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

May 24, 2021

In this experience we look at those situations with travellers who end up sleeping in an airport or a train station.

Sometimes we end up with awkward flight combination pairings – controlled or uncontrolled – you have a long break between flights. Do you take the time to stay at a hotel? Maybe your passport won't allow you to leave the airport on a long layover.

Airport hotels realize that travellers are a captive market and with an overnight assumption. Many hotels had a day rate, however these days, that's not always a sure bet – will the hotel have the housekeeping staff to clean the room for a further night stay.

Vinod shares his search for a hotel room in Dallas (DFW) – they did offer him access to the hotel gym, but was that ideal for sleeping?

Some airports offer hourly rate hotels, but sometimes there just isn't a place to sleep at the airport. In those cases, how long is it going to be from the terminal until your head is on the pillow – and how much sleep are you really going to get? Are you travelling alone or with someone? Are your bags checked through? Geoff shares a travel hack from the ski slopes to help when you're sleeping with bags in a terminal. Some airports offer a left luggage facility at a very reasonable fee. Sometimes if you are able to get into the middle of the city, there might be storage lockers you could consider using.

While waiting during off-hours at the airport, do not assume that the executive lounge will be open 24/7. You just might end up being stuck airside. Certain airports have swing gates (flashback to our gate assignment experience) and pay attention if you're on the domestic or international side of a terminal – domestic might close. A security guard is likely a good person to talk to about where you can rest in the airport. Maybe the better location is in another terminal. Sometimes though, the better location may not be that much better – like Vinod's experience of sleeping in a food court at New York LaGuardia (LGA). Some airports like Chicago O'Hare (ORD) have cots at the ready for mass delays. Is it feasible to maybe rent a car and sleep in it instead?

Geoff shares his story of arriving at Frankfurt (FRA) in the middle of the night from Dusseldorf (DUS). Geoff also shares a story of a sketchy hotel in New Jersey after his flight from Newark (EWR) to Toronto (YYZ) was cancelled.

Make sure you check the logistics and timings if the airline is providing a hotel due to recovery. Sometimes this may involve two different airports. Geoff shared an experience flying from Munich (MUC) to Toronto (YYZ), that had a mechanical delay – and changing airports in London.

Vinod shared an experience of a massive delay in Calgary (YYC), the crazy amount of roasted chicken provided by the airline and why he always now brings a change of undergarments in his carryon.

How easy is it to get to the city centre – Vinod shared an experience trying to find a reasonably priced hotel near Paris (CDG) with a good evening. Vinod shares a packing hack which can prove useful for unexpected layovers.

Vinod was sleeping in a phone booth? Yes - it's true!

Some airports make it difficult to sleep in the terminal. Wander around to see if there are better places to rest – including the arrival area. If you are at an airport hotel, are there locations that you might be able to get some uninterrupted rest? And if your airport is connected to a rail facility, check if there is anything there. Does your ticket or boarding pass allow you to get airside and maybe rest there?

Seat 1A doesn't want you to be the person balled up on tile floor trying to sleep. The main thing is to keep moving forward.

News Items: article "Rental car shortage turning Hawaii tourists into truckers." article "United is giving airport and flight crews more flexibility to hold flights for connecting flyers." article "Why U.S. Airlines Are Redeploying Huge Widebody Jets Now for Domestic Flights"

If you have a story about sleeping in airports or other transportation hubs, unplanned delay hotel stories, 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