Delays are a fact of life in airline travel. Of course they are frustrating, but they happen. How an airline responds to a delay can either make the delay better or worse.
And this week comes a story about a delayed flight I would have actually liked to be on.
American Airlines flight AA2354 was due to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas (two of American’s major hubs) on Thursday, September 6.
The flight took off from Los Angeles six minutes early, but there were severe thunderstorms in northern Texas, so the plane was not able to land in Dallas as scheduled, and instead diverted to Wichita Falls arriving at 17:37 local time (after being scheduled to land at Dallas at 16:36).
Details are still vague as to exactly why, but the plane and 159 passengers were forced to remain in Wichita Falls overnight. Did the weather remain too bad the rest of the day?
Or perhaps the crew was due to finish their flying day at Dallas and the crew members were out of hours to wait until the weather improved and then continue on to complete the flight?
Anyway, there were plenty of passenger stuck at Witchita. The American pilot, Jeff Raines, took it upon himself to order, collect, and then hand-deliver forty pizzas from Papa John’s to the diverted passengers. Here’s the awesome video of the pilot physically going to collect the pizzas from the delivery driver:
@AmericanAir Bad weather, holding, diverting AA now holds the biggest pizza @PapaJohns delivery order in Wichita Falls, TX when the Captain of #2354 took it upon himself to order 40 pizzas for the passengers after landing and the flight cancelled. He hand delivered them! pic.twitter.com/19S7NrpN73
— Joey Shankland (@jsraines10) September 7, 2018
American Airline has praised the pilot’s actions, saying:
‘We are always proud of our crew members who take great care of our customers who fly on American Airlines. We are fortunate that our crew members are the best in the business.’
Captain Raines was humble about his efforts following the event, saying on Facebook:
‘Thanks for the compliments, however this was a team effort. 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.’
The flight continued on to Dallas the following morning.
I’m writing this as I’m stuck in an awful pub in a satellite terminal at London Stansted airport after it was announced that my Ryanair flight to Milan is delayed by 90 minutes and has barely functioning Wi-Fi.
I would much rather have been on this American flight than my Ryanair one!
What has been your best delay experience?
(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)