That airline employee life: five employee Instagram accounts to check out today
Whether you’re snorkeling at Hanauma Bay on Oahu, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge or flying by Mount Rainier on a sunny day, Instagram allows you to share photos and videos of all aspects of your life.
More than 18,000 employees and teammates are employed at Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America. They spend their work hours taking care of the 40 million passengers who fly each year, and their free time enjoying that airline employee life.
Check out six Alaska, Horizon and Virgin America Instagrammers who have found creative ways to showcase their adventures through photos on their Instagram accounts. And, don’t forget to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.
These are employees’ personal accounts linked with permission, not official company accounts. All views expressed are the employees’ own and not endorsed by Alaska (but we do love their photo skills!)
@theeverydayjumpseater: Celessa Dietzel
Alaska flight attendant, Seattle
When asked where her favorite place to travel is, flight attendant Celessa Dietzel can’t choose just one, she has a top five – New York City in the summer, Kyoto in the fall, Tel Aviv in the winter, Amsterdam in the spring and Maui anytime.
Dietzel, who’s been part of the Alaska family for almost five months, says that you should make every day and every layover an adventure.
Prior to working for Alaska, Dietzel worked as a flight attendant for Alaska’s CPA partner SkyWest Airlines for two years.
“I got to know got to know the Alaska brand by working the Alaska-SkyWest flights. I loved working side-by-side with Alaska and Horizon gate agents, baggage handlers and catering folks,” she said. “Although I will always value my regional roots, I decided that I wanted to officially be a part of the Alaska family. I’m so glad I made the jump over to AAG!”
A few years ago, Dietzel started a blog called The Everyday Jumpseater documenting her journey into the world of airline applications and interviews. After she got her first job offer at SkyWest, she continued blogging and dedicated an Instagram account to her blog.
“I post about the everyday life of a flight attendant: layovers, airplanes, days off at home, days on call, broken heels and big cups of coffee,” she said. “You know, the good, the bad and the highly caffeinated moments of working in the industry.”
Dietzel says she writes when she feels inspired and posts photos on Instagram when she sees something pretty, fun or interesting.
“I think that a lot of airline folks feel drawn to similar themes, things like #avgeek or #flightattendantproblems commonly trend on Instagram, and through the magic of hashtagging, we find each other,” Dietzel said.
@alaska737: Bill Jacobson
Horizon Air captain, Anchorage
Horizon Capt. Bill Jacobson is perhaps best known on Instagram for his airplane photos.
“I’ve always had a passion for aviation and always wanted to fly,” said Jacobson. “Growing up in rural Alaska meant lots of trips on Alaska Airlines, so I understood how important Alaska’s role was within the state and I wanted to be a part of it when I grew up. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get hired on with Horizon which allows me to be a part of Air Group and fly around my home state.”
Jacobson started Instagramming because he enjoys social media and photography.
“I liked how simple Instagram was. It was easy to find people with similar interests and there are some really amazing photographs out there,” Jacobson said. “I really enjoy following world travelers to get inspiration and tips for future trips and adventures.”
For the most part, Jacobson focuses his posts on work and travel.
“There are lots of airplanes on my page, but I still enjoy taking pictures of them and capturing all the places I get to go,” he said. “I think a lot of the people who follow me are either aspiring pilots or just people with an interest in aviation, so it’s nice to be able to share my job and my passion for flying with others who share an interest in it.”
Though he grew up in Alaska, Jacobson said he still loves exploring it.
“It’s just so massive that you can never see it all,” he said. “Other than Alaska, I think Iceland was the coolest place I have traveled to. I would love visit a few more times.”
Jacobson says he’s always looking for new places to explore and is always looking for suggestions.
“I’ve met a few employees who have recognized me from my Instagram or who I have recognized from theirs,” he said. “It’s always fun to run into someone who you follow. We are a small enough company that it happens regularly.”
