Passenger accidentally locks Southwest cockpit door

On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, a Southwest Airlines flight from Sacramento (SMF) to San Diego (SAN) experienced a minor delay when the pilots were unable to access the cockpit.

A Southwest pilot had to utilize the right-side window of the cockpit to gain entry after a passenger unintentionally locked the flight deck door while attempting to use the lavatory during the boarding process on Thursday.

While passengers and flight attendants were already on board during the boarding procedure, a passenger inadvertently closed the Flight Deck door, which subsequently locked, while the scheduled pilots were preparing to board the aircraft.

Since the pilots had not yet entered the cockpit when the door was accidentally closed, there was no one inside. It is not uncommon for passenger boarding to commence before the pilots arrive, especially on Southwest, as the airline frequently operates “direct” flights with intermediate stops, allowing passengers to remain on the plane without disembarking.