Just the other day I happened to be with my family on top of a hill overlooking the Cheyenne, Wyoming airport. Just four days later,the airport was the scene of a food news story that has been written about in all sorts of news outlets including the Washington Post, the Sydney Morning Herald, People Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor and now PizzaSpotz.com.
It turns out that severe thunderstorms in the Denver area caused flight 719 from Washington D.C. to Denver to be diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming where they were forced to wait on the tarmac for a couple hours. But it was after one hour when the plane ran out of food and the 157 passengers began getting restless.
At that moment, Captain Gerhard Brandner made a call to the local Domino’s Pizza and placed an order for 30+ pizzas. He then got on the speaker and told the passengers the following: “Ladies and gentlemen, Frontier Airlines is known for being one of the cheapest airlines in the U.S., but your captain is not cheap. I just ordered pizza for the entire plane.” Um, but maybe he is cheap. You take 35 pizzas x 8 slices each and that equals 280 slices for 157 people. That’s 1.78 slices per person. Maybe he should’ve ordered just a bit more pizza.
When contacted about the story, Frontier Airlines confirmed it was true and that Captain Brandner did not seek reimbursement from the airline. The spokesman for Frontier also made a point to say this was not the only time a Frontier pilot has gone “above and beyond to provide car for our customers.”
The pizza wasn’t delivered directly to the plane. It first had to be checked to make sure there weren’t any exploding pepperonis. It was then put into an official airport vehicle and taken to the plane. I sure hope someone took care of the pizza delivery guy.
Of all the press coverage, the one news story that caught my attention was People.com calling the pilot the “greatest airline captain of all time!” Come on, I love pizza as much as the next guy, maybe more, but “greatest captain of all time?”
Bravo for pizza, but when Captain Brandner lands a plane safely after a wing falls off and the engines die and still has the notion to order pizza for all the passengers, that’s when he’ll be the “greatest airline captain of all time.”
And to think, this story has gone viral all around the world, but when I search on the Cheyenne newspaper website, I can’t find the story. I don’t think they even wrote about it when it happened. Funny what the world finds newsworthy isn’t it?