We’ve all experienced the unavoidable frustration of delayed flights.
If you’re “lucky,” you get to sit in the airport for hours, waiting to board your plane. If you aren’t, you’re stuck in the cramped cabin of an aircraft for who knows how long until you’re finally up in the air or able to disembark. Unfortunate passengers on a Air Canada flight recently dealt with the latter, but thanks to the pilot, the situation turned surprisingly positive.
On Feb. 4, Air Canada Flight 608 left Toronto, making its way to Halifax. where it was scheduled to land. But poor weather had other plans for the Airbus A320. The Halifax airport had to shut down its runways after another plane slid while taxiing. Flight 608 was diverted to Fredericton in the meantime.
Passengers sat on the tarmac for quite some time. Since they boarded in Toronto, they ended up spending around eight hours on the plane. The atmosphere could have turned angry and toxic very quickly if not for the pilot’s thoughtfulness. Not only did he keep passengers informed of what was happening every step of the way, but he spent his own money to make sure people were fed.
The flight didn’t include a meal, so the pilot called Minglers Restaurant and Pub in Oromocto from the cockpit and ordered 23 pizzas. There were only three staff members at the restaurant at the time, but they worked quickly and delivered the pizzas to the airport.
Philomena Hughes, one of the passengers, says the kind gesture improved everyone’s mood. “They looked like they appreciated the pizza … they were pretty calm and pretty cheery,” Philomena said. “It makes such a difference when you know what’s going on.”
Bill Karsten, another passenger who tweeted photos from inside the cabin, agreed. “He walked entirely down the length of the plane just to make sure we knew what was going on and whatnot, before departing to Halifax,” he said. “So I think the mood was set, in reality, by the great work of the captain.”
Passengers had to wait until the next day to fly from Fredericton to Halifax, but were very grateful for being treated so well during a stressful night. What came out of the pilot’s courtesy just goes to show that people are much more understanding when shown respect and kindness.
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