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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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Nov 17, 2019

In this experience Vinny and Geoff go into the mailbag and review a bunch of different questions and feedback. We look at what is the logic and order of the meal and beverage service that takes place during a flight? We also look at free hotel stops – are they still provided by an airline?

Why do some passengers get served first? how do the cabin crew decide to serve passengers? How does the airline decide how many crew members to have? Who's in charge of the cabin crew? Why is one cabin crew always in the galley? Vinny shares his experience of working as inflight crew on multiple airlines.

How does the service flow and order work in first, business and economy classes? How does the length of flight change the timings and flow? What are all these different meals that are available for flights? The serving of your beverages, there are different methods that crew use. Which row does the crew start their service at? What happens when passengers have to get up?

Why do special meals have to get served first? How does the crew have to adapt to buy on board options? Here comes the turbulence – how does the crew handle the baggage carts in bumpy conditions? Just how much beef or chicken meals are there? Is your flight being catered independently or from a centralized kitchen? Geoff shares an experience at ORD where the special meal didn't match up where he was flying to. And what about the crew – what are they eating? Geoff shares a story of a travel agent who got a bland surprise. Sitting at the back, might not be bad for service – it all depends on the airline. Vinny remembers his favourite lamb pastry flying to Canada from LHR on Air Canada. There are shared memories of getting leftovers as ground crew – both above and below the wing.

Airlines that provide free overnight hotel stops – Vinny shares a childhood memory of a flight from YYZ-KUL via HKG with an included stay at the Kimberly Hotel. We share a story from Evelyn W who got a complimentary stay at a hotel in DEL while flying from SYD-FRA. But alas it is a rare thing nowadays. Some airlines though offer a stopover option without an additional fee.

News Items:

  • Business Traveller article "Southwest tests boarding from rear of planes"
  • pointmetotheplane article "Jail Time For Baggage Handler Who Swapped 250+ Luggage Tags"

If you have a meal or free included hotel story, a question or other experience that you would like to share, please email us at stories(at) or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. Show notes are available online at