Eyes on business class flyers now

Eyes on business class flyers now

PETALING JAYA - The claim by two women that they spent time in the cockpit of a plane raises questions over security in planes and a need for a closer look at business class passengers in flights like MH370.

A source from the airline industry suggested that a business class flyer on the plane could have had access to the cockpit before it lost contact with authorities on Saturday morning.

Flight MH370's airline crew would have served refreshments to its business class 20 minutes after takeoff, the source said, and that a smaller number of flyers there meant its cockpit crew might be served refreshments earlier.

A toilet cubicle area accessible to business class flyers near the front exit doors, according to Boeing 777-200 aircraft seat maps, would get passengers close to the cockpit.

"This is where passengers would have great access to the cockpit door," the source said.

The source added that a flight attendant would call the cockpit requesting entry before serving the pilots. The moment the door is opened, a passenger standing near the toilet area might be able to see into the cockpit and barge through.

A total of 227 passengers (excluding cabin crew) were on board MH370 Saturday morning. With a capacity of 282 seats - 35 in business and 247 in economy - the plane would have 55 empty seats.

The source added that it would be difficult for economy passengers to walk beyond the business class section as they would be stopped by the plane's cabin crew.

Authorities, the source said, needed to narrow it down to how many people were seated in MH370's business class and their profiles if they wanted to understand what might have happened that morning.

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