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Abandoned Southwest Airlines passengers gifted pizza and drinks by officers


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    SAN DIEGO (KFMB) — Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department understood what comfort food provides a person – and they exercised that knowledge for dozens of trapped and helpless travelers at San Diego International Airport.

Harbor police officers took the form of Santa Claus and provided dinner and drinks to travelers stranded by Southwest Airlines on Christmas Day amid a nationwide cancellation of Southwest flights.

The comfort food on the menu? Warm pizza!

“Harbor PD took it upon themselves to provide dinner & drinks as we waited in extremely long lines for hours,” Nonnie, a stranded traveler, tweeted.

A cart stacked neck-high with pizza boxes, lined with red Gatorade and water, was wheeled down packed airport aisles while storefronts such as Starbucks, Jack in the Box, and Panda Express were closed after-hours.

Four San Diego Harbor police officers served the meal.

“We are proud of these officers for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve the community,” Harbor police said.

Thousands of people were trapped in San Diego or at San Diego International Airport amid several holiday flight cancellations.

Adding to the chaotic situation at the San Diego Airport, luggage filled the baggage claim area and even a food court, creating a scavenger hunt scenario for travelers searching for their bags.

Most distressed travelers reported that most of their problems arose from Southwest Airlines, which seemed to be the most heavily impacted by cancellations and delays.

“Southwest runs a very tight schedule. They turn a plane in 20 minutes. You start getting planes and crews out of place; getting them back in place is tough. Northeast and the central, with the weather, they had fog in San Diego, weather in Seattle, and weather hitting Denver. These are major operations,” said Cosgrove.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation stated in response to Southwest’s cancellations, noting that the department will be looking into the situation.

Southwest Airlines hoped to have travelers on their way to their destinations by December 31.

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Malik Earnest

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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