An American Airlines pilot has left a lasting impression after ordering several pizzas for his presumably hungry passengers who were stuck in Wichita Falls, Texas following an unplanned diversion last Thursday.
The flight in question was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort Worth. But inclement weather saw to it that the passengers were made to overnight at the Wichita Falls airport.
Per CNN, 159 passengers were left awaiting accommodation arrangements, with the plane set to get them to their destination the following morning. But, while crew members were busy helping the passengers re-book and find accommodation at nearby establishments, pilot Jeff Raines rang Papa John's to have 40 pizzas delivered to the airport to feed the inconvenienced contingent.
"The Captain of Flight 2354 bought pizza for everybody who was stuck in Wichita Falls Regional airport after a weather diversion," Josh Raines, an airport employee and relative of Jeff tweeted with a video of the pilot receiving and handing out the pizzas. "I don’t think I’ve seen this before."
The passengers were quite appreciative of the gesture and applauded the pilot's effort to keep them comfortable through the frustrating ordeal. But he has since insisted that his entire team should receive the credit.
“Thanks for the compliments however this was a ‘TEAM’ effort,” Jeff later wrote on Facebook. “My First Officer was on the telephone with crew tracking/hotel desk arranging for our release and hotels for the entire crew.
@AmericanAir The Captain of Flight 2354 bought pizza for everybody who was stuck in Wichita Falls Regional airport after a weather diversion. I don’t think I’ve seen this before. pic.twitter.com/sLmo76ckUB— Josh Raines (@J_reigns2) September 7, 2018
"The Flight Attendants manned a galley cart from the aircraft serving waters, juice, and sodas to all the passengers in the terminal. All while the Envoy SPS Personnel were arranging for a bus, re-booking flights, and answering a flurry of questions from these passengers. Thanks to everyone for your help – there is no ‘I’ in TEAM.”
“All of us are always proud of our crew members who take great care of our customers who fly on American Airlines,” an American Airlines representative told PEOPLE. “We are fortunate that our crew members are the best in the business.”
This was indeed a great move on the pilot's part, but it's also great publicity for American Airlines, who must have won over at least one pizza lover given the thoughtfulness of their employee.