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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, 2021

In this experience we look at the world of official protocols and flights. With elections and world leader gatherings, there are official protocols for flights. Different governments have their own aircraft.

The most famous of the aircraft is Air Force One. Other governments have official aircraft as well – often not looking too different than planes in their air force. Other countries use existing airline's aircraft. Some countries spend a lot on aircraft, and then can't keep up the payments. And Russia uses its own domestic manufacturers.

Encountering these aircraft has some unique circumstances. Geoff having an Air Force One ground stop while working as a baggage handler in Calgary. Vinod having Air Force One ground stops in Hawaii while working as flight crew. Geoff having a delay at Newark due to an Air Force One ground stop.

Sometimes there will be a collection of planes in a location where they normally wouldn’t be expected. Vinod shares his experience with the G20 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2012 – and shares the level of clean and polish from the Japanese crew.

Vinod and Geoff both share experiences from the 2002 G8 in Calgary. Geoff was working on the ground, Vinod was working another event in Calgary and decided one day to stop by the airport – and was greeted by a motorcade, a comical need for keys, an unexpected LOUD Russian flyby and the impressive size of a Globemaster C-17.

Vinod shares his experiences with the British Royal Family flying on British Airways commercial flights. Protocols were at their highest levels. Baggage for Prince Harry was in the Boeing 777 bulk pit when it arrived in Calgary and Vinod had to escort the baggage. Vinod also had to handle the departure – and even got to hang out with Prince Harry.

If you're at an airport and there are planes there that don't seem like they match with the location, maybe there's a global event going on. Remember that there's absolutely nothing you can do if you're waiting for the global leader. Check the news to make sure there isn't any global leader event happening at the airport you're visiting.

News Items:

  • "Qantas performs longest-ever commercial flight"
  • "Tata Sons Wins Air India Bidding Process: What Comes Next?"

If you have a story about your experiences with leaders and flight delays at global events, royalty on flights, or other experiences that you would like to share, please email us at stories(at) or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you wish to support the show financially, we are on Patreon. Show notes are available online at