HUNDREDS of people have taken to social media to commend Aer Lingus for its “compassion” in the wake of the Berkeley tragedy.
The airline has personally taken care of the families of the six students who died, as well as those of the seven who remain in hospital after the incident, while they make their way to California.
Hundreds of messages have been posted on the Aer Lingus website – with one in particular going viral.
“I cannot speak highly enough of you. Your assistance for poor Karen Buckley was immense, and you're doing it again now,” Jonathan Wallace wrote. “I can't imagine what those people must be feeling, but your gestures are beyond anything I’ve seen or heard in Customer Care.”
Another person, Gráinne Barron, shared a story of Aer Lingus’ exceptional treatment of the families while on the flight.
“I'm actually in tears as my friend who was on the flight described the somber [sic] air of sadness, dignity and respect on board,” she wrote. “How Aer Lingus, our national airline refused to sell newspapers on that flight, how they cared for the families & friends of the victims of the tragedy that took 6 beautiful souls. And how everyone stayed seated to allow family members and friends exit the aircraft first in what must have been the heaviest of descents.”
The families began arriving in Berkeley on Wednesday, with others flying over yesterday.
The victims’ parents and other family members were greeted by the Consul General Phillip Grant and a local priest, and went to the scene of the tragedy where flowers, wreaths and memorials have been laid.
Niccolai Schuster, Olivia Burke, Eimear Walsh, Lorcán Miller, Eoghan Culligan and Ashley Donohoe, all aged 21 and 22, lost their lives at the Library Gardens apartment in Berkeley on Tuesday.
German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger was among the thousands to pay tribute online, when he shared a picture of himself with Niccolai, who was a fan of the Bayern Munich midfielder.
“The news makes me very sad. I wish you and Nick's family a lot of strength for this difficult time,” he wrote.