Chick-fil-A broke from tradition yesterday in order to open on a Sunday. When holiday travelers learned the reason why, they were stunned.
Flight operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport came to a screeching halt at around 1 pm local time on Sunday after the bustling airport, which handles more than 280,000 travelers each day, was plunged into pitch black darkness following a massive power outage.
Consequently, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for all aircraft bound for Atlanta, meaning that planes headed for the airport would be held at their point of origination. While the control tower in Atlanta was operational, departing flights were also delayed due to the power outage in the terminal.
Meanwhile, flights which were already en route to Atlanta at the time of the outage were diverted to alternate airports. Georgia Power, the airport’s utility provider, believes the outage was the result of a fire that caused extensive damage to one of its underground electrical facilities. But, thankfully, no employees or passengers were in danger at any time.
“Because of the intensity of the fire, the switch which accesses the redundant system was damaged,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news conference on Sunday night. He noted that while police conducted a security sweep at the airport, there is no evidence the fire was set deliberately. “We have no way of absolutely knowing, at this time, that our system may have been tampered with in order to create this kind of chaos and confusion,” said Reed.
A power outage at the world’s busiest airport left thousands of travelers stranded and hundreds of planes at a standstill right before the rush of holiday travel. The outage was reported at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 1:00 Sunday afternoon. Nearly six hours later, Georgia Power said the outage was caused by fire in an underground facility. It also damaged the backup system. [Source: WSB-TV]
Delta Air Lines, which calls Atlanta it’s home base, operating more than 1,000 departures a day to more than 200 destinations out of the airport, canceled more than 900 flights on Sunday while working to deplane those stuck on board its aircraft at the airport. The airline expected to cancel another 300 flights on Monday.
“Delta customers scheduled to traverse Atlanta Monday are encouraged to check their flight status as approximately 300 flights will be canceled due to Sunday’s power outage at the Atlanta airport affecting all airlines there,” the airline said in a statement. “Delta also canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday and diverted 48 flights to alternate airports due to the nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights,” the statement further explained.
“The airline is working to reaccommodate impacted customers on alternate flights. Cancellations are designed, in part, to allow the operation to best reset Monday,” Delta added. “Delta leaders have been working to support customers by coordinating with Atlanta airport officials and leaders at the City of Atlanta and Georgia Power.”
Southwest, Atlanta’s second-largest tenant, also canceled all of its remaining flights into and out of the airport on Sunday. American, United, and JetBlue did the same.
As travelers sat stranded inside of the Atlanta airport on Sunday, they were undoubtedly feeling pretty tired, frustrated, and hungry, when they all got a piece of welcome good news: Chick-fil-A would break from tradition in order to open on a Sunday so that they could all have a hot meal.
With the world’s busiest airport closed for hours without power, stranding thousands of passengers, Chick-fil-A broke one of its core rules this past weekend and served fried chicken on a Sunday.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lost power Sunday afternoon, causing more than 1,000 flights to be grounded. As day turned to night, the city of Atlanta turned to Chick-fil-A to help craft a solution.
Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, called the fast-food chain at about 10 p.m. and asked for assistance, a company spokeswoman, Amanda Hannah, told Business Insider in an email.
Chick-fil-A is not open on Sunday because of the founder’s religious beliefs. But on this Sunday, Chick-fil-A employees “immediately mobilized,” Hannah said, making sandwiches and delivering them to an emergency operations center to be distributed to stranded passengers. [Source: Business Insider]
“It has been a very difficult day for thousands of travelers,” Amanda Hannah, Chick-fil-A’s spokeswoman, commented. “And while Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday, our restaurants open occasionally to serve communities in need.” She added, “We do not make a profit but do what we can to offer comfort to people experiencing hardship.”
Once again, Chick-fil-A has proven to be a shining example of Christian values. This is a company we should all be patronizing this holiday season, and year-round, too. So many corporations are the epitome of greed, while Chick-fil-A has shown time and again that, at the company’s core, doing the right thing is always more important than their profit line.
Please share this report if you applaud Chick-fil-A for springing into action to feed the thousands of travelers stranded in Atlanta on Sunday!