Tears, help for grieving gran on Orlando-bound flight

By Colby Itkowitz

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, one of the people killed in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Photo / AP
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, one of the people killed in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Photo / AP

A JetBlue flight attendant shared a moving account of how crew and passengers on an Orlando-bound flight went out of their way to comfort a grieving woman who lost her 20-year-old grandson in the massacre.

He was Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, a dancer with big Hollywood dreams. Omar, as friends and family called him, was one of the youngest victims.

The grandmother was travelling alone, so Katie Davis Karas and the other JetBlue employees were instructed to be at her side throughout the journey.

The company would have known which passengers had lost loved ones because the airline provided free tickets to any family member or domestic partner of one of the victims who needed to get to Orlando.

About halfway through the flight, Karas wrote in a Facebook post, a colleague had an idea to have all of the passengers sign a condolence note for the woman.

But people didn't just scribble their names, they wrote long thoughtful messages that took up pages and pages. When the flight landed, they made an announcement: "JetBlue stands with Orlando" and then, at the request of some passengers, held a moment of silence for Omar.

As they got off, Karas said every single passenger stopped to personally greet Omar's grandmother.

"Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her," Karas wrote. "But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process."

"I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words," she continued.

"In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons - people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers' humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all."

- Washington Post

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