‘United is getting Boeing Co.’s newest plane, the 787, later this year. Those planes were to come with a folding metal gate that blocks the cockpit when the door is open, according to the Air Line Pilots Association. But United is paying extra to have those gates removed, according to a letter from the union to the airline obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.’
Security obviously became a big issue after the September 11th attacks which prompted a reinforcement of all cockpit doors and the optional safety gate installation.
The doors do need to be opened during the flight so the pilots can go to the lavatory and sleep on longer-haul flights. The safety gate was implemented to give further protection when the door was opened.
“It makes no logical sense for a safety and security conscious airline with the history of United to pay for the removal of this device that further protects the flight deck from those with hostile intent,” the letter dated Monday said.
United spokeswoman Christen David said in part:
“…we are thorough in carrying out our security responsibilities for every flight. The safety and security of our employees and customers are our top priorities.”
David reportedly declined to discuss the gates in detail.
United takes delivery of 5 787 Dreamliners later this year.