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J. Reed/Flickr.com

J. Reed/Flickr.com

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport lost power for about 11 hours forcing more than 1,000 flight cancellations, crippling the world’s busiest airport and leaving loads of weary passengers delayed and frustrated.

Chick-fil-A, which is famously known for closing on Sundays, broke tradition by providing meals to thousands of stranded travelers both in and outside the airport while power was restored.

“The mayor called about 10 p.m. and asked for assistance,” a spokesman for Chick-fil-A confirmed in a statement. “We immediately mobilized staff and team members who live and work near the airport, and they began making sandwiches and delivering them to the EOC (emergency operations center). City and airport official then distributed more than 5,000 sandwiches to passengers who were stranded due to the power outage.”

But it wasn’t just airport officials who were delivering food. In a tweet posted by the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy arrived at the airport to pass out chicken sandwiches alongside airport and city officials.

The local government confirmed that Chick-fil-A meals would also be provided to passengers who were staying at the Georgia International Convention Center, which opened its door to stranded travelers following the power outage.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed later thanked Chick-fi-A for its assistance, confirming that 2,000 meals had already been handed out to hungry travelers as of 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Travelers were also appreciative of this effort, and fans of the restaurant took to Twitter to commend the chain.

Matt Walsh tweeted: “I propose that Chick-fil-A and Southwest team up and hold a conference to teach all other companies how to do customer service. They’re the only ones who’ve figured it out.”

Seed of Abraham tweeted: “This is why we love our @ChickfilA and God continues to bless them. They are a servant and good steward to their patrons.”

Yves Saint Florient tweeted: “Shoutout to @ChickfilA for providing free food for those strandest at the #ATLAirport. And they are closed on Sundays…”

The Associated Press added that Dunkin’ Donuts was also giving away doughnuts to grounded travelers at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

Chick-fil-A restaurants are normally closed on Sundays, with the chain explaining that Truett Cathy, the company’s founder and father of CEO Dan Cathy, made the decision so he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they so choose. These values have remained in place even after Truett Cathy’s passing and is one of the many reasons people love and support the restaurant.

The chain is so strict about this rule, that when they announced in August that they would be opening a location at the Atlanta Falcons’ new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, they confirmed that they would not be open on Sundays – which is when the Falcons play most of their games. But in this instance, Chick-fil-A made an exception to their rule to help those in need.

The outage was said to be caused by an electrical fire that started in an underground facility and eventually brought down the backup power system, as well.

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