When indefinite tarmac delays occur, passengers are not allowed to get off the plane, or even use the restrooms. Here is a clever way that Delta decided to handle this scenario.
After three hours of sitting on the runway in Knoxville, Tennessee, following a diversion due to the weather, passengers aboard the Boston-Atlanta service were told that Pizza Hut was delivering 60 or so pizzas to their plane via police escort (with lights blazing). "I suspect they couldn't drive a pizza-delivery van on the Tarmac for security reasons," one passenger told WXIA-TV, an Atlanta broadcaster. Another spoke to NBC television about the feast, complaining: "They just wouldn't serve us beer. And yes, we asked a bunch of times."
The pilot’s generosity will have been carefully timed. Under Department of Transportation (DoT) regulations introduced for domestic flights in America in April 2010, airlines must allow passengers to disembark after three hours on the Tarmac. Fill everyone up with pizza, the pilot correctly surmised, and they will be more likely to sit tight. Media reports suggest no passengers left the plane in Knoxville. Furthermore, airline spokesman Morgan Durrant said the pizza-fest was not a one-off. "It's a nice thing we can do for our customers," he told NBC. "And it's something we've been doing in these situations."