Paris, France – All of us who have traveled have been subjected to unexpected and inconvenient layovers, but I’m guessing that very few of the literally tens of people reading this article had their airplane diverted into a war zone. And then had their pilot bum gas money off them.
If that sounds familiar, then you might have been a passenger on Air France Flight 562, which diverted to an emergency layover in war-torn Syria. The plane was headed from Paris, France to Lebanon’s capital of Beirut but was diverted due to some kind of conflict at the Beirut airport, reports NBC News. The emergency diversion put flight 562 in Damascus, the capital of neighboring Syria, a country where civil war is currently raging.
Low on fuel, the crew started asking passengers if they had any cash on their persons. What for? To pay for more jet fuel. Ready for the strangest part?
This was actually kind of a smart move.
An Air France spokesman explained Friday that the crew only asked the passengers for cast as a “precautionary measure” due to the “very unusual circumstances.” Due to the civil war and sanctions against Syria, payment for extra fuel is complicated to put it lightly. Having no other choice but to land in Damascus lest the pilot put the passenger’s lives in danger, asking for cash to guarantee their passage out of the war-torn country was pretty slick, despite the appearance of inconvenience.
Luckily, Air France figured out how to pay for the fuel without resorting to passenger cash reserves. They apologized for the inconvenience and landed safely in Beirut.
We don’t know much about the economy of war-torn Syria, but it could have been worse. They could have been on the barter system.
And at least the flight was only confusing and slightly scary, as opposed to the Russian Airbus A330 flight Wednesday, which was full-on scary, according to ABC News. That flight was diverted to Iceland over a bomb threat.