United Airlines Removing Cockpit Intruder Gates on its 787 Aircraft

United Airlines Boeing 787

United Airlines will remove the cockpit safety gates on its 787 Dreamliners

United Airlines plans to remove a safety gate that prevents intruders from entering the cockpit from the Boeing 787 aircraft it has ordered, according the union that represents its pilots.

‘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.’

United currently has the gates installed on their 777 fleet, but it is not a requirement by the FAA.

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.



  1. Chris says

    They’re “paying” to remove the gates? Do these things seriously weigh enough to make it more worthwhile to pay for removal than pay the lifetime of extra fuel to carry them aboard?

    I’ve heard of removing extra ice and inflight magazines (and asking flight crews to lose weight) in an effort to save fuel, but when it comes to safety…come on.

    • Kenneth Holland says

      I’m not sure why they’re doing this to be honest. And they really aren’t saying why either.

  2. says

    They are doing it to install extra seating. Apparently, the almighty dollar is more important to United than passenger safety. I’ll never fly United again for as long as I live.

    • TP Clark says

      They would take out the lav’s and put potty bags in the seat pockets with the air sick bags.
      It’s all about golden parachutes, stock options, and bonuses…………..PERIOD

  3. Mary Anne says

    No, no, no! You don’t take away safety features, you leave them in place and, if necessary, add more. TSA is lightening up and the world is becoming more and more unsafe and dangerous. Come on, United. Justify the actions. Say why you’re doing this.

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