In this day and age of near constant connectedness, many of us use our cell phones to manage nearly every aspect of our lives. With everything from our email and calendar, to our favorite family photos living on one device, it’s no wonder that losing one’s cell phone generally leads to panic.
When flight attendant Jill Aguirre found a smartphone that a passenger had left behind on a Compass aircraft, her primary concern was getting the phone back to them as quickly as possible. As the passenger was without a cell phone and possibly even internet access, Jill thought that it might be difficult for them to immediately file a lost item claim with customer service. She decided to see if she could track the passenger down herself.
By calling the last number that the phone had dialed, she discovered that it belonged to a family that had just flown to Houston to start a vacation. As luck would have it, Jill was getting ready to work a flight to El Paso. In an amazing display of customer service, Jill took down the address of the hotel where the family was staying, and found a shipping store during her layover in El Paso. The phone was on its way back to the family that very same day. She even make sure to provide the family with the tracking information so that the family would know when to expect it.
Jill’s actions caught the attention of Compass Captain Paul Martin, who was with her when she found the phone. “Jill knew how important it is to have technology on vacation to capture memories and stay connected,” he remarked. “I was truly impressed by the time, effort, and personal money Jill spent to ensure that our customers were happy.”
Our Tech Ops team works tirelessly to ensure that our operation is safe, efficient, and on-time. An invaluable member of that team is Los Angeles (LAX) Maintenance Base Administrator, Tatyana Gogova. Recently Tatyana was the recipient of a Compass Airlines “Above and Beyond” award for going beyond what her job requires of her to provide outstanding service to her co-workers.
“Tatyana is pivotal to the functionality of the LAX Tech Ops team,” remarked Bo Curtis, the Director of Quality at Compass. “She works tirelessly to ensure that our mechanics are shielded from distractions so they can focus on providing the best possible product to our passengers.” In addition to ordering mechanic uniforms and handling payroll for the Compass LAX maintenance group, Tatyana also helps recruit new mechanics and assists with interviews. Additionally, Tatyana has voluntarily undertaken the monumental task of coordinating Los Angeles Airport SIDA badges for Compass employees that need them.
A Security Identification Display Area badge, or SIDA badge, gives employees access to the secure side of the airport, as well as the ramp area. SIDA badges are very tightly controlled, and each SIDA badge that is issued requires multiple appointments with LAX airport authorities, as well as extensive paperwork, training and a background check. If a Compass employee needs a LAX SIDA badge, Tatyana walks them through the process, start to finish.
“It’s complicated,” Tatyana admits. “I make an appointment for each applicant to go to LAX to and have their fingerprints taken, and then they must wait for clearance. Once an employee is approved, I train them on what their SIDA badge allows them to do. I then set up another appointment for them to actually receive their badge.” Tatyana does all this not only for Compass LAX maintenance employees, but for all Compass employees who need a LAX SIDA badge.
Given the extent of her efforts, it’s no surprise that Tatyana was nominated for an Above & Beyond award. When she found out that she had won in the Tech Ops category, she was surprised and excited, remarking,
“It was amazing, and I was super surprised! But it’s easy to work with people when you’re friends. Our work is very critical, but no matter how much we have to do, it always goes smoothly if we all get along and understand each other.”
Originally from Bulgaria, Tatyana speaks four languages, including English, Bulgarian, Russian, and Arabic. In her free time, Totyana loves to travel, which is what led her to pursue a career in aviation. An airline employee to her core, she loves to use to use her travel benefits, and in her free time, she’s usually on a plane. In fact, she loves being in the air so much that she recently started working on her private pilot’s license, and hopes to fly commercially in the future.
With her incredible work ethic and genuine love of flying, Tatyana represents the values that drive us as a company. We have no doubt that she’ll achieve anything that she puts her mind to!
We received the below note from one of our passengers, who was blown away the kindness she was shown by a Compass crew on a recent flight. The passenger had received the worst possible news – her mother had suffered a stroke, and had only hours to live. She desperately wanted to get from Los Angeles to the hospital in Houston in time to say good by. However, her flight to Houston was delayed because another passenger was experiencing a medical emergency. She told a flight attendant about her situation and hoped for the best. As she relays below, the personal response that she received from our flight crew during the delay was beyond anything that she had ever experienced.
On December 3 of 2016, I received a phone call letting me know that my mother had less that 24 hours to live. She had suffered a severe stroke and it was imperative that I go to Houston immediately. I made my way to LAX and boarded the first flight I could get. We had left the gate and were taxiing toward the runway when a passenger took ill. It was decided that they should be taken off the plane.
I wrote a note which I gave to the flight attendant explaining that I understood about the emergency, but if there was any way to expedite the process, I would appreciate it as every minute counted. What happened next was so kind, touching, and heartfelt, that it has brought endless tears to my eyes … and those same tears to the eyes of everyone with whom I’ve shared this story.
A pilot came and spoke with me directly, introducing himself as Captain Seth Dunmyer. He thanked me for my patience and told me that they were doing everything they could. Shortly after that, a flight attendant asked me to come with her. She wanted me closer to the exit door. She took down my bag and I followed her to my new seat in First Class. I was given a box of tissues and made to feel comfortable. Once safely in the air, I was given a handwritten note. I would like to share with you the contents of that note:
My name is Seth Dunmyer. I am your Captain on your flight this evening to Houston. First off, I want to thank you for your understanding and patience during the delay we experienced on the ground in Los Angeles. The passenger was in need of medical care according to an on board physician, and was unable to continue to Houston. Thank you again!
I also want to express my condolences to you and your family as you are all rushing to be by her side in the hospital. I promise you we are going to get you there as safely and quickly as possible.
I am not sure if you are a person who believes in God or not, but in these times … I wanted you to know that I have already said a prayer for your mother, and I do believe he will be looking over her. I believe I can speak for the entire crew in wishing the best for you, your mother, and your family as you all deal with this difficult situation.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Captain Seth Dunmyer
If we’re living in a world where acts of kindness will have increased value, Captain Dunmyer and his crew have taken that to heart. No amount of advertising, PR, well-placed articles, or high-end videos can begin to compare to the profound heart and soul of the words and actions of Captain Dunmyer and his American Eagle crew.
Congratulations to you, and all the men and women at American Airlines, for the magnificent company you’ve created.
By the way, Mom is still with us. We are calling her Miracle Mary. Thank you for your prayers, Captain Dunmyer.
When asked what compelled the crew to show such compassion to this passenger, Captain Dumnyer replied,
“Carol was a person in need of support in such a tragic moment. We wanted Carol to know that her entire family was in our thoughts and prayers, and that we were going to make sure we got her to Houston to see her mother.”
We couldn’t be prouder of the kindness and humanity shown by these Compass employees.