Airline Dispatchers Federation.
Representing the professional interests of the Aircraft Dispatcher.

May 2022 ADF Meredith 1


Meredith Frederick – Southwest Airlines

I got my start in aviation around 2007 when I switched my college major from Electrical Engineering to Aviation
after I came to the conclusion at 2AM over homework that I hated Electrical Engineering and
that airplanes and airports were much cooler than machine language (in my 2AM opinion). I started
work at The Ohio State University Airport as a Student Assistant at about the same time, where I was
exposed to all manner of general aviation and charter aircraft and customers. I went on to earn my
certificates and ratings while working at the airport (up through CFI), and stayed working at the airport
while I earned my Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science. While at the airport, many of my projects
focused on outreach to the community and making aviation more accessible, especially to children. I
was involved in everything from taking kindergarteners around the airport, to hosting Bonanza fly-ins, to
assisting with EAA Young Eagles and the Scouts Youth Aviation Adventure, to arranging for nursing home
visits. If someone wanted to know about the airport or aviation, I would tell them! And if they didn’t, I
would probably tell them anyways!

While working for the airport, I got an opportunity at my first airline: PSA Airlines in Vandalia, OH. I
worked as a Safety Programs Intern where I analyzed data from ASAP, fatigue reports, and other internal
safety reports. I worked with some of the nicest people who spent a considerable amount of time and
patience as I figured things out at my first corporate and Part 121 job. It was at PSA that I was first
introduced to Part 121 dispatchers. On one of my first visits to the operations center, I was told not to
linger as “strange visitors upset dispatchers”, which in hindsight, is hilarious.

In 2013, I was hired by Republic Airlines in Indianapolis, IN as an aircraft dispatcher and my first Part 121
aircraft dispatching job. During my time at Republic, I worked as a dispatch trainer for new hires; a
ground instructor for recurrent; and an Air Transportation Supervisor for initial and recurrent
competency checks.

In April 2015, I started as an Assistant Dispatcher at Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. Somehow, I got
signed off and currently I dispatch for all facets of our operation, including domestic, international, and
ETOPS. I currently work as a Dispatch Trainer conducting on-the-job training for new hire dispatchers,
and I am oft-selected as a Day in the Field (DITF) host. Southwest’s DITF program allows employees
from other departments to job shadow fellow employees, and dispatch fields a lot of requests. I often
have fellow CoHearts from operations, ramp, customer service, etc. who stop in and sit with me for a
spell to learn about dispatch. I traded hyping the airport to hyping dispatch! I also am a member of our
union’s (TWU550) Safety Committee, and I have completed NTSB training. I’ve worked as a Competency
Check Examiner at Southwest for recurrent checks. I’ve taught the weather portion of our recurrent
training, and I assist another dispatcher with our department’s extremely unofficial “Dispatch Weather
Photo Contest”, where winners can take home a fabulous prize and bragging rights for the year.
Outside of dispatch, I have a variety of hobbies and interests. I volunteer with the 501st, which is a Star
Wars costuming charity group. We make and wear screen-accurate Star Wars costumes and participate
in a variety of events, from hospital visits, to Make-a-Wish, to community events (yes, I dress up as a
Stormtrooper, and yes, I am a little short for a Stormtrooper). I am an avid woodworker, penturner, and
video gamer, and I support Games Done Quick twice a year with video-game themed woodworking
prizes that are used for charity. Games Done Quick is a video game speedrunning organization that
raises millions of dollars each year for various charities. I’m a repressed dispatch farmer, and I keep
honeybees, chickens, and I have a bad gardening habit. I’ve planted over one hundred trees (not all
big!) in my area, and I would like to get my Master Gardener designation. I enjoy photography, and
donate my time and skills to community organizations and the 501st. I’ve raced airplanes cross country
in the Air Race Classic, I play the piano, I’m SCUBA certified, and I enjoy tinkering with my 3D printer,
CNC machine, tools, and other gizmos.

The people in aviation, and especially in dispatch, are what I love about my job. Working at the airport
was the first time I really felt like I was with “my” people, and the folks at Southwest Dispatch are some
of the nicest people you could meet. When I hear non-aviation friends’ stories of horrible coworkers or
jobs, I count my lucky stars. Every day brings a different set of challenges to the operation, and I am
very fortunate to be able to play the “Ultimate Team Sport” with such a great group of ‘spatchers.

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