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Hello and welcome to Seat 1A!

When you travel, do you ever wonder how you can be that person who is always ahead of the pack, even when things go awry? Hosts Vinod Viswalingam (@VViswalingam) and Geoff Dahl (@geoffdahl) are proud to present The Seat 1A Podcast.

Seat 1A aims to provide savvy travellers with advanced industry based knowledge to enhance the air travel experience and take off from the crowd. By arming you with an understanding of the systems, processes, rules and structures that define modern air travel, Seat 1A strives to give you the upper hand by examining real experiences from abroad.

Whether traveling in ultra-economy or first-class, with or without frequent flyer status, knowing how the operation works will keep you moving in front of the masses, especially when things don’t go as planned. Seat 1A provides tips and tricks on how to make your travel experience as smooth and efficient as possible. Our goal is that you'll be in Seat 1A all the time!

We have over 5 million miles of flying and over 10 years working for numerous airlines, enjoying all classes and cabins, and exploring airports on every continent. We're enthusiastic #avgeeks, with a keen interest in modern aviation trends and aim to share our knowledge in The Seat 1A Podcast. To learn more about who we are, check out Experience 010!

The Seat 1A Podcast also relies on feedback from listeners, offering the chance to take real experiences and analyze them, breaking them down to understand what happened, where things went well or wrong and what can be learned from it. If you have a story, question or experience that you would like to share, please email us at stories(at) or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In the meantime please find us wherever you download your podcasts, and tell all your friends!

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Experience 004 Show Notes. It's all in the bag. The journey of your checked luggage to your destination. The Seat 1A Podcast.

Nov 8, 2018

Recorded 28 October 2018

Written by: Geoff Dahl & Vinod Viswalingam

Listen to this experience wherever you download your podcasts - including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play and Overcast.

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The world of baggage from the check-in counter to the airport's internal maze of baggage belts to loading on the plane to getting it off the plane and back to your hands when you arrive. But what about non-perfect days? A not-so-nostalgic look back at the old T4 baggage capacity issues at LHR. Your bag is misplaced – here's the chart – is it a BK 22 or something else? Just what is WorldTracer and what does have to do with your lost bag? How does your airline compensate you for a lost bag? The bag lost its tag what happens now - is it a dead bag, or just pining for the fjords? Who knows - it might have ended up in Norway. For goodness sakes, make sure the tag is fastened on something attached securely to your bag. Limited liability – what does it mean for you and your bag? Why 32 kilos? Your plane is late, what could that mean for your bag? Geoff had to load a passenger's what in the rear hold? Wait until you hear Vinny's story of what people packed their clothes in and tried to check in. Oh, the stories of customs clearance and the incredible things people pack – by the way, what's that dark mass on the x-ray? New landside baggage check-in option at HKG - a long way from the terminal. The day has arrived - moving IST from Atatürk to the New terminal.

If you have a baggage story, question or experience that you would like to share, please email us at stories(at) or find us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Patreon. Show notes are available online at


NEWS ITEMS | Hong Kong Airport opens off-airport check-in services at Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge boundary crossing facilities (26 October 2018)
"Currently, the service is only available for the city’s four home-based carriers – Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express. Facilities are open from 0700 until 2230 each day." | Final preparations underway for opening of Istanbul New Airport [on 29 October 2018]
(06 October 2018)
“The transfer to Istanbul New Airport will be the biggest-ever airport transfer in the world. There have been no airports transferred further than 45km in the world,”



  • Baggage Topic Intro. Vinod back in the day with British Airways (BA) [00:01:59]
  • Old BA T4 baggage capacity issues [00:03:42]
  • Tracing Process, WorldTracer [00:08:25]
  • Compensation [00:11:21]
  • What happens to the bag when you check it in? [00:14:28]
  • What happens on the "non-perfect" day? [00:19:32]
  • The wave of bags now arrive – how do they connect to the passenger? [00:23:21]
  • The investigation work – matching a bag to someone with minimal information [00:28:08]
  • What information should you put in an outside bag pocket [00:30:32]
  • What happens when the bag reaches the carousel? [00:31:31]
  • 32 kilos [00:34:46]
  • Your plane has to get in and out in a time window. How does this affect your bag? [00:37:37]
  • Your plane arrives - what now? [00:42:12]
  • Damage and limited release [00:48:31]
  • What airlines look for with a damage claim [00:51:00]
  • Crazy airport story - A desk in the baggage hold? [00:53:15]
  • Crazy airport story - a unique way to pack your clothes? [00:54:27]
  • The bag has arrived, clearing delayed bag through customs and getting it to the passenger [00:56:14]
  • Oh, the things you see at customs in undeclared bags [00:58:56]
  • Vinny's all time classic at customs. What is this dark mass on the x-ray? [01:01:40]
  • What happens with unclaimed bags? [01:03:57]
  • The number of delayed bags has fallen by a tremendous percentage [01:07:17]
  • Packaging up the baggage discussion [01:09:07]
  • News Items
    • New Macao-Hong Kong bridge check-in [01:10:30]
    • Moving terminals in Istanbul [01:12:41]
  • Wrap-up [01:17:11]