Can You Still Visit Cockpits On Airlines?

Can You Still Visit Cockpits On Airlines?

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Many of us in the miles & points world aren’t just into traveling, but are also aviation geeks. As an avgeek, there aren’t many places that are cooler to see than the cockpit of a big jet. In this post I wanted to address a question I see every so often — can you still visit the cockpit when flying on an airline?

Do airlines allow airplane cockpit visits?

For most airlines, long gone are the days where you can visit the flight deck inflight, and possibly even sit in the cockpit for takeoff and landing. The good news is that for the most part you can still visit cockpits, regardless of whether you’re traveling with a little kid, or just a little kid at heart. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It can never hurt to ask if you can visit the cockpit; just explain you’re an aviation geek and are fascinated by the plane, as the worst they can say is “no”
  • For the most part, cockpit visits are at the captain’s discretion, so it’s all a function of how busy the pilots are, and what their comfort level is (especially with the pandemic); they may be willing to let you visit before the flight, after the flight, or not at all
  • If you do get to visit the cockpit, be mindful of the pilots’ time, and get the hint if they want you to leave; some pilots may be super chatty and keep you up for a while, while others may only have a spare minute
  • Ask before snapping pictures, as some airlines allow cockpit visits but don’t allow photos in the cockpit

It’s worth noting, however, that the policy for cockpit visits varies by airline. For example, last I heard:

  • Qatar Airways has a strict policy against passengers visiting the cockpit, including before and after the flight
  • Emirates has a policy where you can visit the cockpit at the captain’s discretion, though only after the flight, since they’re busy before departure
  • Other airlines (like American, British Airways, Delta, etc.) allow cockpit visits at anytime while at the gate at the captain’s discretion

In general I’ve found airlines in the United States and Europe to be extremely accommodating of cockpit visits. In other parts of the world I’ve found it to be a bit more hit-or-miss, as sometimes there’s confusion about why an adult would want to visit the cockpit.

Airline cockpits are pretty cool places!

Some fun airline cockpit visits I’ve had

Personally I don’t usually ask to visit the cockpit, since at this point I’ve been in the flight deck of most types of planes. Nonetheless I figured I’d share a couple of fun experiences I’ve had.

Probably a decade ago I was on a Thai Airways flight and asked the flight attendant if I might be able to visit the cockpit after landing. To my surprise she returned 10 minutes later and said “how would you like to visit now?” I was floored, and spent about 20 minutes in the cockpit while we were enroute to Bangkok. It almost felt scandalous, given that I’m so used to the post-9/11 security mentality.

Also, this goes back a lot longer than that, but my cousin used to be a captain for a German airline that no longer exists. When I was a teenager he once invited me to fly along with him for the entire day in the jumpseat (and for the record, this was totally within the carrier’s rules — the captain could invite someone to sit in the jumpseat). We flew a total of four segments, and suffice it to say that as an avgeek that was possibly my coolest flying experience ever.

I once got to visit a Thai Airways cockpit inflight

Bottom line

Despite all the security procedures in place nowadays, cockpit visits are still very much possible on most airlines. Just be sure you ask the flight attendant first, and be ready to take “no” for an answer if the pilots are busy and/or not very social. If you are invited, be mindful of the pilots’ time, and ask before snapping pictures.

What has your experience been with visiting cockpits on flights?

Conversations (45)
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  1. Damon Guest

    In late 2016 I heard that United would be retiring their fleet of 747’s in the coming year and coincidentally I needed to a few thousand miles to keep my Gold status for the next year. So I looked for a fun mileage run and saw that I could fly from IAD to Shanghai for my last flight on a 747 and return on my first flight in a Dreamliner.

    As I was boarding...

    In late 2016 I heard that United would be retiring their fleet of 747’s in the coming year and coincidentally I needed to a few thousand miles to keep my Gold status for the next year. So I looked for a fun mileage run and saw that I could fly from IAD to Shanghai for my last flight on a 747 and return on my first flight in a Dreamliner.

