Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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!

Apple Podcasts




Google Play

Google Podcasts


RSS Feed

Nov 24, 2019

Well, would you look at that – it's the 25th recorded experience. We'll have a celebration soon when it's the 25th experience that both Vinny and Geoff have recorded together.

We give a shoutout to the Layovers podcast for recently reaching their 100th episode – great job Paul Papadimitriou & Alex Hunter!

In this experience Vinny and Geoff go back into the mailbag for a second meal service.

We take a look back at when meal service really started to take off (sorry) on intercontinental flights...and then we divert to Vinny's cutlery drawer – which airlines are in there?

As we fast-forward to today, we have to remember that your senses work differently in the pressure and (lack of) humidity at 30000 feet. Airlines must produce meals in massive production kitchens and try to match flavours from the ground to the air. How long ahead do they make the meals? How do airlines set up bidding with caterers?

As we step onboard the flight, how are the carts and trays set up? We'll look at examples from long haul flights. The airline has to ensure that there is maximum cleanliness and hygiene of the carts, but also that they're available. How does the airline line up meals on the trays on a cart shelf? We look at an example of a 2 meals service flight. Are you the first meal off the cart – you're probably getting it quickly. Why does there seem to be a lot of hand motions and dinging during meal service with flight attendants? Vinny shares his Qantas garlic bread experience from LAX-MEL. Your meal is frozen at takeoff, how do they get it hot for you at cruising altitude? Second round of food, yes there are even more carts stored away. But where do they keep the food? What happens if there is a delay or diversion? What's that dripping from the overhead bin? (hint – it's not gravy). What was that smell that Vinny had to deal with in Cuba – and did the passengers get their meal? How does the airline keep cold food fresh? When customers handed back trays, Vinny had a very specific pet peeve. What was it? How did others get around the problem that so irked Vinny?

What happens to waste after landing – especially after international arrivals?

Questions from listener Alana H. Be prepared if you're on an irregular operations flight, sometimes the crew's timings may be off, or choices can go awry. Are alterations allowed for inflight meals? How long should you give advance notice for special meals? Check if your special meal is actually available. Be aware of the meal service that is being provided on your flight. What if you miss pre-ordering? What if you miss a meal? What if you fall asleep before meal service? Ice Cream – yes and wait until you hear of the service Vinny got from IAH-GIG on United (UA). And don't get too hungry after hearing about Vinny's "Book the Cook" experiences on Singapore (SQ).

News Items:

  • Flyertalk article "United Has a New Burger, and People Are Raving About It"
  • liveandletsfly article "My Odd Experience Pre-Selecting A Meal On Delta Air Lines"

If you have a meal 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