Base Feature: Compass’ Crew Guide to LAX

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, La-La Land, LA… whatever you call it, Compass Airlines is happy to call LAX one of our West Coast bases. As one of the top three busiest airports in the country, LAX provides our crews with a diverse on-the-line experience and helps prepare them for their move to the majors.

LAX airport sign
Airport code sign in front of Los Angeles International Airport.

However, here at Compass we understand the need for a healthy work-life balance and the City of Los Angeles does not disappoint. Whether it be breathtaking skylines, unique food, outdoor activities or a variety of entertainment options—read further to learn more about the city, fun things to explore, and what LAX has to offer our crews!

With more than 40-years of residency in Los Angeles, Captain Andrew O’Donnell shares a wealth of knowledge about the uniqueness of the city and what it has to offer. Captain O’Donnell says it’s impossible for crews to experience boredom in Los Angeles, because there’s so much to do.

“The best thing about Los Angeles is that you don’t have to be someone you’re not. If you have a hobby that you really like to do there’s a huge chance that you can go places specifically for your hobby,” Captain O’Donnell said. “You can be an outdoor enthusiast, a movie lover, shopping addict, a surfer, or even a sailboat skipper.”

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Captain O’Donnell happily poses with all of the things he relates to LA.

People don’t always realize that when you’re based in LAX, there’s not only exposure to the bustling downtown of Los Angeles, but also the individuality of the surrounding neighborhoods and cities.

Hollywood is the obvious go-to for all things entertainment-related ,whether it be the star-filled walk of fame or several historic theaters and music venues. West Hollywood (affectionately referred to as WeHo) offers an exciting nightlife where rainbow flags can be seen lining the streets. No surprise, WeHo hosts the LA Pride Parade every year!

Hollywood sign.

Marina and Playa del Ray are popular for boating and water sports, calming even the most stressed with the serenity of the water. Long Beach is a sea port city South of Los Angeles, offering crews a more relaxed alternative if LA isn’t their specific cup of tea.

Malibu is West of Los Angeles. Besides being known for numerous celebrity homes, it tends to be the go-to spot for surfing. Being based at LAX means having numerous unique communities all within a 35-mile radius!

Being such a diverse city, it doesn’t come as a shock that Los Angeles offers top-notch dining options as well as several local watering holes. Whether a foodie, craft beer connoisseur or wine enthusiast, LA has something to offer our crews.

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LA is filled with beautiful beaches.

Captain and Assistant Chief Pilot, Luis Perea-Rodriguez likes to enjoy the diverse eateries available to him in the area listing “The Attic, El Portón, Long Beach Thai and Hak Heang” as his favorites along with his go to brewery being the very popular Ballast Point.

With more than 20 breweries and more than eight thousand restaurants within the City of Los Angeles there’s something for everyone! If all else fails, grab some fries animal style at the LAX In-and-Out and watch the planes come in to land on runway 24R.

First Officer Matthew Ayer tries to combine his passion for veganism with staying active outdoors, which he says [Los Angeles] is a major perk for people with his similar interests.

First Officer Matthew Ayer, pictured right with his colleague, First Officer Riggs Oliva.

“I love being active and doing things that keep my adrenaline pumping. Since I’m vegan, I not only see the importance of cleaning eating, but exercising as well,” Matthew said. “If you’re like me and you’re very health conscious, LA is definitely the place to help support your lifestyle.”

Preferring land or sea won’t make a difference, there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from! There’s no shortage of hiking trails within the San Gabriel mountain range just north of LA. Lime bikes and scooters make it cheap and easy to explore the area without the hassle of driving or finding an elusive parking spot. If a combination of both ocean and land is the preference, take a stroll along numerous piers and boardwalks to soak up the views and shop with local vendors.

Flight Attendant, Indaca Brown moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles and shares how she managed to adapt well to her work hub.

“When I first moved to LA I noticed it was a huge difference from my hometown. The weather is much warmer and there’s more things to do in your leisure time,” Indaca said. One of my favorite things to do when I’m not flying is going to the beach. I find it to be very therapeutic. I love listening to the sound of the ocean and watching the sun set in the night hour.”

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Indaca Brown poses in front of our mainline partner, American Airlines’ aircraft.

