Pilot Buys Pizzas For Passengers Grounded By Storm

Stuck and foodless in Wyoming, Captain Gerhard Bradner bought pizza for 160 passengers

Weather diversion: It's a term passengers and flight crews never want to hear. It means the destination hammered by storms and everyone on board will spend hours elbow-to-elbow in cramped conditions.

So, when Frontier Airlines pilot Gerhard Bradner heard that Denver's airport was closed because of thunderstorms and flight 719 out of Washington, D.C. at 6:40 pm Eastern would instead head to Cheyenne, Wyo., as KUSA-TV reported, he knew it could be a long night. A couple of hours passed on the tarmac in Cheyenne. Bradner was hungry and knew the 157 passengers would be as well. What food there was on the plane quickly ran out, and a hungry crowd can turn into a cranky one.

So he did what any intelligent pilot would do in a case like this: He called a Cheyenne Domino's Pizza for a delivery. Bradner paid for the pizzas out of his own pocket.

"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 Brandner said.

Restaurant manager Andrew Ritchie took the call at about 10 p.m., just as he was ready to send his workers home for the night, according to the Associated Press.

"I put my hand over the phone and I said: `Guys, you're coming back,' " Ritchie said, recalling what he told his employees.

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The order came to about 30 pizzas. with paper plates, all of which had to be made and delivered in less than 30 minutes, about half the time they would normally have to bake that many pies. Off the delivery people went.

"Next thing you know, Domino's Pizza was rolling up to the plane," passenger Logan Torres said to CNN. Boxes of pizzas went to the flight attendants, who passed them out.

Bradner could hear the passengers applaud, but he didn't get a chance to watch them eat and to take a bow, according to the KUSA report. He had to spend the time on the flight deck, reprogramming computers for the trip to Denver. At 10:30 the plane took off again and, only about 15 minutes later, landed at its final destination.

AOL Jobs contacted Frontier Airlines, which provided answers to several questions but didn't respond to the one that asked if anyone reimbursed Bradner for the pizzas. Hopefully the company at least sent over an order of garlic bread sticks as an appetizer.

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Kudos to the pilot, and also to the Domino's employees for staying at work instead of heading home. Such a wonderful thing to do - thinking of others. Doesn't happen often enough nowadays unfortunately.

July 10 2014 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did the pizza delivery guy have to go through customs

July 10 2014 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 10 2014 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Comparing a 4000 mile flight error (the Grenada vs. Granada story) with a poor dog who was probably terrified of flying and went potty in an aisle (did his owner give him the opportunity to relieve himself prior to boarding the flight??) is kind of ridiculous. Come on Newsy!

July 10 2014 at 3:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hopefully, he will be fired for breaking company policy barring the feeding of passengers.

July 10 2014 at 2:55 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

Give that pilot a pat on the back & an "ATTABOY". His action did more for PR than any advertising expert could think of.
Times have changed. Cheyenne to Denver is only 100 miles, a quick scoot down I- 25. Back in the 80's-90's I drove for a major bus company, based in Minneapolis.. Several times I got the call from dispatch,"Beat Feet to the airport, ready to run to Wausau Wi or Rochester Mn, plane diverted to MSP due to weather. Don't bother with uniform, jeans & sweatshirt good enough". Had passengers on their way within an hour, A 2-3 hour bus ride better than sitting until morning.

July 10 2014 at 2:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

That pilot is one of the World's good guys. Best to Captain Bradner.

July 10 2014 at 12:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Way to go Cap. Great job. I'll fly with you anyday. Class

July 10 2014 at 12:39 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

If there were more people in control (whatever the situation is) and made such "on the spot" responsive decisions, our world would be much better, there would be far fewer complaints, and most important, there would be more satisfied customers, people etc. This captain was not only responsive to his planeload of passengers; he was also a great ambassador of his employer, Frontier. This was a great common sense action; unfortunately, less and less people have common sense (and exercise it) any longer.

July 09 2014 at 10:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Nice going pilot, great job.

July 09 2014 at 10:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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