    As I was boarding the 747 and looking around taking it all in I mentioned to a stewardess how great of a plane it was and how it was my favorite plane and booked the flight just to fly one last time on her.

    She agreed that it was also her favorite plane and lamented they were being retired.

    Then she asked if I had ever been to the upper deck.

    I had never even thought to ask but it was always a dream to see what was going on up there so I said ofcourse I would love to.

    So we went up stairs and she said she would check with the captain if I could come see the cockpit. She cake back in a minute smiling so my excitement really grew. Both pilots and the flight engineer were in the cockpit as the flight attendant relayed to the captain that the 747 was my favorite plane.

    To my complete and utter surprise the captain asked if I wanted to sit in the pilots seat!

    I almost said “no, I didn’t want to be a bother“ but Thought to myself when will I ever get another chance like this and blurted out “sure!”

    So he gets up and I sit down and he asked if I had a camera so I handed him my phone.

    He told me to put my hands on the controls and say cheese and for once I didn’t have to fake a smile. In fact I think I was smiling all the way to China. What an experience.

  2. Avi Guest

    Hi, since 2014 when I started ask visit the cockpit from time to time here is my experience:
    Iberia: 5 flights got permission only once with the a330-200 other times was between a no and few excuses but that’s ok ofc.
    British Airways- Most of my cockpit visits very welcoming crew 98%when I wanted got a yes . Just be polite and ask nicely and bring some sweets of the crew can enhance...

    Hi, since 2014 when I started ask visit the cockpit from time to time here is my experience:
    Iberia: 5 flights got permission only once with the a330-200 other times was between a no and few excuses but that’s ok ofc.
    British Airways- Most of my cockpit visits very welcoming crew 98%when I wanted got a yes . Just be polite and ask nicely and bring some sweets of the crew can enhance your chances.
    AA- domestic flights are bigger chances for cockpit visit from my experience. I was flying MIA-JFK with the 777-300 and after landing in jfk been told by flight attendant go and ask the captain your self (got to meet one of the nicest captain ever).
    Alaska airlines-after landing in Portland were very welcoming.
    United airlines-after landing in Chicago from Orlando were very welcoming.

  3. PilotsKid Guest

    When I was a kid (20+ years ago), I used to fly in the cockpit's jumpseat fairly often when my dad flew for a now defunct airline.
    He was a first officer at the time, so it always was at the Captain's discretion.
    727's and I think I did get a chance to do so on 320, 319 and 318(!).

    Good times!

  4. Nicolas Guest

    Hey,
    On a flight between Montreal and Paris, my seat was on 2nd floor of a 747, just behind the cockpit. I asked the flight attendant if it was possible to visit the cockpit after landing.
    I explained my job was to develop avionics systems and I was very interested in talking with the pilot and seeing the full board. She told me she'll ask the pilot and let me know. I was...

    Hey,
    On a flight between Montreal and Paris, my seat was on 2nd floor of a 747, just behind the cockpit. I asked the flight attendant if it was possible to visit the cockpit after landing.
    I explained my job was to develop avionics systems and I was very interested in talking with the pilot and seeing the full board. She told me she'll ask the pilot and let me know. I was a lucky guy! The pilot was interesting about my job and invited me during the flight. I had the opportunities to spent 1 hour in the cockpit, and to flight over UK and France until it have to engage the descent to the airport.
    I had a good conversation, I learnt a lot from him, and he was very interested about my job too. I don't take pictures, but I'll always remember the view I had from the sky .

  5. Mike Kirkell Guest

    My favorite photo of my then 6 year old son’s childhood is of him in the cockpit of Concorde with the altimeter just below FL 600 and the Mach meter about 1.7. The only other picture that comes close is an up looking shot of him in the cockpit of an F-117 taken at an air show. You

  6. Jack Guest

    I had the fortune of sitting in the cockpit during a number of landings the most memorable being CPAir DC10 into LIM 1981, Air Canada 747 into YVR 1988 and BA 747-4 into LHR (charity donation) at dawn 1999.

