Last updated: 04:05 PM ET, Tue March 10 2015

Passenger's Cockpit Selfies Stir Up Internet Outrage

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | March 10, 2015

Passenger's Cockpit Selfies Stir Up Internet Outrage

The internet has been buzzing with backlash after a Cathay Pacific airlines passenger shared several images and a video on her microblog showing her sitting in the cockpit of a plane during a flight to Hong Kong International Airport.

According to Brittany Jones Cooper of Yahoo Travel, the passenger, Ada Ng, was assigned to sit in the business class jump section—a certain number of seats reserved for off-duty crew or their family—but received an offer from the pilot to sit in the cockpit during the two-hour flight after no seats were available.

It was during the passenger’s time in the cockpit that she snapped the photos and video, but she removed them from her site shortly after the backlash began. Unfortunately for Ada, the internet doesn’t forget anything.

The controversy stems from the lack of security showcased by allowing a passenger to sit in the cockpit during the flight. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the regulations on flights have much stricter, and lapses in that security are an ever-present fear.

According to Dominic Jackson of, Ada had a ticket marked “JMP” for the business class jump section, and an airline spokesperson confirmed the company’s policy of reserving those seats. Cathay Pacific also allows small electronic devices during a flight, but there is nothing stated on the official website about filming in the cockpit, per Jackson’s report.

In a report from the South China Morning Post, The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department has demanded Cathay Pacific airlines explain the reasoning behind allowing a passenger to sit in the cockpit to determine which, if any, safety violations occurred.

While this could easily have been just a kind gesture to a female passenger without a seat, the concerns regarding safety on airplanes makes this situation a concern for aviation authorities.

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