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Airline asks passengers for gas money

From Bharati Naik, CNN
August 17, 2012 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
In the end, passengers of the Air France flight did not have to go into their pockets to help fuel the plane. (File)
In the end, passengers of the Air France flight did not have to go into their pockets to help fuel the plane. (File)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Air France confirms that it asked passengers if they had cash," airline says
  • The incident occurred Wednesday on a flight from Paris to Beirut
  • Passengers ultimately did not have to pay for fuel

(CNN) -- Passengers were asked to help pay for fuel on a Beirut-bound Air France flight that had to be diverted to Syria this week, the airline said.

In the end, passengers did not have to go into their pockets to help fuel the plane, the airline said.

"Air France confirms that it asked passengers if they had cash, as payments for fuel can only be made in cash in Damascus," an Air France statement said. "Ultimately, Air France could pay the full amount itself, and passengers did not have to advance any cash."

The incident occurred Wednesday on a flight from Paris to Beirut.

Because of security concerns in Beirut, the plane was scheduled to divert to Jordan. The plane could not secure a flight path to Amman, so instead, the crew decided to land in Damascus, Air France said.

It was during the two-hour stopover in the Syrian capital that passengers were asked for gas money.

After Air France figured out the issue, the passengers were flown to Cyprus and then taken to Beirut on Thursday.

"Air France apologizes to its customers for the inconvenience," the airline said.

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