  7. Miles Guest

    I was very fortunate to be able to visit the cockpit after a trans-Atlantic flight on a BA Concorde. I had a book about the Concorde with me and got autographs of the captain and a flight attendant (next to her picture in the book).

  8. AaronP Guest

    I spent many hours on overseas flights in the cockpit, even wearing a headset. Then something bad happened on 9.11.01 and it was over for good...

  9. Mark Wilson Guest

    Back when my son was 8, we did a day trip to another city, just for the experience of flying. I was trying to share my passion for flying, in the hope that he'd catch the bug.
    On flying the outbound leg, I asked a stewardess whether we could visit the cockpit and, a few minutes later, we made a brief visit. My son was a tad shy, but I was in my element....

    Back when my son was 8, we did a day trip to another city, just for the experience of flying. I was trying to share my passion for flying, in the hope that he'd catch the bug.
    On flying the outbound leg, I asked a stewardess whether we could visit the cockpit and, a few minutes later, we made a brief visit. My son was a tad shy, but I was in my element. But, as I said, it was all too short an experience.
    For the return leg, my son and I were in the departure lounge and it seemed we'd miss the boarding call. When we were called by name over the PA, we hurtled across the apron. Up in the cockpit, the captain was waving at us, so we waved back. It was the same crew that had taken us hours earlier.
    On getting to the top of the steps, a stewardess told us that the captain had invited us into the cockpit for the take off and the flight home. Heaven!
    But my son, for some reason didn't want to, and we sat in our assigned seats as I mentally wondered whether he truly was my son!
    However, 20 minutes into the flight, my son had a change of heart and we went up front for the rest of the flight, including the landing. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, and the first officer had been to the school where I was teaching at the time.
    One thing that sticks in my mind was that we were flying directly into the sun, so they took out this massive sun visor and promptly blocked out most of the windows! My instinct was to wonder how you can fly without seeing! What if we collide? But I guess that flying in controlled airspace is entirely safe. Autopilot was driving, much like an automated Tesla now days.
    My son has gone on to become an aeronautical engineer and is now working on the Airbus A400M, so my trick some 25 years ago seems to have worked.

  10. A Consumer Guest

    Before 9/11, BA crews would sometimes hold a pre-take-off auction to raise money for the airline's designated Charity. In 2000, on a flight from CDG to LHR, I 'won' and sat in the cockpit jump-seat from gate to gate.
    The flight took off after dusk. It was dark by the time we were approaching the English Channel, and the glow of London's lights could be seen on the horizon. It put me in mind...

    Before 9/11, BA crews would sometimes hold a pre-take-off auction to raise money for the airline's designated Charity. In 2000, on a flight from CDG to LHR, I 'won' and sat in the cockpit jump-seat from gate to gate.
    The flight took off after dusk. It was dark by the time we were approaching the English Channel, and the glow of London's lights could be seen on the horizon. It put me in mind of a scene from the film 'Battle of Brittain' - German bomber crews on their way to bomb London in 1940, being guided by the glow of fires caused by previous raids. I wondered if any of my German relatives had seen a similar sight, sixty years before.
    ps I guess that Russian pilots have more sophisticated navigation aids these days to help them locate and bomb Ukrain's cities.

  11. Robert Guest

    LGB late 2019 my 15 year old and I got my elderly dad seated early and asked to see the cockpit. Once the pilots heard he wants to fly the captain gave his seat to my son and talked for more than 10 minutes with him about it. Super nice guys and so happy to chat with him. If we hadn't asked they never would have thought to offer

  12. Jeri Hammond Guest

    I’m old enough to remember when visiting the cockpit during the flight wasn’t all that unusual, especially if you knew someone at the airline or were a frequent flier, but the most exciting for me was getting to spend some time in the cockpit of the Concorde during a flight from London to Washington. It was the end of a rather eventful round-the-world trip and was a long-time dream of mine. I had been avidly...

