Self-serve fuel is a great way to save a few dollars, but can be the source of frustration if you can’t get the pump to cooperate. You are not alone and we are here to help. Listed below are some solutions that will make your next visit to self-serve pain-free.
I’ve swiped my card and put in my info. Why is the fuel not pumping?
Those used to gas station pumps expect that once they pay, the pump will automatically kick in. Avgas pumps, unlike their non-aircraft counterparts, are a little more manual. A lever on the pump itself needs to be pulled up before it will release the fuel. The lever should look something like the one pictured below. Now you’re ready to begin fueling.
I think my session has timed out again. Why do I have to keep restarting my transaction?
While sessions do time out eventually, chances are yours hasn’t. The pump will allow enough time to fuel your aircraft with time to spare. If the pump is still making noise, the session is still active and you can pump fuel. So, if it seems like you need to start a new transaction, check again. You probably still have plenty of time.
I was charged how much?!
You just finished pumping 10 gallons into your aircraft after hitting the “Fill-up” button. You check your bank and it says you were charged hundreds of dollars! How is this possible? Is the pump ripping you off? Has someone stolen your card? Don’t panic. The answer is actually that little “Fill-up” button. Whenever you tell the pump how much fuel you want, it puts a hold on that much money in your bank. This is to make sure there are sufficient funds in the account. When you select Fill-up, the machine is programmed to put a larger amount on hold just to be safe. If you wait a day or two (depending on your bank), the charge will only be for the fuel you pumped.
The machine didn’t give me a receipt. What can I do?
The pump is not printing your receipt. Maybe it’s out of paper. Maybe it’s jammed. Maybe it’s just in a bad mood today. For whatever reason, it’s not working and you don’t have time to wait for someone to fix it. Do not despair. For newer pumps like the QTpods we use at ACI Jet, all transactions can be accessed remotely. Just call the front desk of the FBO and request that they email it to you. It’s quick, easy, and it saves trees. Well maybe a tiny tree.
Here is a video showing a complete transaction at one of our Qpod stations: