United Airlines cockpit door access information made public by flight attendant

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Those specific security procedures aren't public knowledge, although the airline is reportedly asking pilots to visually confirm the identity of anyone who enters the cockpit, even if they have the correct passcode, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The confidential codes required to access United Airlines' cockpits have been accidentally leaked to the public in what the airline calls a mistake, rather than a data breach.

The beleaguered airlines emailed a "safety alert" to its employees that its flight deck access security procedures "may have been compromised". In the interim this protocol ensures our cockpits remain secure. United Continental Holdings also informed its employees that there is a "corrective action plan" in place to handle security breaches such as this.

Industry union the Air Line Pilots Association is said to have confirmed that the issue has now been resolved, which presumably involved resetting the cockpit door codes on all aircraft.

United Airlines might have another public relations nightmare on its hands.

One pilot told Van Cleave that he suspects the airline will need to change the code on the doors, which he believes has to be done manually on a plane-by-plane basis.

The Air Line Pilots Association, a union that represents 55,000 pilots in the USA and Canada, told the WSJ on Sunday that the problem had been fixed.

After 9-11 in 2001 when terrorists entered the cockpits, the Federal Aviation Administration told commercial airlines to adopt systems to prevent the takeover of passenger planes, including locking cockpit doors.

There were no reports of flight delays or other schedule problems caused by the unusual incident.