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Captain Exemplifies The PSA Way By Buying Pizzas for Customers During Diversion

January 10, 2023

Captain Exemplifies The PSA Way By Buying Pizzas for Customers During Diversion

Keeping our customers safe is our top priority and is the ultimate way we show care for customers and fellow team members. However, Captain David Hawk recently went above and beyond that priority when he went to great lengths to ensure customers had food when no options were available at the airport. Below is an account of Captain Hawk’s actions after experiencing severe turbulence while on the way to Charlotte. He and the OCC determined that a diversion to Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) was the safest option. Unfortunately, it was late on a Sunday and there were no options open for the customers to get any food. That’s when Captain Hawk took matters into his own hands and brought in pizza for everyone. Read below how he exemplified The PSA Way characteristics.

On March 28, CA Hawk and his crew were operating a flight from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AVP) to Charlotte (CLT). Due to weather moving across CLT, they had to go into a holding pattern. While in their descent, they unfortunately encountered moderate, borderline severe, turbulence. They were in full communication with their Dispatcher throughout the event. As they painted circles in the sky, their expected further clearance (EFC) time extended to almost 90 minutes. At that time, they decided a diversion was necessary. CA Hawk knew that maintenance would need to inspect the aircraft once on the ground for the possible severe turbulence. He suggested GSP (where we have a Maintenance base) and his reason why. The Dispatcher agreed and they diverted.

Once they landed in GSP, it took nearly 30 minutes to get a gate. CA Hawk made a detailed announcement to the passengers explaining to them why maintenance needed to inspect the aircraft and it would be best to deplane. After everyone was in the terminal, it was about 8 p.m. There was nothing open and Maintenance informed the crew it would be at least two hours.

CA Hawk talked to his crew and decided that he couldn’t let people go that long without food. He made a call to the closest pizza place he could find, which turned out to be a Domino’s, five miles down the road. He called to place an order for the entire plane, which came out to be 10 pizzas. The manager of the store told him they would not deliver to the airport because it was out of their delivery range. CA Hawk tried another pizza restaurant, but that one told him they could not fulfill the order.

Not one for giving up, CA Hawk remembered that he had a friend and former Line Check Airman (LCA) for PSA, who lived nearby. CA Hawk called him and asked for a favor. Thankfully, his friend came through. He picked up the 10 pizzas for David and drove them to the airport.

CA Hawk then worked with the gate agent and Airport Operations to provide paper plates and napkins. CA Hawk, along with his fantastic crew, went around one-by-one handing out pizza to everyone. The crew never hid, never shied away, and always remained interactive with all 64 passengers. “We all worked together as a team,” said David. “Everyone knew their role and we just did it. It’s how humans treat humans.” Not only that, seeing that they may run short on pizza, David elected not to eat his share. He made sure his crew and passengers came first.

Nearly three and a half hours late, they departed for CLT.

After landing in CLT, and being based in CLT, CA Hawk started the long walk to the employee parking garage to head home and pick up his flying tomorrow. While on the walk out, Scheduling called him and said they were in a pinch and needed a Captain to operate a flight back to AVP. Despite being about 12:30 a.m. at this point, CA Hawk did not question, did not complain, and said, “Ok, I can do that for you.”

The crew members who worked with CA Hawk had high praise for him and the way he cares for his crew and customers.

First Officer Matthew Thomas said, “I have flown with Captain David Hawk a few times; he is undoubtedly a guy who deserves some recognition. He is an example and role model of a true professional that represents PSA and American Airlines well. He creates a positive work environment on the flight deck and with his crew.”

Captain Hawk is by far one of the most superb and professional pilots I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Flight Attendant Todd Dincher. “His number one priority was the safety of his crew, our customers and aircraft. Watching him work with the station agents, Domino’s and someone he knew personally in Greenville to get food there was impressive and made our airline shine!”

FA Pamela Shallcross, the other Flight Attendant on the flight, said “Not only did he go above and beyond with paying for pizza, but he updated the passengers quite often (between every 10 to 15 minutes). In my position as a flight attendant, this alleviates a great deal of pressure on trying to answer passengers concerns when there is only silence from the flight deck. I would fly with him again in a heartbeat. He showed great character and integrity throughout. He’s truly inspiring!”

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