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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.

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Experience 016 Show Notes. South by Southw...wait what's happening with our flight and bags? The Seat 1A Podcast.

May 20, 2019

Recorded 12 May 2019

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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In this experience we are doing something a little bit different. Fan of the show, Debbie shares her nightmare travel experience from YVR to AUS. She shares the nineteen-hour saga – complete with one cancellation, one delay, one changed flight, three airlines, three changed connecting cities, dead checked bags in the bowels of YVR, and the determination of her and her husband to get to Austin along with their bags. Vinny and Geoff analyze what happened, and review how they handled the multiple traveller challenges that were experienced.

Shout out to Debbie for sharing her experience, another shout out to a terrific gate representative from Alaskan Airlines (AS)

Flyertalk news item about a Peruvian chef being held by the TSA for bringing 40 frozen piranhas into the U.S.

Condolences from Seat 1A to family and friends of Aeroflot Flight 1492 along with those in the industry.

If you have delay or rebooking stories (or want us to review and analyse your travel experience), 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 | TSA to Passenger: Why Do You Have 40 Piranhas in Your Duffel Bag? (10 May 2019)
"Peruvian chef and restaurateur Virgilio Martinez was detained by customs authorities for bringing 40 frozen piranhas into the U.S., The L.A. Times reports. The incident occurred earlier this week, as the chef arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)..." | Aircraft accident Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B RA-89098 Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO)
(05 May 2019)
"...Aeroflot flight 1492, a Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B, returned to land at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in Russia and burst into flames during an attempted emergency landing. Of the 78 persons on board, 41 did not survive..."



  • What's in this experience [00:00:47]
  • Hello Debbie. Introduction of the initial flight details YVR-DEN-AUS [00:01:44]
  • First change to the itinerary. [00:02:39]
  • Another change to the itinerary [00:03:40]
  • Missing connections with new itinerary? [00:04:01]
  • Yet another change to the itinerary at the airport to guarantee connections [00:04:32]
  • New airline? [00:05:25]
  • New how to get out of US Pre-clearance at YVR? [00:06:22]
  • Can't get out of US pre-clearance. Maybe there's another earlier flight? [00:07:59]
  • The realization that the flight has been handed off to another airline [00:08:33]
  • What about the checked bags? [00:09:42]
  • Time to wait 6 hours at the airport [00:10:13]
  • Vinny gives clarification about US pre-clearance [00:10:32]
  • Things are sorted out...but now needing Alaska Airlines tickets [00:12:19]
  • Boarding passes with Alaskan were possible, but not without the bags. Where are the bags? [00:12:46]
  • Bags located, a new offer of an earlier flight [00:13:19]
  • But wait now the bags being on the plane and onward connection can't be confirmed [00:14:14]
  • Go/no go time at the gate [00:14:30]
  • No go was the choice [00:15:34]
  • The hunt for the bags [00:15:55]
  • One last check with Alaska Airlines to find the bag. [00:18:44]
  • Bags located [00:19:17]
  • After 19 hours everything did work out ok in the end [00:19:57]
  • The analysis [00:20:18]
  • Debbie's story happened right around the Boeing 737 MAX 8 groundings [00:21:21]
  • Appears to have been possibly due to equipment switches [00:21:36]
  • When does the bag tag die? [00:22:50]
  • Airlines and their share of the ticket revenue [00:23:20]
  • What might have happened to Debbie and Arno when they and their bags reached SFO [00:24:42]
  • FIMs - when airlines hand off the ticket, value and rights to another airline [00:26:24]
  • Review of positive bag match [00:27:21]
  • Review the Go/No-go [00:31:13]
  • Kudos from Seat 1A to that Alaskan gate agent [00:33:09]
  • One last question from Debbie - what is our recommendation? [00:34:29]
  • Listener learning points [00:36:27]
  • News Items [00:38:30]
    • Frozen Piranhas at LAX [00:38:42]
    • Aeroflot flight 1492 crash [00:40:43]
  • Show Wrap-up [00:42:08]