QUOTE(Sean @ Mar 5 2007, 09:09 AM) [snapback]114106[/snapback]
Naturally, this would be standard procedure in Europe as well (not to mention probably anywhere in the world), though sometimes planes are not scheduled to be on the ground long enough for cleaning, and changing a whole seat cushion could take quite a while if I am not mistaken. I assume that my friend was allowed in the cockpit to avoid a long wait for the passengers. But then again, as I said, they would not have let him if the destination would have been another major city where terrorist attacks have been going on lately like e.g London and Madrid.
Perhaps this is why standard procedure in the US is to change to cushion no matter if it would take a while - simply because the US itself has been a target of terrorist attacks lately.
Oh and btw, I just realise that my question to my last post was a bit unclear and could easily be misunderstood. I asked:
"could someone tell me if the same rules apply for flights outside the US? I guess they do?"
By this I was referring to the general rule of letting a passenger sit in the cockpit during flight, not to what happened in my little story! Anyway I guess they do..
Ummm....sorry, I just cannot imagine any flight, cabin, ground, or service crew for any airline anywhere in the world who would be so concerned about an "on time" departure as to want to sit a paying passenger in, or, for the most part, even near (within smelling distance), such a soiled seat. Anyone having to endure the stench from such a soiled seat would generate a huge, negative passenger response. Seat cushions and seat backs, for the most part, are able to be changed in a matter of minutes. If the soiling was from something like coffee, tea, water, booze, etc., (i.e., no noticable stench) and there were no cushions or backs available from any source at that time - the most logical action I think that would be taken would be to block the seat - and go with one less passenger.
I certainly don't know your friend, but, on the surface, I'd take his story with a grain of salt. Most reputable airlines have very strict rules, and for the Captain to jeopardize his job to give a guy a ride in the jumpseat doesn't seem to be worth the potential cost - no matter the reason. My point is, unless the airline in question is operating with their head in the sand, I would think that there are very few (if any) that would let anyone into the cockpit at any time the airplane is moving under its own power - no matter where in the world they operate.