Last year when an Emirates captain invited me into the cockpit of a 777 before takeoff, I felt like I was doing something special… and forbidden.
I got a photo taken of me in the captain’s seat of a Singapore Airlines 777 but that was a new delivery aircraft at Boeing. And I popped up to the cockpit prior to departure of the American Airlines Boeing 787 inaugural flight to pick up a challenge coin.
But in the modern security world, where you can’t approach the lavatory while a cockpit crew uses it, the classic answer to the Airplane! question “The cockpit? What is it?” isn’t “it’s a little room at the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that’s not important right now.” Instead, the correct answer usually seems to be, “It’s the room at the front of the plane with reinforced doors, and if you try to go near there the plane will divert and you’ll be sent to Guantanamo.”
However God Save the Points shares the good news that you can visit the cockpit if you wish at least as long as you’re a British Airways passenger.
That’s because British Airways is encouraging cockpit visits prior to takeoff and after landing and even has an app for that.
The airline’s pilots encourage customers of all ages to come forward to visit the flight deck whenever the opportunity permits before departure or after the plane has landed.
The special app was developed by one of British Airways’ own pilots and is another initiative in the airline’s bespoke ‘Beyond the Flight Deck’ programme, which is designed to help its flight crew best serve customers before, during and after their flight.
British Airways pilots will all have the ‘View From The Flight Deck’ app on their iPads to take photos of passengers as they visit the cockpit. The app will send the photos to the passengers and will include the Captain’s name, route and distance traveled, and aircraft type and registration. BA wants passengers to share flight deck photos on social media with the hash tag #BAUpClose.
You can generally visit the flight deck. But I absolutely love that British Airways is promoting it and welcoming passengers.