    I’m old enough to remember when visiting the cockpit during the flight wasn’t all that unusual, especially if you knew someone at the airline or were a frequent flier, but the most exciting for me was getting to spend some time in the cockpit of the Concorde during a flight from London to Washington. It was the end of a rather eventful round-the-world trip and was a long-time dream of mine. I had been avidly watching the Mach meter in front of our seat hoping to see it tick past the 2.0 mark, so was elated when I got to the cockpit and the captain pointed out that, yes, we were going slightly faster than twice the speed of sound. Sadly, we were quite late departing due to extremely high winds in London that day, so it was too dark to see the curvature of the earth but it was still one of the highlights of my life and a treasured memory.

    Nothing could top that but I’m still a bit jealous that my husband got to fly back to Chicago from London in the jump seat of an Aer Lingus 747.

  13. Mark Guest

    I was invited up to the cockpit for a landing at HKG in 2000… CX A330 from SIN or BKK, can’t recall. Didn’t realize it would be a one-off so now very appreciative to the FA who offered it!

  14. glenn Guest

    In 1986, we flew first class on BA in a 747. In nutshell, I was invited and accept the invitation to sit in the jump seat with the pilots for the last 25 minutes of the flight including the landing at MIA. From the vantage point of sitting in the cockpit of a 747, I could not believe the height of the 747 as we approached the gate.
    My wife said to me that once in the cockpit, I should keep my hands just on my lap to prevent me from accidentally touching something!

  15. tom Guest

    In the good old days (1998) i got to sit up front of a qantas 767 as we landed in melbourne, we had to do a circuit while a air ambulance slotted in before us and we skimmed the cloud tops. we had visited during the flight and asked if we could come back for landing. What an amazing experience. More recently but pre pandemic, we asked to checkout the cockpit of a Lufthansa 747-8i...

    In the good old days (1998) i got to sit up front of a qantas 767 as we landed in melbourne, we had to do a circuit while a air ambulance slotted in before us and we skimmed the cloud tops. we had visited during the flight and asked if we could come back for landing. What an amazing experience. More recently but pre pandemic, we asked to checkout the cockpit of a Lufthansa 747-8i after landing in Frankfurt. we were allowed when de planing had finished and the pilots were amazing, chatted to us about their jobs and had plenty of time to show us around and take some photos. If you don't ask, you wont get :))

  16. NYGuy24 Gold

    I visited the flight deck of a CX 777 one time in Hong Kong which was cool.

  17. Fonzi Guest

    Asked Qatar airways just take a pic.Denied. Could jave done it before just wanted be polite.well..

  18. Ivan B Guest

    I’ve never asked, but a couple times with my son (age 9) when we were the last getting off, they invited him into the cockpit. He loved it.

  19. Mark Jacot Guest

    I had a friend who was a flight engineer on the older 747s. I got a flight to USA on one he was doing and spent the whole flight from leaving the gate, take off and landing next to him. Did you know they had a mechanical Smith's egg tinet mounted on the engineers deck so he was reminded when next checks were due. Most expensive egg timer ever as it had to be calibrated and have an air worthiness certificate

  20. Robert Guest

    As an airline employee for the past 10 years I have taken my son to visit the cockpit on every flight of every airline.
    His photo collection includes evey Boeing and Airbus flying. We have always been welcomed. We were even allowed to visit the last BA Concord at Londons T5 terminal.
    I have only praise for the Flight crews for these great experiences.

  21. Dennis Guest

    Hey Ben, great article and well written. As an airline captain I can say that we always welcome visitors that want to say hello, have a look around, or get a photo with an inquisitive child. Personally I prefer a visit before the flight. I may have another flight to catch, or a bus ride to the parking lot for my car. But either way, please know that most if us love visitors! We love...