@just_inflight: Justin Scott
Alaska flight attendant, Seattle
For Flight Attendant Justin Scott, Instagram is a way to share his love of aviation and tell short stories from his life through photos.
“When I first became a flight attendant, I started sharing on a regular basis to let my grandparents see the places I was going and the adventures I was having,” Scott said. “I still fly down to Boise as often as I can to sit at their kitchen counter and tell them stories from the plane and to answer their questions about life in the sky.”
Scott, who’s been an Alaska flight attendant since May of 2014 and worked as a Spokane-based Horizon flight attendant prior to that, says he was introduced to Instagram through a class he took in college about marketing in social media.
“I’ve always enjoyed snapping photos of places, people and planes, so Instagram quickly became a way for me to share that love,” he says.
Queen’s bath is totally worth the muddy hike! Can’t wait to come back!
Scott says his favorite place to travel on Alaska is to Lihue. His favorite destination that Alaska doesn’t fly is The Netherlands.
“Allow yourself to occasionally be awestruck by what you do,” he says. “The sheer number of talented and amazing people it takes to make these companies work as well as they do is simply astounding! #nothingisordinary #wearealaska.”
@cpchildress: Christian Childress
Virgin America inflight team leader, San Francisco
Running man challenge accepted! Keeping it 100% Virgin #tilthewheelsfalloff #crewlife #photoshoot
Christian Childress says he wanted to work for Virgin America because it was an airline with a mission that he was totally with.
“Air travel in the US was fine, but no one had really shaken things up in a while,” Childress said. “It was exciting to be part of that.”
Childress got his start on Instagram after seeing some close friends post photos to Facebook ‘via Instagram.’ After seeing the cool effects that enhanced the photos, he decided to get on the bandwagon.
“My first ever photo was a super artistic photo of my nametag from my Virgin America inflight interview after I found out I had received the position,” he said. “Now, I post a lot about aviation because I am a total airplane geek. I post my travels too because I want to be able to look back at places I have been, and also show friends and family the cool places I get to go.”
He said he also posts about things that are important to him, like milestones or events in his life or his family and close friends’ lives.
“I started searching by hashtags of topics that interested me. #crewlife, #avgeek, etc. It was fun to find photos I was really interested in, and it was cool to see the response from others with similar interests to me,” said Childress. “I’ve actually made a handful of real life close friends because of Instagram, inside and outside of the industry.”
When asked where his favorite place to travel is, Childress says Germany.
“I speak a little German and studied abroad there in high school, so when I go back it feels a bit like my second home, and it will always have a special place in my heart,” he said.
Two passions, one picture. Very thankful to work for a company that allows me to take some time for fishing every now and then!
@b737mech: Nate Coats
Alaska Airlines line aircraft technician, Anchorage
If you visit Nathan Coats’ Instagram account, you’ll see a lot of aviation posts, specifically the mechanical aspects of an aircraft.
Coats, who’s worked for Alaska for three and a half years, says he wanted to work for the airline because he always flew Alaska as a child.
“I grew up in aviation and always thought of Alaska as being one of the best in the industry with a family-like atmosphere that still cared about the travel experience,” said Coats.
A friend of Coats suggested that he start using Instagram due to his love of photography.
“I started uploading pictures of stuff that I thought was neat and it just kind of grew into my whole life of what I do,” he said. “I’ve found that a lot of people are interested in the ‘how it works’ aspect of an airplane. Most of the time people get on the plane, watch a movie then get off the plane at their destination, but never really consider what it takes to actually keep the airplane they’re flying on airborne, so I find it neat to be able to share that with people and show people how these things really work.”
Combi undergoing maintenance for the night.
Coats said he also posts about things he does outside of work – travelling, things he sees and does.
“I try and show what working for an airline is about, the new friends, old friends and family,” said Coats.
When asked, Coats said his favorite place to visit is Maui, Hawaii.
“It’s one of those places you go to sit back, slow down and enjoy the sunshine. I especially enjoy sailing around the islands and enjoying the water, as well as tuna fishing.”