Flight delays can make passengers grumpy but not when the pilot orders pizzas for them as a treat.
That is exactly what a Frontier Airlines pilot did, when the airline’s plane bound for the Mile High City, Colorado, from Washington was diverted after thunderstorms and lightning pummeled the Denver area.
Gerhard Bradner, the captain of the Airbus A320, ordered 50 pizzas — enough for the whole plane — when severe thunderstorms on Monday forced the plane to divert to southern Wyoming. He paid out of his own pocket for the pizzas.
Passengers and crew waited in Cheyenne, Wyoming, until the storms passed, and they were able to take off for Denver, several hours later.
Brandner said he was hungry when the plane touched down so he decided to call a pizza outlet. And instead of eating the pie himself, he ordered 50 pizzas.
Brandner said when he made the announcement that the pizzas were coming over the speaker, he heard the whole plane applaud.
But he never got to see those passengers eat, because he was reprogramming the plane’s computers for the flight back to Denver.
As for why he decided to do all this, he said he felt it was his duty.
“If the need arises you need to take care of your family; you need to take care of your passengers. They are my responsibility the moment they step on the aircraft until they get off the aircraft,” Brandner was quoted as saying by KUSA-TV.
With full stomachs, the passengers and crew left Cheyenne about 10:30 pm (local time) and arrived in Denver a short while later at 10:45 pm, according to flight tracking information on flightaware.com.
Adam Ritchie, a Domino’s Pizza manager in Cheyenne, Wyoming, said he had never received a call like the one he got on Monday night.
“I need to feed my whole plane,” the caller told him.