    Hey Ben, great article and well written. As an airline captain I can say that we always welcome visitors that want to say hello, have a look around, or get a photo with an inquisitive child. Personally I prefer a visit before the flight. I may have another flight to catch, or a bus ride to the parking lot for my car. But either way, please know that most if us love visitors! We love what we do, and we’re glad to answer questions or put you at ease about the weather, or any other concerns. Stop in and say hi!

  22. Jason Guest

    Next time you fly jetblue, stop up and say hello! We don’t bite :)

  23. Max Guest

    I've flown on a Dassault jet from Brazil to Europe and I was inside the cockpit at take-off and since there was little aerial control in this remote area we flew the first few minutes very low above the sea along the beach it was surreal!!

  24. Will Guest

    My best: Late 90's BA from Dubai to LHR. They invited me up. I was nervous as hell. I remember the captain saying there were 1000 kms of desert before us. It was so serene.

    Biggest regret: Mid 90s CX from BKK to Kai Tek. It was my first and only time into Kai Tek. On landing I raved to the flight attendant about how cool the view was on landing. She said, "oh you should have told me earlier, we could have had you come up to the cockpit!"

  25. Jon Guest

    In the late 90s, on a Lufthansa A340, JFK-FRA, I asked during the flight if when we land, I could take a look at the cockpit. Much to my surprise, the FA came back to me during the flight and said I could visit the cockpit now if I wanted. Couldn't believe it! I got to sit in the jump seat for almost a half hour. And I think I probably could have stayed longer as the captain seemed to enjoy the show & tell. One of my most memorable airline flights

  26. Bdr Guest

    Aer Lingus has been totally amazing for visiting the cockpit from my personal experience. I was able to chat in the 757 in Boston after a diversion from BDL which was freaking amazing! Also got to sit in the 321 before a direct flight from BDL to DUB; both times were on business class flights. The visit in Boston was incredible in the 757 as we had to divert on approach due to severe storms...

    Aer Lingus has been totally amazing for visiting the cockpit from my personal experience. I was able to chat in the 757 in Boston after a diversion from BDL which was freaking amazing! Also got to sit in the 321 before a direct flight from BDL to DUB; both times were on business class flights. The visit in Boston was incredible in the 757 as we had to divert on approach due to severe storms and flew over Massachusetts at low altitude. The captain said it was the most stressful situation of his 28 year career and I must say he handled the situation like he has been flying for that long. Absolutely brilliant.

  27. John L Brown Guest

    No the answer is NONONONONONO KEEP people out of the cockpit Theres should be a law and a CRIME to visit the cockpit. All consumers go to google then click on images to see the cockpit then select print then tape it on your wall at home No visitors No one other than the pilot the co pilot should be allowed there ARE WE CLEAR ON THIS LETS STOP BEING IGNORING AND KEEP EVERYONE SAFE GOID DAY

    1. Jerry Diamond

      John, some on the passengers may be pilots themselves. One time, I was on a 747, the two pilots got sick, couldn't fly, and to make matters worse, some broad chewed through the fuselage! Luckily I'm a pilot too, so I RAN IN TO THE COCKPIT, inverted the bird, and landed her safely in a field.

    2. warren trout Guest

      As a retired airline pilot, it's totally safe for at the gate visits. Can you please think of a danger? I can't.

  28. Dylan Guest

    On a Tokyo to Los Angeles flight pre-covid in Feb 2020, the flight attendant invited my then 6 y/o son up front for about 10 min prior to the flight. He sat in the captain's chair and they showed him how everything works and let him move some of the controls. The captain joked with him that they could trade seats as his seat in business class was more comfortable. It was a nice final memory of Tokyo and two years later he still talks about it regularly.

  29. Donna Diamond

    My eight year old nephew was granted a visit on a US Airways flight to Rome back in 2015. He still displays the photo of himself with the captain in his room at home.

