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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 29, 2022

Vinod and Geoff have returned from their summer adventures, and their meetup in London Heathrow for Experience 063. After all of the concern we had for meeting up at Heathrow, it ended up being very anticlimactic.

Vinod shares some interesting insights into how providing certain destination information could affect a London cab driver’s ability to take airport fares later in the day.

Geoff and Vinod rave about the terrific new Elizabeth Line in London.

Geoff’s flight from Toronto was quite late leaving for Copenhagen. We will do a future experience on when should you really show up when your flight is tremendously delayed. He shares his experience of the flight.

Geoff shares his experience of checking in at the Priority Pass International Lounge in Toronto. Indeed sometimes it is just nicer to find a quiet gate than going to a lounge.

Geoff then flew onward to London from Copenhagen. Copenhagen Airport has a practice of passengers scanning their boarding passes to enter a waiting room and then board, instead of scanning when boarding.

Vinod shared his experience of flying from Vancouver to Heathrow. What a coincidence -- one of the pilots on the flight was a friend of his. For the avgeeks, it was a non-ETOPS flight, and the landing was greased smooth.

Geoff continued on with Eurostar from London to Brussels and then onward to Cologne with a German ICE train. The Eurostar was fine, but the ICE train was so full Geoff sat in by the door in the vestibule for 2 hours!

Geoff had some experiences with the German trains not being very German. First, a fire on train line. Second, technical issues before the train even starts the journey. Third, random stops in the middle of nowhere in Bavaria.

Geoff reviews his flight from Vienna to Frankfurt with neighbouring passengers not having to return their beer bottles before landing.

As Geoff was checking into his flight to Johannesburg, he learned that Lufthansa only issues baggage stickers at certain desks at Frankfurt -- not all check-in machines.

We give a shout out to friend of the show Paul Papadimitriou -- Geoff and Vinod both met him in person in London, and great times were had by all. Paul you’re welcome to visit Canada any time.

We talk about the tight connections that are often faced in Frankfurt, knock on wood no problems for either Vinod or Geoff...yet.

Geoff flew to Johannesburg in a 747-800 upstairs in business class. When Johannesburg is busy with international flights, it’s busy.

Geoff continued his adventure through South Africa to Kruger National Park and onward to Mozambique. He had a super early flight from Maputo to Nampula with an onward land journey to Ilha de Moçambique.

Geoff’s return to fly out of Nampula was an adventure in itself. Police checks, racing to the airport, honking horns, and arrival after check-in desks closed. Did he make it? Narrator: He did.

Then Geoff continued onward from Maputo to Cape Town via some connection adventures in Johannesburg.

Geoff returned from Cape Town to Frankfurt, and then homeward bound to Toronto. Toronto’s baggage situation was uneventful.

If you're liking this episode experience, you may also enjoy Experience 020. "Go or no-go? When Vinny and Geoff's rail travel plans went sideways." It's available wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Vinod’s return to Vancouver saw waves of people sent through to security at Heathrow, and people who aren’t managing the queues properly. Security made Vinod put his stroller through the baggage scanner. When he arrived in Vancouver there were no issues with the baggage, but there were no baggage carts. There was no random COVID testing openly visible for either Vinod (or Geoff in Toronto).

Geoff noted that in Mozambique there were staff matching your claim sticker with the baggage tag.

Geoff also had very favourable reviews of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Frankfurt -- which, depending on your departure time, may be a better lounge option that the Lufthansa lounges.


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If you have a story about 2022 trips you’ve recently had, upcoming trips, 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