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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.

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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!

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Experience 037. Show Notes. Sharing Love for the Crew. The Seat 1A Podcast.

Nov 4, 2020

Recorded 23 October 2020

Written by: Geoff Dahl & Vinod Viswalingam

Listen to this experience wherever you download your podcasts - including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Podcasts.

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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.



NEWS ITEMS | Cathay axes record 5,300 Hong Kong jobs and closes regional airline in HK$2.2 billion survival plan (21 October 2020)
"...Cathay Pacific announced Hong Kong’s biggest mass lay-offs in three decades on Wednesday [21 October 2020], axing 5,300 jobs in the city and closing its regional airline in a desperate restructuring attempt to survive the coronavirus pandemic..." | Southwest Airlines' flight attendants could soon be selling credit cards on flights to stem pandemic losses (23 October 2020)
"...Southwest Airlines is asking flight attendants to sell credit cards during flights in exchange for a smaller pay cut as the company tries to navigate expected losses from the COVID-19 pandemic..." | Hundreds of protesting airline workers aim anger at transport minister (20 October 2020)
"... In a show of unity, more than 200 aviation workers demonstrated Tuesday on Parliament Hill, calling on the federal government to release a plan to safely restart the industry crushed by COVID-19..."







  • What's in this experience? [00:00:57]
  • News Items. [00:01:23]
    • Cathay axes record 5,300 Hong Kong jobs and closes regional airline. [00:01:46]
    • Southwest Airlines' flight attendants could soon be selling credit cards on flights to stem pandemic losses. [00:05:22]
    • Hundreds of protesting airline workers aim anger at Canadian transport minister. [00:08:26]
  • Global airlines getting bailed out by their governments. [00:09:34]
  • Employees are laid off, but the day that they get called back to work could be a long time. [00:10:58]
  • What former crew are doing to get by these days. [00:12:29]
  • It's rough, but let's take it back on a positive course and share incredible crew stories. [00:13:03]
  • Sometimes it's not one person, but the whole crew is in the zone. [00:13:48]
  • Sometimes the flight just feels out of sync - but good crews figure out how to get around it. [00:15:34]
  • Seniority factor on traditional flag carriers. [00:16:21]
  • When airlines merge together having to merge cultures and seniority lists. [00:16:52]
  • How well does the crew interact with third party ground handlers? [00:18:15]
  • Vinod built good relations which was greatly reciprocated on a BA flight from LHR to NBO. [00:20:09]
  • Wait, why is the flight director visiting Vinod after the door closed? [00:22:45]
  • Vinod's first staff standby flight with KLM from YVR to AMS. [00:24:46]
  • Vinod learned he had to bring a care package for the crew. [00:26:41]
  • An invitation to the flight deck for takeoff. [00:28:35]
  • "Make sure you come back for landing." [00:30:10]
  • Onward to Casablanca with Air France from Paris. [00:31:34]
  • Have to give the bag of treats to the decision maker. [00:32:09]
  • Did Vinod make the chief purser mad? [00:33:50]
  • "Monsieur, would you like the Beaujolais?" [00:34:28]
  • Geoff's ANA experience in economy class from NRT to SIN. [00:35:46]
  • Crews in the zone - Geoff's Norwegian experience from OSL to JFK. [00:37:11]
  • Geoff has had a number of LH flights where crew were hydrating passengers non-stop. [00:37:50]
  • Vinod flying from Cuzco to Lima on LAN - "Would you like to have a meal tonight?" [00:39:18]
  • Vinod's most awkward meal he's ever had on a plane. [00:41:42]
  • Vinod experience flying from Cathay from YVR to HKG. [00:43:02]
  • Vinod knew that the senior purser wears a different uniform. [00:44:32]
  • "Well...Why!?" [00:45:50]
  • Vinod settled into his economy seat. [00:47:10]
  • "I'll come talk to you in a little bit." [00:47:47]
  • Vinod gathering his belongings in the dark. [00:48:38]
  • "Take your pick." [00:50:02]
  • Vinod's tiny business class experience from CDG-DUB on Air France. [00:51:22]
  • Vinod flying from PEK-DXB had almost too much love with Emirates. [00:55:14]
  • Some really informal crew love - FRA to LED on Lufthansa. Vinod alcohol choices. [00:57:25]
  • Vinod and an unexpected experience with Air France from JFK to CDG. [00:58:44]
  • Air France standby policy is not to show adornments from other airlines. [01:00:20]
  • "Sir, I have a surprise for you." [01:02:14]
  • "The captain would like to invite you to the flight deck to land at CDG." [01:03:18]
  • Seat 1A tip: Take the extra moment to thank your crew. [01:05:25]
  • Since we're not flying as much these days, we realize how many incredible crews we've dealt with. [01:06:04]
  • Special guest joining us in our next experience. [01:07:34]
  • Show wrap-up. [01:08:00]