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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 2, 2020

In this experience we recognize incredible crew and in-flight experiences we've had.

We start the news articles. Since the situation is still not too good these days, we get the bad news out of the way first.

News Items:
South China Morning Post article "Cathay axes record 5,300 Hong Kong jobs and closes regional airline in HK$2.2 billion survival plan"

Dallas Morning News article (via Omaha World-Herald) "Southwest Airlines' flight attendants could soon be selling credit cards on flights to stem pandemic losses"

CBC article "Hundreds of protesting airline workers aim anger at transport minister" (20 October 2020)

We know that a lot of crew members are doing what they can these days to get by – and the day that the layoff comes to an end is a long way off.

Sometimes it's not one crew member, but rather the entire team – and you as a passenger know that the entire team is just in the zone.

On some flights the crew doesn't work that well together - it may a case of staff being thrown together to cover a flight, or in some cases is might be that there were two different airline cultures merged together and the remnants of various seniority. Sometimes the crew doesn’t mesh well with third-party ground handlers, but usually they try to work together.

As a third-party ground handler, Vinod had particularly good interactions with British Airways crews. The favour was returned, in spades, when he was on a flight from London to Nairobi.

When Vinod first became an airline staff member, he learned about airline cooperative agreements and booking staff standby flights. His colleagues reiterated that he needed to bring a care package for the crew of the flight he was flying on. On a Vancouver to Amsterdam flight he had an incredible KLM flight deck experience on takeoff and landing, while also enjoying business class. During the same trip on a separate Air France flight from Paris to Casablanca, he was offered top quality wine from the front of the plane while in the very last row of economy.

Geoff has had great crew experiences. His neighbouring passengers on an ANA flight from Narita to Singapore had extremely sweet post honeymoon best wishes from the crew. His flight from Oslo to JFK was one where the crew was just in the zone and seamless. He also has had a few Lufthansa transatlantic flights where the crew kept passengers consistently hydrated – always in the aisle with juice and water.

Speaking of food and water, Vinod had the most awkward airplane meal of his life on a LAN flight from Cuzco to Lima.

A late Cathay Pacific overnight flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong ended up with a seat change in the dark for what's behind the business class curtain?

Vinod had a tiny business class experience from Paris to Dublin on an Air France BAe 146 mini jumbo.

We share Vinod's previously shared experience with his Emirates flight from Beijing to Dubai that had almost too much crew love.

Sometimes it was informal like on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to St. Petersburg – Vinod take your pick of alcohol.

Vinod had tried to fly from JFK to Paris with Air France in his airline uniform. That wasn't successful - however he wound up with an early morning fight deck landing surprise in a 380.

Seat 1A tip – take the time to say thank you to your crew. We realize these days how many incredible crew experiences we've had.

In our next experience, we've got a special guest joining us – we look forward to you joining us.

If you have a story about amazing crew experiences, or other stories 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