Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Tue August 23 2016

How Air New Zealand Showed Kindness In The Face Of Tragedy

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 23, 2016

How Air New Zealand Showed Kindness In The Face Of Tragedy

Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand

In the face of overwhelming grief, Air New Zealand went out of its way to help a passenger.

Flying from Wellington, New Zealand, to Napier, Nikki Griffith was rushing to the gate to board her Air New Zealand flight when she received a dreaded phone call.

Her father had passed away.

From the moment of that call to the moment she landed at her destination, Griffith could not have been in more caring hands.

“I collapsed in the middle of Wellington airport sobbing hysterically when a kind man stopped to ask if I was alright and yelled out for help. Another man named Jeff who I believe worked for the airline came to us and radioed for assistance,” Griffith wrote to Air New Zealand on its Facebook page. “Shortly after a lovely woman called Jodie came and took me to a back room after I told her what had happened. She sat me down in an office with another lady called Angie while she fetched me some water. Angie gave me hugs and made a few phone calls for me, to make sure someone would be there to collect me in Napier as soon as my flight landed.”

After making sure Griffith, who turned 23 days later, had enough water and snacks to deal with the shock, gate agents sprung into action.

Griffith was moved to the back row of the plane and the seat next to her was kept open so she could have some privacy.

“I was then put in the safe hands of the amazing flight attendants Rachel and Livvey (I hope I have their names right, the night was a bit of an emotional blur),” Griffith wrote. “They were so kind and caring and made the flight seem to go very quickly. When they had a rare spare moment they would sit next to me and give me a cuddle, make sure I had eaten something as well as drinking plenty of water and tea.”

Griffith’s father was just 57 and his death was sudden.

“It was an extremely tough time made a lot easier by your fantastic staff,” she wrote to Air New Zealand. “I will be eternally grateful for how I was treated and I'm sure my dad would have been so proud that his little girl was looked after in such a difficult time. Thank you so much Air New Zealand.”


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