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Jumpseating Questions

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Dec 12, 2001
How has jumpseating been since Sept 11th? I was furloughed right after the event and will be returning to the game on March 25th and just curious as to how things are now so I know what to expect. Any word on whether the cockpit will open up again? Thanks in advance.

Great to be coming back!
Well... it kinda sucks.
You can't ride in the cockpit any more except with your own carrier or one of your family members if you're "wholly owned". That means you have to have a seat in the back. You are now the absolute lowest standby priority and your ride to work is very unreliable if your airline doesn't go there.

Also, with the increases in security, jumpseaters have become suspects with non pilots. I actually had a Contintental GSC tell me "she doesn't allow jumpseaters on "her" flights because a jumpseater hijacked the plane on 9/11". This was about a month ago, and I kid you not. Unfortunately, because jumpseaters are now treated like standby passengers, the power has gone from the Captain to the gate agent to determine whether you go or not.
If they do let you go, you will probably get a "random" search at the gate since they now issued you a ticket less than 4 days out and you got flagged by the computer profile. I guarantee it will be non discreet.

As I said, an era has passed. Jumpseating just isn't much fun anymore, and hardly reliable. I hope ALPA, APA, and the FAA find a way to "positively identify" crew members with a national ID or smart card of some sort and being cockpit jumpseat privilleges back.
Different View

Actually, my jumpseating experiences for the past month have been universally positive. I've been fortunate enough to fly on American Eagle, US Air Express and AirTran, all of whom have given me no problem.

Expect normal (normal for post 9-11, that is) security checks, but thus far no one has denied me boarding due to security questions or ill-founded rumors.

Be ready to answer a few questions about your carrier and procedures should the captain want to verify your job status.

No news on cockpit jumpseats returning, other than some sort of universal ID will be have to be in place to make that happen.

Best of luck.

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