Every Time Your Flight Gets Delayed, You Should Get Pizza

Last Sunday, my cross-country flight got delayed. I was ready to stab someone’s thigh with a butter knife. And then they gave us pizza. Tables and tables, just full of pizza. I became happy, and stabbed nobody.

This should happen all the time. When your flight is delayed, you should get pizza.

Flights get delayed. It’s shitty, but it’s how it is. But rarely are you given pizza because of it. Which is weird. Everyone deeply hates flight delays. Everyone deeply loves pizza. If someone’s flight gets delayed, and you give that someone pizza, they will go from hating your airline to eating pizza, and being like, you know what? At least they gave me pizza. These guys aren’t half bad. 

A little more background on my situation: I was flying from Seattle to New York, after attending my cousin’s very lovely, very beer-filled wedding on a conifer farm. That’s a long flight, in the wrong direction. I was meant to depart at 2:30pm, and land at JFK at 11pm or so. 

Then I got word, via my smarttelephone: my flight was delayed, and I’d be getting in around 1:30am. On a Sunday night (or Monday morning, really), with work the next day. Fury descended. I stopped at a friendly local airport pub and grabbed a beer to cool off. It didn’t work. I headed to my gate with an hour to spare, JUST IN CASE. 

When I arrived, I saw pizza. I was confused. Normally there is no free pizza at airport gates.

When I arrived, I saw pizza. Maybe 25 pies of Pizza Hut pizza. I was confused. Normally there is no pizza at airport gates. “Is this because the flight is delayed?” I asked nobody in particular, my sanity quickly returning. “Yes,” the gate agent said over her shoulder, dragging empty, oily boxes to a garbage can.

I grabbed two slices: one cheese, and one of those hilarious pineapple and ham “Hawaiian” pies. They were cold. They were delicious. The grease turned my stomach a bit, and made me consider what might happen over the six hours I would spend on that plane with very small bathrooms. But it didn’t outweigh my sudden, very real happiness.

When I asked the gate agents where it came from, nobody knew. Smart money says the Pizza Hut in the food court. Here’s the thing: THERE IS NO PIZZA HUT IN THE FOOD COURT AT SEATTLE-TACOMA AIRPORT. Nor is there one outside security. Which means someone felt so bad about my flight being delayed, and putting me in a shitty no-sleep-gotta-work-tomorrow situation very late on a Sunday night, that they knew ordering a plane’s worth of delicious, hilarious Hawaiian pizza, and getting them through TSA pizza-scanners, would put my mind at ease and my stomach at the opposite. And how goddamn right they were.

When I asked how often this happened, there was silence. Which leads me to believe -- as does previous anecdotal evidence -- that it happens basically never, and the people who bought the pizza were as confused as anyone else. It wasn't protocol; it just felt right.

But it also leads me to very, very firmly believe that if your flight is delayed, you should get pizza. Of course, like anything else, the novelty will eventually wear off, and you’ll need something more. Steaks at the gate; lobster for Platinum Preferred members. But let’s worry about that later.

The point, for right now, is: if my flight gets delayed, give me pizza.

Ben Robinson is Thrillist's Editorial Director, and also believes that you should get free churros when the NYC subway takes more than five minutes. Follow him @BenjoRobinson.