Students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York all chipped in to buy an airline ticket they didn’t intend to use, just so one member of the group could get past security at the Albany airport. The group decided they all wanted Chick-fil-A but outside of the airport location the nearest one was an hour and a half’s drive away.
Instead of making a three hour roundtrip, 18 members of the school’s cross country and track and field teams chipped in $5.50 apiece for a $98 one-way from Albany to Fort Lauderdale, the cheapest fare they could find at the last minute. They sent team captain Vincent Putrino to the airport.
He then proceeded to make his way through TSA security to purchase food for 18 guys including himself with no intent to actually board the flight.
After it was all said and done, Putrino victoriously walked out of the airport, food in hand, which included 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, 15 large fries, 156 nuggets, a bag of cookies, and a lemonade. The total cost of the food order came out to be $227.28.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 24, 2020
Eight things strike me about ‘the ultimate Chick-fil-A run’:
- Is it any surprise that the one hurdle standing between these students and the Chick-fil-A they wanted was the TSA?
- The people have spoken and airports shouldn’t restrict access to Chick-fil-A on the basis on their political beliefs.
- All airports need programs like Pittsburgh’s and Seattle’s where passengers can register to go through security without same day travel.
- Going through security without intention to fly, with a non-refundable ticket, is just as problematic as going through with a refundable one. These students would have been better off buying something refundable, this isn’t Singapore where it can get you arrested (of course for U.S. domestic travel you aren’t also clearing departure immigration).
- I’m grateful that Flyrite chicken sandwiches exist outside of the Austin airport.
- Is there an underexploited opportunity for Uber Eats, Door Dash and competitors to get into the airport food delivery business?
- Why does this remind me of the famous (and somewhat apocryphal) Larry King Carvel story where he, Sandy Koufax, and two other friends drove from Brooklyn to New Haven, Connecticut to settle a bet on whether there was actually a Carvel there that sold 3 scoops of ice cream for 15 cents?
- Or is it more like Woody Allen in Bananas ordering food at a local deli for the entire revolutionary army?