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

Dec 11, 2019

In this experience we go back to the mailbag and thank Joe R for his questions about overhead bins and baggage and the struggles that go with it in modern day air travel.

It's a perfect time to look at this question, with lots of extra travel for the year end holiday season.

Overhead bins are a relatively new phenomenon in air travel – you just have to look at old movie footage when it used to just be a shelf. Have Vinny or Geoff ever experienced a non-bin flight before (hint – yes).

A more recent change in the drive for more revenue, most airlines charge for checking in baggage – which means it ends up in the cabin. Vinny was in the heat of the action when WestJet (WS) changed their policy.

You need to pay attention to what kind of airplane type you're flying with – narrow body or wide body – to know what the differences in bins you may have. Also, just because it fits on one aircraft model, doesn't mean it will fit on another. For a good idea what will fit, check what the crew is bringing on board. Are your outside bag pockets stuffed full? Do you panic when your bag doesn't fit...and then turn it 90 degrees? Are the crew helping with the overhead bin Tetris game? Are airline staff at the boarding area checking to see how many bags might be brought on board? Who has the "space bin" and what difference does it make? Do you know your bag and if it's going to fit in the bin? Has anyone ever seen a flight attendant with a bin closing stick? Vinny did flying from DFW-LHR.

Passenger behaviour...we've all seen it before. Please don't plug up the centre aisle. Remember that the bin is not your personal closet space – and that bin above you is only the preferred space for you. Economy passengers dumping their bags in business class bins. Vinny sharing a crazy childhood story flying from BOM-BLR – overhead bins can make flashing lights and uniformed police show up.

Are your bags fitting in the sizer? What if you know it does...will a gate check tag mysteriously disappear?

Designer bags – some passengers treat them like they need a separate seat and a bin of their own. But what if you have to put your bags under the seat in front of you? Override your instinct and don't take your bag in the case of emergency! And what about kennels?

News Items:

  • Dailyhive article "Flyer stripped of air miles for using elaborate scheme to smuggle fat cat onto plane"
  • Reuters article "Indonesia fines Garuda after CEO fired over smuggled Harley Davidson"
  • Businesstraveller article "Qantas B747 makes final flight to mainland USA"

If you have an overhead bin 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