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'Captain Pizza' Saves The Day, But Doesn't Save Himself A Slice

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'Captain Pizza' Saves The Day, But Doesn't Save Himself A Slice

'Captain Pizza' Saves The Day, But Doesn't Save Himself A Slice

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Monday night, Gerhard Brandner was piloting a flight from Washington, D.C., to Denver, when bad weather forced him to land in Wyoming.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And so the Frontier Airlines plane was grounded on a tarmac in Cheyenne. That's when the pilot made a bold decision.

GERHARD BRANDNER: I figured out, well, I'm getting hungry. I'll bet you the folks be hungry back there, too. And I called Domino's.

SIEGEL: He figured there was plenty of time for the delivery because the delay was going to be about an hour and a half.

BRANDNER: I told them I had to feed 160 people, you know, and I think they sent me like 50 pizzas or so - half cheese, and the other one was cheese and pepperoni.

SIEGEL: And about 30 minutes into that delay, the mood changed on the plane. That's when passenger Nadia Kouri says she heard Brandner's announcement.

NADIA KOURI: He came on and said, Frontier Airlines is known to be the cheapest airline in the states but your captain is not cheap, so I ordered pizza.

BRANDNER: After I announced that, I heard applause from the back of the aircraft, and I believe people were pretty happy because they were hungry, too.

SIEGEL: Now in case you're imagining a car with a Domino's sign speeding on to the tarmac, we should clear things up.

BRANDNER: I mean they don't deliver to the plane. They got to deliver it to the airport outside security, and then I got the pizzas in, through security.

BLOCK: His pizza offering has earned Pilot Brandner international attention, but he's pretty humble about the whole thing.

BRANDNER: You know, once they set foot on my airplane, they are my responsibility. I have to take care of them. And if that includes feeding them, you know, so be it.

SIEGEL: But Nadia Kouri says Brandner clearly went above and beyond.

KOURI: It was not something that was the pilot's obligation in any way. It was just out of the kindness of his own heart, and it probably wasn't even sponsored by the company. So it was just a moment of kindness.

BLOCK: She's right. It wasn't sponsored by Frontier. Brandner paid for the pizza out of his own pocket, which really makes this next part a bummer.

BRANDNER: Actually, I did not get to enjoy any of the pizza because we were getting busy again for the flight from Cheyenne to Denver.

SIEGEL: And so the passengers arrived in Denver just after midnight, bellies full of carbs and cheese. They thanked that pilot as they came off the plane, but no one saved him a slice.

BRANDNER: It was all gone. They were hungry.

BLOCK: Well, even though he didn't have any, Gerhard Brandner now has the nickname Captain Pizza.

SIEGEL: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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