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Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:33 am
by ReecePerram
Hi Everyone
I'm going to America in July this year and i was wondering if i will/would be allowed to visit the cockpit during, before or after my flight? i'm flying on United to and from Sydney with some internal flights from:
SFO
Denver
Seattle
Anchorage
Is it harder to get a visit into the cockpit in America due to 9/11? or is it the same or if not easier?
Thanks, Reece

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:38 am
by speedbird52
It's a little harder. If you board fairly early you can try asking before the flight. Generally the best time to ask is during decent when the crew are preparing the aircraft, if you can visit once yo uare at the gate. I've only been denied once: In Iran of all places where sometimes they let people in during the flight.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:39 am
by Jshank83
During is not allowed. I would think before isn't happening either since they will likely be wanting to get the plane loaded and going. After is probably doubtful also but others on here might know better. It might depend on how fast the turn is for the next flight.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:46 am
by steveinbc
Im sure that no American airline is permitted to let anyone into the cockpit when in flight. It will need to be prior or after flight. Most likely after since prior is usually hectic. From my experience a polite word to the purser during a quieter period of the flight will get you in when you land. Good luck.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:04 am
by 77west
I am assuming you are young and/or new to aviation matters.

The answer is, you will not - during flight. Don't even ask..

Unlikely before flight as they are usually quite busy getting things ready, and I would still avoid asking, mostly out of courtesy to the crew.

If you ask nicely to visit after the flight, however, you may just get the opportunity. IE once you are at the gate and they have started de-boarding.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:14 am
by KLMatSJC
Didn't we just have a huge discussion/argument on this a few days ago?

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:17 am
by SXDFC
As others stated, ask before or after the flight. During Flight you will not be allowed. Best of luck, hope it works out.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:18 am
by ual747den
I don't understand why these people are telling you that you won't be able to visit the cockpit, OF COURSE YOU WILL. Just do it after you land, be the last to depart the aircraft and just go ask the crew if you can check out the cockpit and take some pictures, 100% they will let you in. They would let you in before the flight too but they really are busy getting ready to push so its a bad time to do that.

As others have said, don't even ask during the flight, you might get duct taped to your seat and get to tour a real American jail!

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:20 am
by Kaphias
Several years ago I asked as I stepped aboard early in the process, and after answering a few questions, the pilots let me stay through some of their pre-flight checks and until most of the passengers had boarded. I've also been in after landing, but your time may be limited if you're sitting in the rear. A earlier poster's suggestion of asking the head FA during a quiet time towards the end of the flight would be wise.

All my visits have been on Alaska Airlines, but I wouldn't imagine it would be any different on United.

Also, it never hurts to dress cleanly and wear a smile.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:24 am
by packmedic
As a flight attendant, I will say that before the flight generally works better for domestic flights. Especially if you're at a base, after the flight pilots will generally do their shutdown checklists and head towards the employee bus ASAP. I always encourage people to stop by before the flight rather than after.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:38 am
by sergegva
BTW, was it possible or even common for pax to visit the cockpit during flight pre-2001.9 in the USA? When I was a child, I did it once in Europe (LX flight).

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:07 am
by MileHFL400
sergegva wrote:
BTW, was it possible or even common for pax to visit the cockpit during flight pre-2001.9 in the USA? When I was a child, I did it once in Europe (LX flight).


I remember doing the same during a flight as a kid from Nairobi to Cairo on board an Egypt Air flight in 1995.

Been in a few post flight. Never had a crew say no to me and are very accommodating to my photos and selfies!

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:05 am
by Max Q
If you try visiting after the flight most likely
you’ll find an empty cockpit


The Pilots and flight attendants have one priority after blocking in and that’s getting off and going to the hotel


You’d be amazed how quickly this gets done



Go up there before departure, be polite, respectful, don’t make jokes about terrorism or flight crews and alcohol and
you’ll nearly always be welcome

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:25 pm
by Woodreau
I would concur with try to visit before rather than after. If the plane is scheduled for a crew change, with the pilots returning to base or scheduled for a layover, the pilots will be gone before the first 5 rows of the cabin is deplaned. Getting the aircraft ready for flight normally doesn’t take too long and there’s usually some dead time where we’re just making small talk or browsing our personal devices while we’re waiting for the final paperwork before departure.

Being able to visit the flight deck is situational, just ask the flight attendant if it’s okay to visit, most crew don’t mind at all, but there will be some crews that won’t allow visits.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:57 pm
by SK4007
MileHFL400 wrote:
sergegva wrote:
BTW, was it possible or even common for pax to visit the cockpit during flight pre-2001.9 in the USA? When I was a child, I did it once in Europe (LX flight).


I remember doing the same during a flight as a kid from Nairobi to Cairo on board an Egypt Air flight in 1995.

Been in a few post flight. Never had a crew say no to me and are very accommodating to my photos and selfies!


It is possible, and it does happen.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:30 am
by BoeingGuy
sergegva wrote:
BTW, was it possible or even common for pax to visit the cockpit during flight pre-2001.9 in the USA? When I was a child, I did it once in Europe (LX flight).


Not by US carriers. Flight Deck visits in-flight on US based airlines stopped in the 1970s due to the Cuban hijackings. However, non-US airlines could do it in the US prior to 2001. For example, there was no rule that QF couldn't let someone in the flight deck for takeoff from LAX.

