If there's one thing everyone knows about Chick-fil-A, it's that the fast food chain is always closed on Sundays. While their hospitable and respectful customer service reputation follows them, there is really nothing like craving that Original Chicken Sandwich and not being able to satisfy the craving until Monday. However, at the heart of Chick-fil-A is a restaurant chain that cares for its customers, so when the power was out in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the chicken chain stepped in to help passengers as the nation's busiest airport.
On Sunday, December 17, a massive power outage struck the Atlanta airport and caused more than 1,100 cancelled flights during a busy holiday travel time, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A fire damaged an underground electrical facility, and chaos reigned in the airport as thousands of stranded travelers had no way to adjust plans.
Chick-fil-A spokesperson Jackie Jags announced via statement regarding the incident at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport,
"The mayor called about 10 p.m. and asked for assistance. We immediately mobilized staff and team members who live and work near the airport, and they are making sandwiches and delivering them to the EOC (emergency operations center). City and airport officials there are distributing sandwiches to passengers who are stranded due to the power outage.
It has been a very difficult day for thousands of travelers, and while Chick-fil-A is always closed on Sunday, our restaurants open occasionally to serve communities in need. We do not make a profit, but do what we can to offer comfort to people experiencing hardship."
The City of Atlanta tweeted a message of support for passengers alerting them of Chick-fil-A's impending arrival.
The City of Atlanta has mobilized the Georgia International Convention Center and will provide shuttle services for anyone who needs a place to stay for the night. @ChickfilA will provide food for passengers.
-- City of Atlanta, GA (@Cityofatlanta) December 18, 2017
That's not all the chicken chain did in its hometown airport, either. They continued to feed the passengers of the shuttles through the night until power was restored around 11 p.m.
Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy even helped hand out sandwiches personally.
According to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Chick-fil-A provided more than 2,000 meals to passengers prior to 11 p.m.
-- Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) December 18, 2017
Their swift kindness was more than appreciated by hungry passengers and those on social media who understood just how rare it was for Chick-fil-A to open doors on a Sunday.
-- DJRoyalT ? Tiffany ?" (@DJ_Royal_T) December 18, 2017
The mean Chick-fil-A Organization is at it again! Helping people in need. ??
-- Christopher Olin (@iChrisOlin) December 18, 2017
This is exactly why @ChickfilA is my favorite fast food restaurant. Hands down.
-- ? Amanda ? (@Alabama_Manda) December 18, 2017
Thousands stranded in Atlanta on a Sunday evening because of the massive power failure at the airport. @ChickfilA, normally not open on Sunday's, springs into action to feed them all. That's incredible. What a company.
-- Michael Schlact (@michael_schlact) December 18, 2017
While some couldn't resist the joke that it took a power outage at the nation's busiest airport to have Chick-fil-A open on a Sunday, the fact of the matter is that the chain certainly didn't have to do anything at all, and they did with open arms.
The speed at which the teams were able to jump to action is amazing, and our hats go off to every Chick-fil-A team member that made it happen on their day off!