Faced with potentially hungry — and grumpy — passengers, a Frontier Airlines pilot treated them to pizza when storms diverted a Denver-bound flight to Cheyenne, where the plane was stuck for a couple of hours.
Cheyenne Domino's Pizza manager Andrew Ritchie told The Associated Press that he got a call about 10 p.m. Monday just as he was about to send employees home. Ritchie said the pilot told him he needed to feed 160 people — fast.
"I put my hand over the phone and I said: 'Guys, you're coming back,' " Ritchie said, recalling what he told his employees.
In all, Ritchie said his crew made about 35 pizzas and delivered them to the airport, where the driver handed the food off to flight attendants. One of the passengers sent KUSA-TV a picture of flight attendants handing pizza boxes to people.
That number of pizzas is usually what his store handles in an entire hour, Ritchie said. This time, they needed to make them and deliver them in about 30 minutes, he said.
But that didn't deter his co-workers, Ritchie said.
"Actually, they were super excited. They had a blast. It was a challenge," he said. "It was definitely one of those 'challenge accepted' moments in time."
Frontier Airlines did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press, but KUSA-TV said the company confirmed the episode.
The television station reports that the flight to Denver International Airport, which originated in Washington, D.C., left Cheyenne about 10:30 p.m., shortly after the pizzas arrived.
The flight was one of dozens that were delayed Monday evening because of heavy rain across Colorado.
According to Channel 9 NBC news in Denver, the pilot was hungry and was going to just order pizza for himself. But he decided to order enough for the whole plane. He paid out of his own pocket.
He says 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 says 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," Captain Gerhard Bradner. said.
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