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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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Mar 12, 2022

In this experience we look into what happens during inflight checks. We hear those announcements "the crew are doing their checks." What does this mean? And what about "arm doors and cross check"?

Before passengers are even allowed to board the flight a crew has to do preflight checks - the previous crew has left the plane and has not checked items when they left. The minimum equipment list has to be met. One thing the staff is checking is safety equipment - like batteries, fire extinguishers and flashlights. Things have to be replaced that passengers may have taken. Coordination occurs with mechanic teams and groomers. The emergency slide has to be checked. If there are life vests, each seat has to be checked. The on-board medical equipment is another item that needs to be checked. In some cases there's a life raft which can take a bit of work to check.

It's easy to replenish an aircraft at an airline's home base. Downline at a remote station is another story. What happens if certain branded equipment or food may not be available?

First flight of the day US safety checks have their own challenges. Vinod had to once complete an entire 737 by himself.

What if a crew times out, or hands over? Has the plane been left unattended? What happens with inoperable seats? What's happening in the flight deck for checks? How are the catering and service levels? How is the lavatory? And if a plane is turning back the same day from a remote station, is there enough food for the return? Vinod shares an experience with checks in Cuba.

It's not just the plane being checked - it's also staff. Is everyone in good flying condition and in proper uniform? Does everyone have their appropriate manuals with them?

Vinod reviews what arm doors and cross check means and shares a story of a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

News Items:

  • article "Croatia's ETF Airways on war path with Bremen Airport."
  • article "Auckland Airport Baggage Handlers Arrested In A Major Drug Bust."
  • article "Why easyJet Does Not Operate Flights Where Trains Are 3 Hours Or Less."
  • article "Football Fans Stop LATAM Plane Departing After Flight Cancelation."

If you have a story about inflight checks, 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