Newtown mom thanks airline for assistance during shooting tragedy

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
New cockpit recordings from out-of-control aircraft

Dawn Briggs says that prior to last week, JetBlue was her favourite airline. Her love for the company has only increased since then, with its employees having gone above and beyond to help her get home to Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the shooting tragedy.

Briggs, a Travelocity employee, was returning from a business trip to Mexico when she received an automated message from a school superintendent saying that there had been a school shooting in Newtown and that her children's school was on lockdown.

Briggs is a mother of two: a boy in the first grade, and a girl in the second.

By the time Briggs boarded her flight, she was notified that the school shooting was not at her children's school. Still, there were rumours of a second gunman.

"I was thinking, perhaps there are multiple shooters, going from school to school," she told ABC News. "I was helpless on the flight. Every sentence triggered a new fear."

It was when she started to cry that the airline — and kind passengers — came to her rescue.

"I was approached by a flight attendant," she said, "who offered me tissues and any assistance she could give. Another passenger, a grandmother, offered me her rosary beads."

The captain, who lives not far from Newtown, personally offered Briggs a ride home when they landed.

"The ultimate act of kindness happened when, toward the end of the flight, I was asked to move to the front row of the plane and was met by 3 JetBlue executives and 3 customs agents, all with tears in their eyes, who escorted me past a line that would have taken hours to get through, so that I could get to my children and home in Newtown," Briggs wrote on Facebook.

"I'm sure I wasn't the only person on that plane with connections to the shooting," she told ABC News. "But the professionalism of everyone on the flight was incredible. The flight attendant, she had a job to do, she remained stoic and didn't show if she was upset. She followed through on everything she said she was going to do."

Briggs returned home to her two children. She told ABC News that she soon learned that she knew three of the young shooting victims personally.

She thanked JetBlue publicly on Facebook for the exceptional service. Her post has received more than 13,000 likes so far.

This isn't the only act of outstanding service by the airline in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.

The airline delivered a note from a woman in Washington State who couldn't make it to her nephew's funeral.

Noah Pozner, 6, was to buried with letters from his family. His aunt, Victoria, couldn't make it, nor was she confident her letter would arrive on time.

“I need to know if there’s a way to overnight an envelope to CT as my SIL (sister-in-law) wants notes from the whole family buried with Noah. Help?” she tweeted.

A JetBlue representative responded to her tweet and delivered the letter to Noah's funeral on time.