Ladies and gentlemen -- can we borrow some gas money?
An especially humiliating Air France flight seeks detour to Damascus
There is one distinct disadvantage to flying first class - you're the
first person the captain may ask for gas money if the plane runs low.
And that's precisely what happened to an Air France flight on Wednesday,
after the plane made an emergency landing in Damascus, Syria.
Passengers in first class, mostly French and Lebanese, were the first to be asked if they could give gas money.
Unfortunately, despite a safe landing, sanctions prevented the airport from using the company credit card to obtain fuel. That's when the captain decided to see if he could raise cash from passengers to buy gas.
Passengers in first class, mostly French and Lebanese, were the first to be asked if they could give anything.
Passengers had a strong incentive to hand over what they could, since many were fearful after being warned to keep their windows blinded and not to take any pictures. Eventually, the captain managed to raise the equivalent of $17,000 before being informed that Air France officials had contacted the airport and resolved the situation.
In the end, the captain took no money from the passengers.
During refueling, passengers were advised to unbuckle their seat belts in the event the plane caught fire during refueling, to facilitate evacuation, a warning that made the situation only more uncomfortable.
At least one passenger who did peek through his window reported seeing the aircrew haggling with airport officials.
Air France later said the captain's efforts to raise cash were only precautionary.
After two hours, the plane flew to Cyprus as planned, and twenty hours later, made it to Beirut, Lebanon.
French officials say they are upset with Air France for landing their plane in Damascus, given the animosity between the French government and the Assad regime.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Europe, Syria, Air France, faux pas
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