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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 017 Show Notes. Looking in the bag again. A re-visit to the theme of baggage on flights. The Seat 1A Podcast.

Jun 24, 2019

Recorded 16 June 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 build off a key component of the previous experience and re-visit the theme of baggage. We look at where your checked bag ends up in a plane and why it is there, along with how bags are loaded with narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. We look at what's happening when you see your bags being loaded. Why is there different weights used by airlines – 32 kilos, 23 kilos and more. Vinny looks back at how many times people tried checking in overweight bags at YYC with British Airways (BA). Speaking of overweight bags, Vinny and Geoff share experiences with easyJet (U2) and Ryanair (FR) at TXL, STN and LGW. If you're on a journey with multiple airlines, make sure you check the weight limits for all the airlines. If you're over your weight limit by a lot, it never hurts to ask a supervisor. What is the famous "gate check" and "sky check"? What is the science of the bag tag?

Flyertalk/Independent (UK) news item about a passenger who accidentally opened the plane emergency exit instead of the toilet door.

Shout out to listener Danny Nabalek for sharing his experience of sitting in Seat 1A, listening to Seat 1A.

If you have an airline 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



Independent (UK) | Woman accidentally opens plane emergency exit instead of toilet (10 June 2019)
"A flight from Manchester was delayed by almost eight hours after a passenger mistakenly opened an emergency exit instead of the toilet door."



  • What's in this experience [00:00:45]
  • Lots of requests for us to look at baggage again [00:01:00]
  • Since the dawn of travel people have carried their stuff [00:02:08]
  • Fast forward to today and baggage on flights [00:02:51]
  • A brief look at air cargo, complete with chicks and flowers [00:04:41]
  • What are holds on the plane and how do they work? [00:06:21]
  • Geoff shares experience with baggage holds from a baggage handler perspective [00:07:15]
  • Vinny shares experience with working out flight load plans [00:08:10]
  • Vinny "ripped that pit apart" in DEN [00:10:37]
  • Widebody aircraft and their "cans" [00:12:18]
  • The hunt for Vinny's canned bag in AMS [00:14:56]
  • What's it like under the plane as a baggage handler [00:17:27]
  • Where do these bag weight limits come from? 32 kg, 23 kg, 7 kg [00:21:14]
  • What Vinny saw at the BA check-in counter at YYC [00:23:15]
  • Vinny shares stories of excess baggage and easyJet - first at TXL [00:28:54]
  • Geoff somehow didn't have to pay excess baggage with Ryanair at STN [00:33:42]
  • Vinny and easyJet at LGW [00:34:29]
  • Difference between flying to Australia & New Zealand via North America or via Asia (kangaroo route) [00:37:12]
  • Brazilian bag limits [00:38:12]
  • If you're on a journey with two different airlines, make sure you check the bag limits for both airlines [00:39:16]
  • Common Use Self Service and Common Use Passenger Processing Systems [00:41:05]
  • If you're stuck with lots of bags it never hurts to ask a person - and there may be special situations [00:42:26]
  • The famous "gate check" [00:46:19]
  • Are you boarding first? Sometimes a seat at the back of economy helps with carry-on baggage [00:48:10]
  • Does your airline offer skycheck service? [00:48:59]
  • The science of the baggage tag [00:51:03]
  • News Items [00:55:12]
    • Woman accidentally opens plane emergency exit instead of toilet [00:55:19]
  • Wrap-up [00:59:27]
  • Shout-out to listener Danny Nabalek [01:00:27]