An Air France flight from Paris to Beirut made an emergency landing in Damascus, Syria, last Wednesday after running low on fuel. The flight had circled for some time because demonstrations at the Beirut airport had caused flight diversions. The fuel situation was serious enough that Air France decided to land the plane in Damascus, which is seeing its own share of domestic unrest.
But when the plane landed, the flight’s crew made an unusual request: they asked passengers to check their wallets to see if they had cash that the crew could use to pay for fuel at the airport. Economic sanctions against Syria made payment for fuel challenging, and an Air France spokesperson called the measure “unusual” and said that asking for the cash was simply a precautionary measure.
Eventually the airline found another way to pay for the fuel, so they did not need passengers to pitch in for gas money (like they were your big brother driving your 14-year-old friends to the movies.)
Oddly enough, this is the second time an airline has hit up passengers for gas money in the past year — you may remember this story about a Comtel Air pilot asking passengers to put up 150 Euro each to get from Vienna to Birmingham.