  30. Joshua Member

    My daughter is 10 now, and since she was 6 she always asks if she can say hi to the pilots as we board. The answer is always yes. About 70% of the time the captain will let her take his seat for a few moments. She loves every moment of it, and the flight crew seem to enjoy a kid interested in aviation as well.

  31. JoePro Guest

    Typically fly up front twice a year as an ATCS, but Covid has put a stop to that.

    Back in 2017, I asked the F.As as I boarded an SQ A380 if I could visit the front. Despite being ATC AND flying in Suites class, I was denied.

  32. canuck_in_ca Guest

    My wife asked for a cockpit visit. She wound up staying 30+ minutes, including the landing into Boston Logan. This was an Air Canada Jazz Dash 8, pre 9/11 obviously.

  33. AV Geek Guest

    I'd love to visit a cockpit one day, but hopefully, I'll be the captain letting people in!

  34. Stuart Guest

    On SAA flights in 2000 from ATL to CPT we were sitting on the upper deck and the cockpit was open to visitors. The pilots seemed to enjoy having company. On landing in CPT they let me sit in the jump seat for landing. What a great experience!

  35. Schlange Guest

    I never got to visit inflight, but I’ve had a few memorable ones, both before and during my time working in the airlines. Working in the airlines got me some sweet access, my favorites of which had to be getting into the lower avionics bays via the cockpit on the A330 and A340, as well as via the floor hatch on the 747-400. The coolest one had to be when the mechanic opened up the...

    I never got to visit inflight, but I’ve had a few memorable ones, both before and during my time working in the airlines. Working in the airlines got me some sweet access, my favorites of which had to be getting into the lower avionics bays via the cockpit on the A330 and A340, as well as via the floor hatch on the 747-400. The coolest one had to be when the mechanic opened up the 747-400’s cockpit escape hatch and let me stand with my head outside looking down the back of the fuselage. That was an amazing view. Similarly cool was the time the preconditioned air at the gate wasn’t working and he opened the escape doors on the upper deck for ventilation.

    One of the more poignant cockpit visits I had was in February 2001, when I took AA11 from Boston to LAX. John Ogonowski was our Captain, and he let me take his left hand seat on the ground at LAX. I still have the picture of me at age 13 in that flight deck.

  36. Johosofat Guest

    Got to spend a good while in the cockpit on Iran Air 747SP KUL-IKA back in 2015. Super friendly to avgeeks and even let us sit in the nose (Homa Class) for landing despite being Economy pax.

  37. Funday Holidays Guest

    I was lucky enough to get to the cockpit during my pre-covid trip to Georgia. Hope the cockpit visits have been halted by most airlines.

  38. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    I had, during my 30 yr FAA ATC career, 67 jumpseat flights during the original FAM program. It gave great insight to the "other side of the mic".

    Sadly the program ended.

    Most memorable was ATL-LGW, landing mid-morning of 9/11. Trying to immediately get home was a 6 day ordeal at LGW.

    1. JoePro Guest

      Did you leave before the renewed program? Definately not as nice given the restrictions, but still cool for those of us who are AVGeeks.
      Flew a 787 IAH-SFO several years back, that's been my favorite.

  39. Ian Guest

    Summer of 2019 I was flying from Kangerlussuaq to Nuuk on Air Greenland on an Dash 8. I was the only passenger and about 10 minutes after takeoff the flight attendant told me the captain had invited me to jumpseat for the rest of the flight. It was so cool! No only seeing the landscape of the Greenlandic coast and the ice cap but also getting to video the landing from inside the cockpit. It was an experience I won't ever forget.

  40. MikeFlyCX Guest

    My best cockpit visits were with SR, CX and SQ before 9/11. I used to be able to be in the cockpit for landings into Kai Tek which were always incredible. A week or so before Kai Tek closed I was flying in on SR and asked the purser to check if I could be in the cockpit for landing into Kai Tek. The pilot came downstairs after ten minutes or so and said that...

