College Student Buys $98 Plane Ticket Just to Get Airport Chick-fil-A


Though Chick-fil-A is an increasingly ubiquitous fast food chain, the popular chicken chain can sometimes still be hard to find. For example, New York City’s only Chick-fil-A was located within a New York University food court until just a few years ago. That continued scarcity in some pockets of the country can inspire long pilgrimages to see what all the hype is about.

Case in point: some students on the track team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (about 68 miles from the nearest Chick-fil-A) recently decided that the best way to get their hands on some Chick-fil-A was to purchase a plane ticket to Florida. Really.

The plan didn’t actually involve taking a vacation to the Sunshine State and returning with a checked bag full of Chick-fil-A, though. According to ABC7, a large group of RPI students on the team pooled their money to buy a $98 ticket from Albany to Fort Lauderdale, which was the cheapest one-way ticket they could find. The “shared” plane ticket (which broke down to about $5.50 each) thus acted as a pretext for RPI senior Vincent Putrino to get through security at Albany’s airport and hit up the Chick-fil-A only accessible to those who’ve passed through the TSA’s checkpoint.

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Once he cleared security, Putrino made a beeline for the Chick-fil-A, where he spent a whopping $227.28 on 15 sandwiches, 15 fries, and an astounding 156 nuggets. Much like a character who has an epiphany at the end of a cliché-laden romantic comedy, Putrino then proceeded to exit the airport without boarding his flight. Except in this case it was because he had a massive haul of Chick-fil-A to bring back to his friends.

Anyone who’s shown up at an airport hungry knows the pain of assuming they’ll be good food on the other side of security only to find out the dining options all suck. So the tale of the RPI track team and their Chick-fil-A gambit serves as a nice counterpoint. And before you embark on a road trip just to eat a specific type of fast food, it’s a useful reminder that the nearest good chicken sandwich might be a bit closer than you’d think.

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