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Air France asks passengers for refuel cash at Damascus stop

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The crew of an Air France plane that was re-routed via Damascus on Wednesday asked passengers how much cash they could stump up after Syrian authorities refused credit card payment to refuel the aircraft, the French airline said on Thursday. ( עוד...

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Charles Collins 6
The alternative to landing in Beirut was landing in Syria? It must have been pretty damn bad in Beirut.
Chris Bryant 5
I guess Visa ISN'T everywhere you want to be. :)
EMO2012 4
If any of us here were to be in command of the plane, what would we have done? I will do the same to get out of the situation at hand.
Jeffrey Babey 1
Good point, when in trouble get out of dodge anyway as fast as you can.
Jamestonw FBO 1
The Pax would get reimbursed anyway, atleast they should be.
David Sims 4
Why would any commercial airline be flying into such a war torn unstable country at this point?
ToddBaldwin3 1
I guess it was any port in a storm will do, although this one turned out to be stormier than they expected.
This shows you just how bad the situation must be in Syria. If the French of all Flags cannot get aid from their buddies who could?
Jeffrey Babey 0
I agree, pretty crazy. Than asking passengers to cough up cash? Scary.
Paul Glick 3
Hmmm. And I complain about flying in the US. I guess I can live with high airfares, no food or drink, small seats, no storage areas, et cetera.
Charles Hessler 2
Sounds like poor planning on an Air France dispatcher and/or the pilot. If his original destination was Beirut and he only had enough fuel to make the 20 minutes flying time to Damascus, then he didn't have much of a fuel reserve. Knowing what the situation is in the eastern Mediterranean area, common sense would have said to have enough of a reserve to make it to Amman, Jordan to the south-east, Tel Aviv, Israel to the south, Nicosia, Cyprus to the west, or Adana, Turkey to the north. Hell, he could have also diverted to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. England and France are both NATO and EU members, and given the situation, I am sure that the RAF would have let him land there and give him a few liters of petrol.
andre liedtke 1
agree totally
sparkie624 2
All I can say is that things over there are not as good as they are over here.
Ric Wernicke 1
When a a government is propelled into controversy, other countries (often using the UN as a tool) adopt a no tolerence policy prohibiting international banking. It makes credit cards worthless, and requires cash where normally a wire transfer would deliver fuel to an aircraft operating where the company does not have or has lost existing fuel arrangements.

I have yet to see a government collapse because the banking was made difficult. North Korea seems to be working some 50 years on, and even Coca Cola is available.

These fiscal embargos do nothing to hinder the government, but place a terrible burden on citizens and visitors alike to that country.
david baumstein 1
Why didn't they go to Tel Aviv? It can't be THAT much farther than Syria, and it is a stable country
BC Hadley 1
That's what I was thinking, but actually Damascus is much closer to Beruit than any major city it Israel.
Mike Murphy 1
We'll leave the light on for you...
ltcjra 1
I was on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to JFK once when bad weather forced us to land at Logan in Boston. The lead steward told me the airline had to arrange for payment of fuel!! Four hours later we depart for JFK. Rumor was that a US-based airline supplied the credit!! BTW, we were not allowed to park at the terminal and federal and local authorities surrounded the aircraft the whole time we were on the tarmac away from the terminal!!
David Sims 5
The reason for the security was because you were an international flight that was not clearing customs. They have to ensure nothing is passed to or from the aircraft and that no one is allowed to get off. As for payment, Aeroflot doesn't fly to Boston, and probably does not have an account with the fueler there.
ltcjra 0
Yes, I can imagine a "plane load of un-scheduled ruskies" arriving in Boston would set off alarms. BTW, I suggested to the lead steward that we "pass the hat" to collect funds for fuel. She just looked at me with an odd expression!!!!!
John Hopkins 1
I remember some years ago landing at Gander, Newfoundland, to refuel on route to Florida from the UK. However we were not restricted to the plane whilst it was on the ground, and even encouraged to go into the terminal for refreshments and shopping (although it was in the middle of the night). No heavy security present there, but it was a scheduled event.
Peter Fairlie 1
That's what I love about Canada... everyone is always welcome.
tim mitchell 0
Glad everything went over smoothly....heck if it would have been a Greek Airline they would probably still be there
Cole Goldberg 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Road Block Diverts Flight destined for Beirut

An Air France flight to Beirut was forced to land in Damascus, Syria after the Lebanese capital's airport Beirut Rafic Hariri International was road blocked by protesters.
loskotj -2
May be airlines should stop flying into countries like Syria.
N0626JC 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Flight Rerouted To Syria

An Air France flight was rerouted to Syria, passengers almost have to help paid for the fuel.
Jackie Butcher 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Air France Passengers Asked To 'Chip In' For Fuel In Damascus

Passengers on an Air France flight to Beirut that was diverted to Damascus Wednesday were reportedly asked to help pay for fuel before the flight could continue, but an alternative solutions was found before any money changed hands.
Sherron Racz 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Passengers asked for gas money

Air France flight diverted to Syria couldn't use credit card to pay for fuel, and asked passengers for gas money.

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