If  you’re similar to Indaca and enjoy taking advantage of LA’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, you can relax on the many public beaches or get a bit more adventurous with surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing opportunities all around!

Not considered the outdoorsy type? Don’t fret! Los Angeles wouldn’t be the international hub that it is without being well-rounded. There’s world famous shopping to partake in on Rodeo Drive. Family fun can be had at the renowned Universal Studios, Disneyland, LA Zoo or the Griffith Observatory. Wanting to experience the finer things in life? See live music performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall or catch a movie premier at TCL Chinese Theatre. Classic or modern art enthusiast? Los Angeles is home to more than 20 museums, each one offering a unique art experience.


Walt Disney Concert Hall.

If you’re interested in Compass Airlines but not sure about making the move to Los Angeles, you’re not alone. Being new to a job and a city can be challenging for some to adjust to. Captain Amy Doolittle moved to Los Angles from the East Coast when she started with Compass back in 2016.

“I was a little concerned I wouldn’t know anyone but I realized pretty quickly how tight-knit and welcoming the Compass family is.” Captain Doolittle said.

Utilizing the company travel benefits is a top priority for Captain Doolittle. “Los Angeles is a portal to the rest of the world. You can hop on a flight out of LAX and get anywhere!”

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Beautiful weather in L.A.

Whether you’re a Los Angeles native or new to the city, there’s plenty to keep crews occupied in their free time, there’s something for everyone to make the city feel like home! Our recruiters and LAX crew are happy to answer any questions you have about the city. Visit our careers page to learn more about open positions in LAX!

A Day In The Life Of A Compass Flight Attendant

Becoming a flight attendant has its share of unique perks as well as tremendous responsibilities. From traveling to some of the most beautiful cities to tending to passenger medical emergencies inflight—the role of a Flight Attendant is complex and varied.  Read more to learn what keeps Compass Flight Attendant, Tomoko Klemp, energized, excited and eager to serve.

Compass LAX-based Flight Attendant, Tomoko Klemp.

Tomoko begins her workday arriving to her base, LAX airport, an hour before her departure flight. When she arrives, she waits for her crew, assists passengers in the gate area, and completes her checklist of tasks before boarding time. Understanding that preparation is a key factor in her daily routine, Tomoko seeks to obtain as much information about her passengers prior to departure.

“If I see a mother traveling with small children, I make a mental note to help her carry her luggage and ensure that her car seat or stroller are tagged.  I also make time to escort them to their seat,” Tomoko said. “My goal is always to keep the passengers’ needs first and to ensure that they have a pleasant traveling experience. I want them to feel welcomed and remain a loyal customer.”

Once Tomoko steps foot onto Compass’ Embraer-175 aircraft she begins conducting her pre-flight tasks, receives a briefing from the Captain, and coordinates passengers’ information with the gate agent. Tomoko also takes time to ensure that the aircraft is presentable, prepares pre-departure beverages, and double-checks her appearance to make sure that she always looks professional.

Tomoko during one of her flights.

“Since there are numerous tasks that go into boarding my flight, I take pride in planning and preparing because I like to always be one step ahead,” Tomoko said. “My time is usually limited to five-to-ten minutes and I always want to have order within each task I complete.”

To become a Flight Attendant with Compass, qualified applicants are invited to an invitation-only informational session where they are provided with a comprehensive overview of Flight Attendant requirements and expectations. To be considered for an invitation, aspirants are asked to complete an online application beforehand. After the informational session, successful candidates will be made offers and invited to training.

“My training was a total of four weeks where I had the opportunity to dive into the particulars of what it takes become a professional and successful flight attendant,” Tomoko said. “The training was fun and intense, but I completed it with great success because of the great flight instructors and supportive classmates that I had.”

Times flies when you’re living out your passion and enjoy your work. For almost four and a half years Tomoko has remained a dedicated and loyal employee of Compass’ Flight Attendant team.

Tomoko and other crew members take a photo at LAX.

“I love flying on the Embraer-175 because it provides me with the opportunity to personally serve 76 passengers and form a sense of rapport with them,” Tomoko said. “Compass also supplies me with opportunities to grow throughout numerous areas of the company. Working as a SAFA, IOE Instructor and Linecheck Flight Attendant expands my coaching skills and leadership skills.”

