American Airlines Captain Buys and Delivers Pizza to Stranded Passengers

It’s standard procedure for airline companies to provide accommodation in case of a diversion, but the caption on one American Airlines aircraft went beyond the call of duty when he had to land in Wichita Falls, Texas for the night.
American Airlines captain Jeff Raines buys pizza for passengers stranded in Texas 11 photos
Photo: Twitter / Josh Raines
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This happened at the end of last week, but the story is just now going viral, thanks to videos of the captain’s generous gesture. The plane was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Fort-Worth in Dallas, but was diverted to Wichita Falls because of severe thunderstorms. The captain received instructions to keep the bird on the ground until morning, when he would be given the greenlight for take off.

As passengers waited at the airport while staff rushed to get them accommodations, the captain, Jeff Raines, thought they might like a bite to eat as well. He called Papa John’s and ordered 40 pizzas, in what CNN dubs the biggest pizza order in the city.

When the pizza arrived at the airport, Raines rushed to meet the delivery guy, took a few pizzas himself and started handing them over to the passengers. Video shot by an airport employee (who is actually related to the captain, by the way) was posted to Twitter, where it earned the captain the title of “hero.”

In a statement cited by CNN, Raines insists that, while what he did might look like a very amazing and generous gesture, it was actually a team effort. So he shouldn’t be getting credit alone for it.

“Thanks for the compliments however this was a ‘TEAM’ effort,” he says. “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.”

American Airlines has also issued a statement to say how proud they are to have people like this on their staff. In return, it learned that the best publicity is usually the kind you can’t buy.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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