Last Sunday, Chick-fil-A did not follow a longtime tradition. The food chain broke one of its major rules, but it had a very good reason for doing so. Chick-fil-A is well known for closing on Sunday, but it opened in Atlanta and served fried chicken to the delight of the mayor and thousands of stranded airline passengers who were stuck inside airport terminals and in some cases aboard planes for hours because of a massive power outage at the world's busiest airport.

Mayor's request

Power was lost at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International on Sunday.

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This caused more than 1,000 flights to be grounded for hours. Mayor Kasim Reed asked Chick-fil-A for assistance around 10 p.m., according to the food chain's spokesperson, Amanda Hannah.

She said in an email to Business Insider that even though Chick-fil-A is not open on Sunday for religious reasons, it does open in cases of emergencies to help out the community. Sunday was an emergency when thousands of travelers needed help. During emergency times, the fast food restaurant chain that is headquartered in Atlanta does not make a profit, but it is always glad to help when needed.

How Chick-fil-A helped

After the mayor's request for Chick-fil-A's help, employees did not hesitate to open and prepare chicken meals for the stranded passengers who were affected by the outage that began at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The reaction was overwhelming from hungry passengers and officials. The community was glad Chick-fil-A broke the long-standing tradition by opening on Sunday to help the travelers who could not leave the airport.

More than 5,000 meals were delivered to the emergency operations center and distributed to thousands of hungry passengers.

Georgia Power announced that electricity was not restored at the airport until after midnight. Even though there were other inconveniences, hunger was not one of them thanks to Chick-fil-A's help. Papa John's should also be acknowledged for sending pizza to the passengers.

It was reported that while the power was out for almost eleven hours, 1,173 flights were canceled and 207 more were delayed on Sunday. After the power was restored, only 400 flights were still canceled on Monday morning and 42 flights were delayed. Things were not back to normal, but Monday's schedule was much better than it was on Sunday, when approximately 30,000 passengers were affected, according to FlightAware.com.