Traveling across the globe with flight benefits is one of the biggest advantages that Tomoko appreciates within the Flight Attendant lifestyle. Tomoko’s favorite place to travel is Tokyo, which is the hometown of her parents.

“I love to visit Tokyo because it is where I was raised, and my parents still live there. It’s always a great time to see my parents and make new memories with them,” Tomoko said. “Maldives and South Asia are additional destinations that I like to visit because the scenery is beautiful, and the culture is extremely intriguing.”

Tomoko and other crew members pose for a candid photo.

After more than ten years of working experience as a Flight Attendant, Tomoko encourages new flight attendants to be open to diverse people and experiences and to practice juggling a variety of tasks.

“Compass is a regional airline that is full of diversity, which is great! The ability to work well with others who are different from you plays a significant role in your daily interactions with passengers,” Tomoko said. “When you become a flight attendant your job title isn’t just limited to one role. You may have to work as a server, provide first-aid assistance or even be a listening ear for a passenger. Working as Flight Attendant is bigger than unloading luggage and escorting passengers to their seats, it’s about leaving an impression and making an impact on people’s lives that they’ll always remember.

For more information regarding our flight attendant careers, visit

Flight Attendant Marlon Singleton Shares His Dream to Fly

Marlon Singleton
LAX-based Flight Attendant, Marlon Singleton.

From New Orleans to now calling Los Angeles—The City of Dreams home, Compass Airlines Flight Attendant Marlon Singleton shares the moment he knew that a career in the sky was perfect for him.

What inspired you to become a flight attendant with Compass Airlines?

I quickly discovered in college that Kinesiology, the major that I had chosen, was not quite my passion. I loved music, helping people, and lived my life as a socialite. When I came across the opportunity to fly for Compass, I knew that I loved to travel and would enjoy meeting new people each day.  However, it wasn’t until my five-week training in Minneapolis that I saw flight attendants in a new light. The job isn’t what you see. The role is chameleon-like and I gained a new respect for the varied work that flight attendants do each day. This is why I completed the program and I’m still a flight attendant today!

“My high school counselor told me to find a career that I loved so that it wouldn’t feel like work.”

What do you love best about Compass?

Mainline carriers have approached me, but I love the small family atmosphere and camaraderie at Compass. You are not a number. I like and appreciate that!  With our phones, we have the world at our fingertips, and as a flight attendant for Compass Airlines, I can literally travel the world and truly have it at my fingertips.  Being a flight attendant is a lifestyle. I love the lifestyle.

 “Whatever you do, do it well! At Compass, we are a team and each person needs the next one to perform well as a unit.

What would you tell children who dream a career in aviation?

Aviation is a great industry with lots of longevity! Whether you want to be a graphic designer or pilot there is a place for you. For me, coming to work at Compass each day feels like I’m going to hang out with some friends. I have the opportunity to have the entire globe at my fingertips. The opportunities are endless, and I’m glad to be a part of this amazing team and network of thinkers.

Flight Attendant Jill Aguirre Goes the Extra Mile to Reunite Passenger with Lost Cell Phone

Jill-AguirreIn 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.”

Hero Flight Attendant Puts Training in Action to Save a Life

Hero Flight Attendant Keairra Moore

Compass flight attendant Keairra Moore was in the baggage claim area at LAX recently when she heard someone screaming for help.  A man in his early 60s was laying on the ground, his face and fingertips blue.  He had stopped breathing.  In the moments that followed, Keairra’s flight attendant training saved the man’s life.

Compass flight attendants must be prepared to deal with any type of emergency that they may encounter during a flight.  Before a Compass Flight Attendant is released from training, they must first undergo weeks of preparation that includes emergency equipment operation, self-defense, and life-saving techniques, including CPR.

While other passengers in the vicinity pulled out their cell phones to call 911, Keairra says that her instincts and training took over.  She asked another employee to find a defibrillator to re-start the man’s heart, while she started CPR chest compressions and rescue breaths.  She did CPR for around five minutes, until the other employee arrived with a defibrillator.

After the defibrillator was connected, the passenger regained consciousness.  Keairra kept him calm until the paramedics arrived, and even had the presence of mind to check and see if the passenger had any medications so she could have them ready for the paramedics.

“Keairra did a great job of calmly taking command of a stressful situation,” said Compass Inflight Supervisor Nicole Miller.  “The entire Compass family is so proud of her actions, which undoubtedly saved this man’s life.”

