Delta hosts pizza party for grounded passengers

7:08 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Most passengers get the required snack of a bottle of water and a granola bar when their stuck on an airport tarmac for more than two hours, it's required by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

But for a group of Delta passengers diverted away from Atlanta during Monday night's severe hail, rain and windstorm and forced to land in Knoxville, it was a different story.

MORE | Delta passengers surprised by pizza delivery on tarmac

A Knoxville police officer delivered 60 hot pizzas to the diverted plane.

"They put the pizzas on the back seat of a cop car," said one surprised Delta passenger from inside the plane.

"People were taking photos left and right and the flight attendants couldn't stop laughing over it," he added.
Michele Carson-Vaughn, Delta Director of Field Services for the Southeast says the pizza was the idea of the airline's Knoxville station manager.

"He called the pizza place and said I need 60 pizzas as soon as possible and brought them in," she said.

"We got the TSA to work with us to clear them through security, then we had the police show up and say--let us go and deliver them and by the way--we will put our lights on," Carson-Vaughn added.

And that's just what they did.

With federal rules now requiring snacks for passengers stuck on the tarmac for more than 2 hours, getting a pizza is still a big surprise.

"I think it's awesome, especially if people have kids on the plane. You can imagine kids going hungry and screaming," said Shellandra Schrader, an airline passenger.

And Knoxville wasn't the only place for surprised Delta passengers.

With 12 flights diverted to Savannah, Delta rustled up 160 pizzas for hundreds of passengers waiting it out for the weather to clear in Atlanta.

"It was still hot too. That was the best part," said a passenger opening up a pizza box on the grounded Delta flight in Knoxville.

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