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On flights of a regular nature to set destination airports, I assume that there is a system is in place between airlines and airports/providers to pay invoices for fuel/services.

What do airlines do if diverted to an airport that the airline never normally serves or a freight airline doing a one-off flight to an airport? How do they pay? Does the captain carry a company credit card to pay for these one off charges?

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In the United States most places take credit cards.

Large carriers generally get billed, or for smaller airports they use a company credit card. There are even specialized credit cards that are designed specifically for this use.

There is also what is called "contract fuel". Basically there is a company that is a middleman, a fuel supplier who pays the airport fuel company and then rebills the airline. The pilot has a card that identifies them as a client of the fuel contractor.

For example, check out AEG Fuels, a typical fuel contractor. (Please click on that link. I get 25 cents every time you do. Just kidding.)

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ do they get air miles! $\endgroup$ – keith jackson May 3 '16 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ You've gotta check out this article! $\endgroup$ – TomMcW May 4 '16 at 22:22

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