Stuck On The Tarmac? Delta Placates You With Pizza

Hey airlines, if you’re going to strand a bunch of people on the tarmac, but want them singing your praises anyway, placate them with pizza. Pizza is a magical substance that causes joy no matter the circumstances.

At least, the NYT seems to think so:

Passengers on three flights on Aug. 17 were astonished to see that someone had thought enough to have pizza and sodas sent their way.

One of those passengers was Robynne Reiber, a frequent business traveler who lives in New York and said that every flier she knows has been complaining about “the hassles of air travel and the lack of respect given passengers by airlines.”

That’s why the pizza at the airport in Syracuse was such a shock. “I was astounded,” she told me.

“I couldn’t believe how well I was being treated,” she said.

She was on Delta Flight 424 from Phoenix to Kennedy International Airport. About 90 minutes after takeoff, the pilot made one of those dreaded announcements that typically begin with the words, “Well, folks, …”

It was a Friday afternoon, and half the flights over the continent seemed to be heading for the East Coast, where thunderstorms were turning most of them away. The Delta flight had been instructed to circle over Colorado.

With Kennedy closed, the flight was ultimately diverted to Syracuse.

There, according to Ms. Reiber, the pilot said: “I’m not going to keep you on the plane. I’m going to pull up to a gate where you can get off, as long as you wait there in case we have to leave. I know you’ve only had cheese and crackers. So I called the Sbarro in the terminal and asked them to keep sending pizzas out until the whole plane gets fed.”

At the gate, tables were set up. “The pilot said it might take a while to get everybody fed because this is probably more pizzas than they’re used to turning out at a time, so please be patient,” Ms. Reiber said.

Flight attendants helped serve while the pilot made regular announcements from the departure desk about the prospects for getting en route again.

“Finally, he said, ‘All right, everybody back on the plane, we have a slot,’ ” Ms. Reiber said.

“On the plane, the flight attendants kept saying, ‘If anybody needs anything, just ask and we’ll do the best we can. We’re all in this together.’ “

Gee, that sounds a lot more pleasant that the usual horror stories of overflowing toilets. Pizza is magical!

Best Choices To Be Stranded: Syracuse, Albany, Pepperoni [NYT]
(Photo:Morton Fox)

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