Compass Flight Attendants Prepare for Medical Emergencies at 40,000 Feet

Compass Inflight Instructor Shelle Gustafson had the opportunity to listen in on MedAire calls from around the world at MedAire’s global response service center in Phoenix.

To the average passenger, it may seem like a flight attendant’s main responsibilities are serving drinks and demonstrating how to use the seatbelt properly.  However, there’s a lot more to it than that – flight attendants must also be prepared to deal with any emergency they may encounter during a flight.  Before a Compass flight attendant is released from training, they must first undergo weeks of preparation that includes emergency equipment operation, self-defense, and life-saving techniques, including CPR.

One of the most stressful situations that a flight attendant can face in the air is a passenger experiencing a medical emergency.  Flight attendants must stay calm and administer emergency medical treatment until the passenger stabilizes or until the flight is able to land.  If a passenger takes ill in the air, flight crews contact MedAire, an emergency response service that provides medical guidance remotely.  MedAire gauges the severity of the situation and advises the crew how to react – some passengers may only need fluids or oxygen administered, while more serious emergencies may justify diverting the flight.  Should a diversion be warranted, MedAire works with Compass pilots to determine where the flight should divert to, based on the passenger’s medical needs and the aircraft’s location at the time.

Compass Inflight Instructors like Elizabeth Blair are responsible for preparing student flight attendants for medical emergencies that they may face on the job.  Recently, Elizabeth and other Inflight Instructors traveled to Phoenix, where they spent two days receiving advanced training, as well as studying CPR and first aid, with MedAire emergency response experts.  While in Phoenix, the team also had the opportunity to observe MedAire’s global response service center, where communication specialists, emergency physicians, and nurses respond to inflight calls from around the world, ranging from minor to major medical emergencies.

The training highlighted just how important it is for Inflight Instructors to stay current on the most up-to-date emergency medical procedures – even an experienced Instructor like Elizabeth learned something new.  “I learned that there is a specific CPR position called airplane CPR,” she said, “which should be used when CPR is being given in the aisle of an airplane.”  Elizabeth found the training to be immensely valuable, and went on to remark

“As flight attendants, we must be empowered to make the best possible decisions when it comes to our passengers’ safety.  This training has enhanced our ability to do just that.  We are looking forward to incorporating what we learned into our flight attendant training program.”

If you love to travel, have exemplary customer service skills and stay cool under pressure, becoming a flight attendant could be a great fit for you.  Visit our website to learn more and apply online.

Compass Flight Attendants Spend Vacation Giving Back

Compass flight attendants Judy Champa and Sarah Perdue

This spring, two Compass flight attendants spent their vacation time doing something decidedly different than relaxing on a beach or catching up on sleep.  Judy Champa and Sarah Perdue used their vacation time to travel to Guatemala and help build a house for a family in need.

Judy and Sarah traveled to Guatemala as part of the God’s Child Project, a non-denominational initiative dedicated to fighting poverty around the globe.  God’s Child’s work in Guatemala includes the Dreamer Center in the city of Antigua, which provides health care, education, and crisis intervention services to the local population, as well as Casa Jackson, a hospital that cares for severely malnourished infants and children.   God’s Child also operates a homeless shelter, an orphanage, a drug treatment center, and numerous other educational programs for impoverished children across Guatemala.  Volunteers from all over the world travel to Guatemala to help God’s Child provide services ranging from feeding and rocking babies, to teaching orphans and building homes.

Judy and Sarah were part of a team of God’s Child volunteers tasked with building a home for a family, who was at the time, living in a hut made of sugarcane stalks with a dirt floor.  It took a lot of hard work, but the team was able to finish the family’s new home in just three days.

On day one, the volunteers dug a trench for the house’s foundation, which was made of three layers of brick and mortar.


On day two, wood was cut to frame the house, and volunteers mixed and poured concrete for the floor.  “All tools were powered by pure muscle,” Judy said.  “Mixing concrete by hand is an arduous job but well worth it – a concrete floor versus a dirt floor can cut disease by up to 70%,” she added.


On day three, the volunteers put the finishing touches on the house, including the signature blue paint that identifies houses built by the God’s Child organization.  A door and window were installed, as well as gutters to guide the rain away from the new home.

