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A power outage stranded thousands at Atlanta's airport — but Chick-fil-A was there to save the day

Chick-fil-A served thousands of stranded travelers in Atlanta on Sunday when a power outage struck the city's airport. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Thousands of travelers were stranded in Atlanta on Sunday when a power outage struck the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Fortunately for the travelers, Chick-fil-A was there to save the day.

What happened?

Chick-fil-A is traditionally closed on Sundays to honor a day of rest. But the fast-food chain opened its doors on Sunday to feed hungry travelers when a power outage forced the nation’s busiest airport to shut down.

According to WSB-TV, the restaurant handed out meals to travelers at the airport and people stranded at the Georgia International Convention Center. The restaurant did so at the request of the city.

Thousands of travelers were served, according to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The city and the airport thanked Chick-fil-A for breaking tradition and opening their fryers for the stranded travelers.

The airport was brought to a standstill Sunday afternoon shortly after 1 p.m. when the entire facility lost power. Airlines were forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights and delay several hundred others. People were left stranded in terminals and on the tarmac for hours. Power wasn't fully restored until just before midnight, 11 hours after it first went down.

What did Chick-fil-A say?

According to WSB, the company said in a statement:

The mayor called about 10pm 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.

Indeed, Chick-fil-A doesn't open on Sundays often and only does so to help communities in need. The last noteworthy time the fast-food chain did so was last year after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. At the time, Chick-fil-A opened several stores in the area to serve those assisting in the aftermath of the massacre.

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