It was, and still is, possible to get jumpseat authorization in the US for technical reasons. For example, if you work for the manufacturer and are observing procedures for a valid work related reason. However, as you might imagine, that's become much more difficult these days.

I personally got approval in 2000 to fly jumpseat with AA for work related reasons. I was booked on three flights over the Christmas holiday. Even then it was up to Captain's discretion. 2 out of 3 happily had me up there. That would likely be much more difficult to obtain now.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:40 am
by BoeingGuy
KLMatSJC wrote:
Didn't we just have a huge discussion/argument on this a few days ago?


Still going on. :) I kind of wish I hadn't wasted my time on that bizarre thread. Let's stick to a more intelligent discussion on this topic.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:59 am
by Passedv1
Much bad advice here. Do not ask inflight, if you come across wrong your innocent request could turn into a security incident.

After the flight is another bad idea. The crew is just trying to go to the hotel. Definitely do not be last, flight deck will likely be empty.

Do ask politely. If you see either pilot on the jetbridge ask. Even our biggest a-holes would have a hard time saying no. It takes longer to board a plane than it takes to get it ready to fly so there is some slack preparation time to pause for a picture. This is especially true if the weather is nice and things are running on-time.

Be polite, no stupid comments, limit yourself to 2 or 3 thoughtful questions and you will be welcome.

Good luck.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:58 pm
by VSMUT
Passedv1 wrote:
After the flight is another bad idea. The crew is just trying to go to the hotel. Definitely do not be last, flight deck will likely be empty.


This statement is a bit odd, is this another American quirk? I've never experienced a crew leave before the last passenger in Europe, Asia or Africa.

There is also the chance that the crew is just doing a turnaround and is flying back later. Not every flight ends with the crew going to a hotel or changing aircraft.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:13 pm
by Nicoeddf
BoeingGuy wrote:
KLMatSJC wrote:
Didn't we just have a huge discussion/argument on this a few days ago?


Still going on. :) I kind of wish I hadn't wasted my time on that bizarre thread. Let's stick to a more intelligent discussion on this topic.


Oh seriously, everyone wishes you would have not wasted your time on the thread, or dare I say threat?. Would have made it much less bizarre. ;)

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:59 pm
by mxaxai
VSMUT wrote:
Passedv1 wrote:
After the flight is another bad idea. The crew is just trying to go to the hotel. Definitely do not be last, flight deck will likely be empty.


This statement is a bit odd, is this another American quirk? I've never experienced a crew leave before the last passenger in Europe, Asia or Africa.

There is also the chance that the crew is just doing a turnaround and is flying back later. Not every flight ends with the crew going to a hotel or changing aircraft.

Having done a few flights recently in SEA my experience was:
1) Scoot to KUL, no problem after the flight
2) Scoot to SIN, arrived with 1 hour delay around 0:30 AM, did not bother asking
3) Malindo to KUL, pilots had already left the cockpit for their walkaround, access denied
4) AirAsia to REP, pilots informed me that malaysian law did not allow unauthorised persons in the cockpit at all, very friendly though, access denied
5) Jetstar to SIN, no problem after the flight

Regarding the OP:
Other recent flights that allowed me to visit after landing were:
KLM 747, F70, E190
DL 737, 767
Germanwings A320, A319
Lufthansa A340

So I would suggest:

A) Don't be the last person off the plane and ask then. The pilots may very well leave the cockpit earlier.
B) Don't be the last person on the plane and ask then. The crew will likely be busy with their pre-flight checks.
C) Don't ask during stressful times like the middle of the night or on delayed flights. Or at least be ready to be rejected.
D) Be friendly, reasonably well dressed and show curiosity. Most pilots are very friendly people. Perhaps bring a camera. Asking for the reason for the turbulence is ok, asking if the pilot was drunk is not.
E) During boarding / deboarding there will usually be flight attendants near the exit. Ask them first and they will ask the pilots on your behalf. Try not to obstruct other passengers. Comply with any instructions. I've been asked for an ID, for a reason, to stand aside and wait, etc...
F) Always be ready to be denied. It's a privilege, not a right.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:58 pm
by BoeingGuy
Nicoeddf wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
KLMatSJC wrote:
Didn't we just have a huge discussion/argument on this a few days ago?


Still going on. :) I kind of wish I hadn't wasted my time on that bizarre thread. Let's stick to a more intelligent discussion on this topic.


Oh seriously, everyone wishes you would have not wasted your time on the thread, or dare I say threat?. Would have made it much less bizarre. ;)


If you don’t like it then don’t read it. Does it make you feel better to get a last word in when I already admitted it?

What exactly is your point here?

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:33 am
by USAOZ
if on a charter flight, think the rules are a little different, but might depend on which country the aircraft is registered in & where flying to & from

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:07 pm
by NozPerry
I prefer people to visit it after the flight, not being the last person off because I want to get home or get to the hotel. Halfway through disembarking if you ask nicely then I always let people in if there’s no jumpseat in use or flight deck aren’t busy.

Re: Visiting the cockpit

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:53 pm
by LakerLiker
If you are going on a @British_Airways flight and would like to visit the flight deck, just ask the crew. If there is time, our pilots will be more than happy to show you ‘the office’. If you would like a souvenir of your visit, like this, ask them to use the BFD Photo App.

From a BA A380 captain via Twitter