    My best cockpit visits were with SR, CX and SQ before 9/11. I used to be able to be in the cockpit for landings into Kai Tek which were always incredible. A week or so before Kai Tek closed I was flying in on SR and asked the purser to check if I could be in the cockpit for landing into Kai Tek. The pilot came downstairs after ten minutes or so and said that he understands I asked to be in the cockpit for landing and that he would normally allow it. However, there were 11 other pilots on the flight and they all wanted to be in the cockpit as well so obviously some of us were going to be disappointed! Ahh the days of left at the Marlboro man, aim for the checkerboard and hard bank to the right!

  41. Jumpseater Guest

    I miss the pre-9/11 days. I was fortunate to get to “walk-a-mile in your shoes” - a program American had to allow employees to see what other jobs were like. I used to toss bags and befriended a DC10 captain that commuted from our airport. He invited me to fly with him, approved by the chief pilot and was on the manifest as a jump seater. Got to fly LAX-JFK-LAX. Had a hotel room in...

    I miss the pre-9/11 days. I was fortunate to get to “walk-a-mile in your shoes” - a program American had to allow employees to see what other jobs were like. I used to toss bags and befriended a DC10 captain that commuted from our airport. He invited me to fly with him, approved by the chief pilot and was on the manifest as a jump seater. Got to fly LAX-JFK-LAX. Had a hotel room in NYC. Even got to sit in the captains seat for ~10-15 mins in flight. Best experience ever. Following that I used to chat up crews and got to sit jumpseat many many times on American and other intl carriers - 747 into EZE, 757 into SJO, 763 into MAD, 340 into ORD, 738 into SFO, and so many others. My grandfather was a train engineer and used to bring me and my brothers Into the locomotive when we were little kids. One trip was 60+ miles from our town to the yard (even got to ride the turntable). Horn was blowing all the way. Today’s kids won’t ever get to experience these memorable experiences.

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Jumpseater Guest

I miss the pre-9/11 days. I was fortunate to get to “walk-a-mile in your shoes” - a program American had to allow employees to see what other jobs were like. I used to toss bags and befriended a DC10 captain that commuted from our airport. He invited me to fly with him, approved by the chief pilot and was on the manifest as a jump seater. Got to fly LAX-JFK-LAX. Had a hotel room in NYC. Even got to sit in the captains seat for ~10-15 mins in flight. Best experience ever. Following that I used to chat up crews and got to sit jumpseat many many times on American and other intl carriers - 747 into EZE, 757 into SJO, 763 into MAD, 340 into ORD, 738 into SFO, and so many others. My grandfather was a train engineer and used to bring me and my brothers Into the locomotive when we were little kids. One trip was 60+ miles from our town to the yard (even got to ride the turntable). Horn was blowing all the way. Today’s kids won’t ever get to experience these memorable experiences.

3
Joshua Member

My daughter is 10 now, and since she was 6 she always asks if she can say hi to the pilots as we board. The answer is always yes. About 70% of the time the captain will let her take his seat for a few moments. She loves every moment of it, and the flight crew seem to enjoy a kid interested in aviation as well.

2
Schlange Guest

I never got to visit inflight, but I’ve had a few memorable ones, both before and during my time working in the airlines. Working in the airlines got me some sweet access, my favorites of which had to be getting into the lower avionics bays via the cockpit on the A330 and A340, as well as via the floor hatch on the 747-400. The coolest one had to be when the mechanic opened up the 747-400’s cockpit escape hatch and let me stand with my head outside looking down the back of the fuselage. That was an amazing view. Similarly cool was the time the preconditioned air at the gate wasn’t working and he opened the escape doors on the upper deck for ventilation. One of the more poignant cockpit visits I had was in February 2001, when I took AA11 from Boston to LAX. John Ogonowski was our Captain, and he let me take his left hand seat on the ground at LAX. I still have the picture of me at age 13 in that flight deck.

2
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