Last Saturday the Estonian Air flight from Munich to Tallinn was late for an hour and a half. The reason was quite bizarre: The plane needed refueling but for some reason the captain’s credit card was not accepted and he had to go downtown Munich to find some cash. «We were sitting in the plane for 20 minutes, then the Second Officer announced that they need gas but the Estonian Air’s credit card was not accepted,» told one of the passengers. «He said that only cash was accepted and that the captain will go an try to find some.» The passengers were sent back to the waiting area.
The plane was eventually refueled and the flight left 90 minutes late. What happened? Was the fault with the bank or Estonian Air? «Aviation is going through tough times, many companies are tightening their credit policies, » told Estonian Air’s PR manager Ilona Eskelinen. «That day it was just a misunderstanding with the payment procedures.» That is why the pilot had to take cash out on the same card. Eskelinen stressed that it was the first time their major credit card issued by an international bank was decilined.
The Munich flight required about 4-5 tons of fuel, one liter costs approx. 1 EUR. Eskelinen added that paying with a credit card for such a big amount of fuel in nothing out of the ordinary. «Usually we pay with an invoice and bank transfer but the pilotes have credit cards in case there is a need to pay locally. Estonian Air buys fuel from the same company in Germani and in Italy. The same day payment was done in Milan with the same credit card with no problems.