Construction 1

“Turning over the house was quite emotional for the family, as well as for volunteers,” Judy said.  “The family presented each volunteer with a handmade card expressing their gratitude for their hard work.”

In addition to building the home, the volunteers took advantage of their time in Guatemala to tour the local God’s Child facilities, including the Dreamer Center and Casa Jackson.  They also distributed clothing to about 200 families (clothing for donation is brought by the many volunteers in their checked bags), and served dinner to the homeless at the project’s Santa Madre Homeless Shelter.

Both Judy and Sarah plan to return to Guatemala next March, and encourage anyone interested in volunteering to join them.  International volunteer work is a great fit for airline employees, as most organizations require volunteers to pay for their own airfare.  Sarah and Judy used their flight benefits to fly to Guatemala, and each paid just over $50 each way.  Judy flew on American (RNO/LAX/MIA/GUA), while Sarah flew American on the way there (DFW/GUA), and Delta on the way back (GUA/ATL).

To learn more about how you can get involved with this worthy organization, please visit

Compass Flight Attendant Doubles as Mrs. Claus for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Los Angeles-based Flight Attendant Deborah Gorney has found a pretty remarkable way to give back to the community in her spare time.  For the past 7 years, she’s been part of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer Mounted Unit with her horse, Luke.  These trained volunteers act as “extra eyes” for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, providing mounted observation patrols everywhere from busy mall parking lots to high school sporting events.  The mounted volunteers also appear with the Sheriff’s department at community outreach events and school visits.

3Each December, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sponsors a number of Santa appearances in the communities it serves.  Several years ago, Deborah’s volunteer work took a festive turn when she was asked to assume the role of Mrs. Claus at these annual events.  In this guest post, Deborah relates what it’s like to spend her Decembers as Mrs. Claus, and why the experience has meant so much to her.

I have been working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for many years now.  I started in the mounted unit doing trail patrols, as well as appearing at law enforcement events in the school and community with my Sheriff horse, Luke.

One day, my Sergeant approached me and asked if I would become the department’s Mrs. Santa Claus.  He and his wife had been playing Santa and Mrs. Claus, but they they were retiring, and the department needed a new team.  Of course I agreed!  My Lieutenant and long time friend, Karl Claas, agreed to be Santa so that we could be a team. It was going to be so wonderful making thousands of children happy during the Christmas season!


During these events, Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a sleigh pulled by a Sheriff department truck.  We are escorted by many Deputy Sheriffs in their patrol cars.  They let the kids know we’re on our way by flashing their horns, making announcements over the PA system, and sounding their horns and sirens.

We do this for three weeks in December, almost every night.  We have anywhere from 12-18 stops per night, and we cover the areas Palos Verdes, Lomita, and San Pedro.  Each night, about 400 to 500 children visit us. They sit on our laps and tell us what they would like for Christmas.  The little ones usually prefer to sit on Mrs. Claus’ lap because Santa can be a little intimidating when you’re little.  Besides, everyone knows that Mrs. Claus loves babies!


Santa and I love making the children happy.  Their eyes sparkle when they see us and, it’s priceless! However, Santa and I have also heard many sad things from young children.  Some children have asked Santa and I to bring them shoes, because they didn’t have any.  Others only wanted a little Christmas tree because their families couldn’t afford one. Some just want their parents to stop fighting.  Others just wanted us to talk to their mom in heaven for them.

One day, Santa and I decided to do something to help these children.  We started keeping track of children in need and asked Deputies to get their addresses. With the Sheriffs station’s help, we would get them the things they needed so desperately.

It didn’t stop there!  We started getting requests to visit families who had children with disabilities that wouldn’t allow them to come see us on the sleigh.  Of course, we went to their homes and brought them gifts!  We also started getting requests to make appearances at different events and at schools for special needs children and adults alike.

Sometimes our days go from early in the morning to late at night.  But it’s for such a wonderful cause! During a recent event, we visited a military base and brought toys to the children of active duty military personnel.  We love making children of all ages happy.  It is the most rewarding experience ever.  We would not trade it for anything.

When I was younger, Christmas was always my favorite time of the year.  Now I understand that together, we can make a difference in children’s lives over the holidays.

With Love from Santa and Mrs. Claus

From Mrs. Claus and the entire Compass team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!