Southwest pilot climbs through cockpit window to unlock plane just before flight

San Diego — A Southwest Airlines pilot had to take an unusual route to get onto a plane just before a flight to Sacramento from San Diego Wednesday, CBS Sacramento’s Bradley Halbleib reports: He had to climb through the cockpit window.

Passenger Matt Rexroad was there and told the station what happened.

It played out right before passengers were let on.

“It’s certainly something you don’t see every day and I fly a lot of miles and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Rexroad said.

He was returning to Sacramento after visiting his daughter in San Diego. 

According to Rexroad, while waiting at his gate, the flight agent said over the loud speaker, “Somebody who was on the flight coming in was the last one off the plane and shut the door and it’s locked.”

The agent mentioned that the flight would be delayed and someone would need to unlock the door from the inside of the cockpit.

And sure enough, Rexroad said, he looked out the window and, “This pilot, to his credit, crawled through the cockpit window and opened the door.”

Rexroad tweeted about it:

In a statement to CBS News, Southwest Airlines said, “During the boarding process, a Customer opened the forward lavatory door and inadvertently pushed the Flight Deck door closed (which locked) while the Pilots scheduled to operate the flight were preparing to board the aircraft. One of our Pilots unlocked the door from a Flight Deck window, and the flight departed as scheduled.”

Southwest Airlines pilot gets locked out of the cockpit before flight back to Sacramento


While the flight was delayed briefly, Rexroad says he’s impressed by how quickly it was handled.

“From my point of view, credit to the pilot and the team for being able to make that happen,” Rexroad said.

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