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United Cockpit Codes Go Viral

Flight deck door access codes were accidentally posted to social media by airline flight attendant.

Pilots at United Airlines say that flyers will not face any safety risks despite the fact that cockpit access codes were posted online by an airline flight attendant for an unknown amount of time. The Wall Street Journal reports that the codes were announced online through human error, causing the airline to warn captains and first officers that “flight deck procedures may have been compromised.”

According to a United pilot speaking under anonymity to the newspaper, the codes were posted to a “public website,” but did not specify where. The door codes are used to allow flight attendants and others to access the flight deck from the outside via a locking system. The mechanisms were added after the September 11 attacks in order to improve aircraft security.

Although the codes were posted on a “public website,” the airline said that they had become aware of the situation and were working to resolve the breach. A spokesperson for the United pilots’ union, the Air Line Pilots Association, told the newspaper that the problem had been fixed by Sunday, May 14.

A spokesperson for the airline noted that United aircraft were also built with several additional security methods, but did not elaborate further. Among those known by the public is a cockpit code-override, which allows pilots to lock the door from the inside even if the access code is input correctly.

“The safety of our customers and crews is our top priority,” the carrier told The Wall Street Journal in a statement. “United utilizes a number of measures to keep our flight decks secure beyond door-access information.”

As United corrects the situation, pilots are being told to remain on-guard and follow established flight rules, including visually identifying anyone who requests access to the cockpit. No flights were canceled or delayed as a result of the code breach.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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4 Comments
I
ichorush May 22, 2017

My wife and I have quit United, because the situation with Dr Dao was the last straw. We will use them only for our remaining miles. Everything about them is horrific, from their devaluation 0f mileage plus points to their dragging passengers off the aircraft. Its Southwest for domestic and National airlines for international

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Jerry Nardini May 18, 2017

Avoid United Airlines! They are aggressively overselling flights and denying compensation. I was recently denied boarding a flight with paid ticket in hand. They told me flight was oversold. They offered us no compensation! They lied and told me to call customer service where I got the run-around. Last week I watched their CEO lie to congress about their over-sold procedures and all about their customer service improvements. The culture there is rotten! United is behaving like a monopoly. People have to fly. However, airlines like Southwest have already declared no more denying paid passengers, unlike United who by the way, made $900 Million last year just in flight change fees. Unless and until the public pushes back, they get away with whatever. Recall their response to Dr. Dao and how he was acting belligerent. Until Social Media proved they were lying. Please forward this to friends!

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That's the same combination I use on my luggage.

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Jerry Attrick May 18, 2017

Shhhh don't tell anyone the password for the week is 1234567