A FLIGHT ATTENDANT inadvertently published the door codes to the cockpits of the airline's planes, it has emerged.
The United (isn't it always) attendant hasn't completely borked everything, according to the airline, who said that there are other ways to secure the cockpits. We presumed this would be by wedging a dining chair under the handle or using a secret knock, and it turns out we were right.
In fact, pilots are being advised to wait for people requesting access to use the doorbell, and then check using the peephole who it is before letting them in. Which is the same advice given to old ladies about avoiding insurance salesmen.
Pilots can also override the door being unlocked, when they're not too busy, you know, flying the plane and that says The Wall Street Journal.
"The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority and United utilises a number of measures to keep our flight decks secure beyond door access information. In the interim, this protocol ensures our cockpits remain secure. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible," said a United spokesperson.
It's not entirely clear how or why the incident occurred, but on Sunday night, pilots were warned that the numbers had been posted on a public website.
The Airline Pilots Association has long been calling for secondary barriers on cockpit doors since the 9/11 attacks and has called on Congress to mandate their use.
"The installation of secondary barriers on all passenger aircraft is a simple and cost-effective way to bolster the last line of flight deck defence," said the union in a statement to Reuters.
Nevertheless, the problem is now resolved as the codes are manually programmed into each lock and can, therefore, be changed.
The missing part of the story is what on earth this crew member was doing with all the codes, and what possessed them to put them anywhere on the internet, let alone online. We're hoping that'll come out in the wash later.
Recently, we reported another story about United - no, not that one, this was about the fact that it has taken video screens out of Economy but its WiFi is rubbish. µ
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