Unfortunately there are a quite number of French airfields that take ONLY the Total card now. I have been to 4 in the last 2 weeks that only accepted a Total card and I ended up giving cash to local aeroclub member's in exchange for then putting fuel in on the Total card.
They have one at Lelystad but that one took my AIR BP card OK.
BP is the main (only?) 100LL supplier in the Netherlands. They're switching over from their proprietary BP card system to accepting credit cards and debit cards at all self-service pumps. At least, that's what I've heard. I have yet to experience it for myself.
The Lelystad price was the highest I have ever paid anywhere (short of possibly Turkey (LTBH) and the bowser for that event had to drive all the way from Istanbul) so they could afford to roll out some new pumps
Anyway, I never had an issue in France which appeared to require a French card, so I wonder what the issue is (if it exists). I don't fly a jet or a turboprop.
Is there a list of French airports that are international (i.e. have Customs) that have this issue?
I've never come across it myself. Biarritz, La Rochelle, Tarbes, Cannes, various N French ones, no problems except possibly issues with having to park on very poor grass surface (La Rochelle - I refused) and waiting for jets to fill up first (happens anywhere).
At Laval the nearest airfield to my home base where I refuel there is a Total card system and it is very convenient especially at weekends when it is difficult to find a refueller. I also get a discount on the pump price.
I am not sure there are many, if any, French airports with "proper" 24 hour customs where the sole means of paying is by fuel card.
Lognes I always reckon is the best airport for Paris and will arrange Customs for you, but it is fuel card only. The same is true of Lyon Darois which is a good stop over for any where further south or for visiting the finest vineyards in the World.
A few others come to mind but a lesson learned over the years is to ask before you go. If they only supply fuel by card and you dont have one it isnt that much of a problem to arrange your trip via a customs airport that does have pay as you go pumps for the purposes of clearance and refuelling.
Indeed; my point was that to/from the UK one has to go via a Customs airport anyway.
However, quite a lot of them are "Customs PNR" for example St Yan. But that one took Visa. And it was hard to contact, though eventually I found a phone # that worked.
I think an airport not taking normal credit cards is totally stupid and arrogant. The process of obtaining the machine to stick the card into, and setting up the payments to one's bank, is so trivial. And let's face it - the amounts involved are hardly tiny. This is not a fair comparison but in my small business, our sales went up 20% instantly we started taking credit cards (15 years ago?). And 99.9% of my customers are trade, not retail. Today, in the retail trade, not taking CCs would be unthinkable - yet some airport management doesn't see it that way.
It is OK, going into France by a customs field as required. But once you are in France and want to tour around you start to discover that many places will only allow use of a Total fuel card.
A large number of the French club fields are Total only as they don't have refuel staff or any staff around most of the time. When I was in La Roche last week the guys in the club explained that they get the fuel installations virtually free from Total and it is Total who won't allow the machines to be converted to take credit cards.
Ferrying aircraft that have tiny tanks across France means a lot more careful planning for fuel stops these days!!