According to National Public Radio, Ruben Santamarta has reported that gear aboard airliners and accessible through on-board WiFi or in-flight entertainment equipment uses hard-coded login credentials. http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/08/04/337794061/hacker-says-he-can-break-into-airplane-systems-using-in-flight-wi-fi?ft=1&f=1001
I understand why hard-coded credentials are bad, but I also understand the airlines' problem: they have to service hundreds of airliners at dozens of locations. At a minimum, it seems like there should be a default password, changeable by the airlines, so that, e.g. Delta could have one system-wide credential and United another. That would also allow credentials to be changed after the inevitable leaks.
My question: Is there a better approach?