Passengers 'asked to pay for refuel' after plane diverts to Syria
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Air France passengers were asked to "chip in" to pay for a refuel when their plane heading for Beirut diverted to Damascus, Syria,instead.
The Boeing 777 was carrying 174 passengers and 11 crew members from Paris when it made a two-hour stop in Damascus because of tensions in Beirut.
One passenger, called Roland, told news.com.au: "There were some negotiations going on to buy fuel because Air France doesn't fly to Damascus at the moment and so it doesn't have an account with Damascus airport authorities."
Another passenger named Najib said: "We went down in Syria where there were lots of soldiers ... We thought there were some problems and that there was no money to pay for the fuel.
"They asked if the passengers could contribute for the refuelling. Then they found a solution to the problem."
Unrest broke out on the airport road in the Lebanese capital on Wednesday, leading to the diversion.
According to an Air France employee, the crew offered to pay for the fuel on a credit card, but the transaction was not possible because of financial sanctions in Syria.
He did not elaborate on how the payment was finally made, and the plane went on safely to Larnaca.
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