When all else fails, order pizza.
There’s just something about the warm, cheesy Italian specialty that can lift your spirits even on the gloomiest of days. American Airlines pilot Jeff Raines certainly appreciates the power of pizza. The veteran pilot recently came up with a delicious solution to a problem that was completely out of his hands — the weather — and now he’s making viral headlines for his efforts.
Jeff was in the cockpit of American Airlines flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort Worth on September 6 when powerful thunderstorms changed his course. As the storms raged around his plane, Jeff and his crew were diverted to Wichita Falls Municipal Airport in Texas.
Once the plane was safely on the ground, the crew found themselves faced with a different kind of worry: 159 angry passengers stranded in an unfamiliar airport, still miles and miles from their destinations. Airport personnel frantically worked to book them all hotel rooms and connecting flights, but people were getting agitated as they stood on the hot tarmac.
As the passengers milled around the terminal, Jeff and his crew came up with a rather unique solution that might sound familiar to those of us who are parents. What makes a bad situation better? Pizza, of course!
Jeff called up a pizza place and arranged for 40 pies to be delivered to the airport. When they arrived, our hero pilot went out to greet the driver and then hand-delivered the pizzas to the waiting passengers!
Josh Raines, an American Airlines employee and a relative of Jeff’s, recorded the pilot delivering his pizza boxes and uploaded the video to Twitter with the caption, “I don’t think I’ve seen this before.” In the video, you can clearly hear passengers thanking Jeff. One can be heard saying, “What a guy!”
After Josh’s video went viral, everyone was quick to heap praise on Jeff’s shoulders, but the pilot proved to be a true team player.
“Thanks for the compliments however this was a ‘TEAM’ effort,” he said. “My First Officer was on the telephone with crew tracking / hotel desk arranging for our release and hotels for the entire crew. 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.”
What a guy, indeed! Everything looks better when you’ve got some pizza in your belly. We can’t help but hope this is the start of a tasty new trend in airline customer service.
Watch Jeff delivering pizza to his stranded passengers below, and be sure to share.
@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
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