up a brief but very nice conversation. Justin couldn’t have been more respectful to me or to any of the other passengers. Then he did something else that I believe has only happened to me one other time in my life: he shook my hand and thanked me for my loyalty.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to talk to Justin after that, partly because he was busy engaging other passengers. I wanted to know if he was doing this because he loves his job or because he feels like he is supposed to act this way. I sincerely hope it’s the former, but to be honest it really doesn’t matter, because either way he made it obvious that he truly respects the customers that fly on his planes.

I don’t know what policy or process you have in place to recognize extraordinary employee performance, but I hope that Justin can somehow get rewarded – or at least officially recognized – for his exemplary service last night. I will be taking the same route many times between now and the end of the year, and I can only hope to see Justin’s smiling face when I step on board. He truly made the flight a pleasant experience!

This, along with the other passenger compliments that Justin has received, will be entered in the third quarter Above & Beyond contest.  A $50 Visa gift card will be awarded to the winner from each category.  The deadline for third quarter submissions is September 30!

New In-flight Manager is a Familiar Face

New In-flight Manager, Karen Hayes

Karen Hayes is a familiar face in the In-flight Department at Trans States.  Karen has been part of the Trans States family for four years, joining the company as a flight attendant in 2010.  She has also been a Check Air person as an extension of the In-flight Training Department for the past two years.  In her new role as In-flight Manager, Karen will have shared responsibility for our flight attendants in IAD and ORD.

What do you enjoy about being In-flight Manager?

I enjoy helping and mentoring the flight attendants and learning about the day-to-day operations of Trans States Airlines.  I also like being a positive influence to the crews and offering assistance and guidance to our flight attendants.

What do you hope to see as you progress in your role?

I would like to see more uniformity between all three of our bases.  Our flight attendants are the front-line of our company, and their duties should be consistent and seamless from one flight to the next.  In addition, I would like to see our flight attendants giving 100% to make sure that our customers are receiving first class service on each flight.

Karen attended Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina.  Prior to her airline career, Karen worked in both Human Resources and Sales, and spent nine years volunteering with the Big Brothers & Big Sisters program.

Karen roller skated professionally as a teenager, and still enjoys skating as an adult.  She also enjoys reading, learning about different cultures, and history.

Best of luck in your new position, Karen!