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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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Aug 8, 2021

Seat 1A reaches a milestone of fifty experiences. In this experience, Vinod joins us from Tokyo! That's why he had been waiting in the lounge at Vancouver.

One of Vinod's side gigs is working for the Olympic Games. He received a special exception to travel to Tokyo. Getting on a flight to fly across the ocean was very exciting.

Vinod flew Air Canada's Signature Class – but the regular business class experience has been changed since the last time Vinod enjoyed it due to COVID.

Vinod had to deal with a number of physical items being at his seat due to airlines lowering their amount of contact. There was no pre-flight drink. He received a very nice Olympic themed gift bag since Air Canada is a sponsor of Team Canada. The meal is not delivered in courses, rather in a rather large tray set like economy. Drink service was limited – no mixed drinks. The menu listed the first food experience, did not state any further meal info.

Japan tests for COVID on arrival and Vinod knew it would be a long multi-hour process. The airline sorted passengers and after he made his way into the terminal, the long sit and waiting for processing started. After more than 2 hours Vinod was able to complete his test – just how much spit do they need?

Then the waiting for test results in a repurposed ANA lounge since the entire flight had to be tested. Another 2.5 hours went by. Finally everyone was cleared, and Vinod was able to enter the country. All in all, from when the aircraft door opened to catching his ground transportation, it took Vinod just under 6.5 hours!

Vinod is staying at an airport hotel at Haneda Airport Terminal 2 due to proximity to his venue. How perfect for an avgeek. Terminal 2 is the ANA domestic terminal and even with a pandemic it is busy. Vinod has access to amazing food options, and there is even an observation deck. The windows are very thick and there is next to no noise in his room.

Vinod's work is right under the Haneda approach flight path and on the other side is the departure. This leads to some incredible plane spotting.

Geoff also flew recently. He was on an Air Canada Airbus 220 for a Canadian domestic flight.

Vinod flies back to Vancouver in premium economy.

Seat 1A tip: If you're flying into a country that does on arrival COVID testing, bring food and water.

We couldn't meet up with Paul from the Layovers podcast for sake and karaage chicken. But someday we'll cross paths.

Vinod noted that there wasn't a lot of distancing happening at the terminal, mostly relying on masking and hand sanitizer.

News Items:

  • article "Airbus Is Using A350 Lighting To Help Passengers Social Distance."

If you have a story about overseas travel during COVID-19, COVID testing on arrival, or other experiences 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