Airline Madness: The Final Four

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

gadling airline madness tournament final four

After two weeks of voting – along with intense debate in the comments – we have reached the Final Four of Airline Madness. The second round continued the drama that has become the trademark of this tournament, as #13 seed Obese people who take up two seats pulled off another upset by crushing those crying babies (and their inattentive parents). Meanwhile, when it comes to your money, #6 seed Change fees/no free standby won an upset of its own, proving to be way more annoying than the lack of free food. Annoying passengers and Legroom showed why they’re the top two seeds of the tournament by advancing in dominant fashion. Now it’s time for you to vote on the Final Four to see who advances to the championship. We’re not wasting any time, so read on to cast your votes!

gadling airline madness annoying passengers obese people
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats

The tournament’s two most impressive performers finally battle. Annoying passengers come in all shapes, sizes and aromas. No matter which type you encounter (be it the chatty neighbor, the loud talker or the smelly traveler), they’re sure to ruin your flight. Meanwhile, obese people who take up two seats try to steal what you paid for. That’s your seat and no one should be able to annex part of your space.

Only one of these on-board menaces can advance to compete for the championship.
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gadling airline madness change fees standby legroom
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #2 Legroom

In our other Final Four match-up, two classic airline pet peeves square off. Switching flights at the airport used to be a breeze. Now? Get ready to pony up $100. And standby? Yeah, that will cost you as well. Once you get on the plane, however, that’s when legroom becomes an issue. Legroom isn’t just a problem for tall people. Virtually everyone feels cramped – if not completely claustrophobic – in planes because that seat in front of you is way too close for comfort (and your knees are practically in your chest).

Which classic annoyance will move on to the championship match?
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Final Four voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Wednesday, March 28.

More Airline Madness:
Second round match-ups:
#1 Annoying Passengers vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
#12 Inattentive parents of crying babies vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #3 Lack of free food/prices for food
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #2 Legroom
First round match-ups
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.

Airline Madness: Annoying passengers vs. People who get mad at people who recline their seats

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

Our opening match-up in the second round of Airline Madness pits the tournament’s top seed, Annoying passengers, against #9 seed People who get mad at people who recline their seats. Annoying passengers received the most votes of any pet peeve and won by the largest margin. It was a dominant performance by some abhorrent people. They advanced to face People who get mad at people who recline their seats, who advanced in the first round’s closest contest. Ultimately, voters decided that people who whine are worse than people who recline. But which of these annoyances has what it takes to reach the Final Four? That, of course, is up to you so be sure to vote in the poll below.#1 Annoying passengers
Annoying passengers come in all shapes, sizes and aromas. Sometimes they’re the chatty seat companions who don’t know how to take the hint when you’ve put on your headphones, opened up your computer or closed your eyes for a nap. Why won’t they just shut up? Other times they’re loudly talking to their friends and preventing you from hearing your own thoughts. Worse yet, they can be gassy or just downright malodorous. Did they roll around in manure before boarding the flight? Why are they’re clothes stained? Frankly, everyone on the plane is crazy and all that you can do is hope that you have a row to yourself.

#9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
You know who paid for that seat-back? The person sitting in that seat. The airline has put in the recline feature and we’re entitled to use it. Frankly, it’s one of the few amenities that’s still free on airlines. We don’t need anyone’s permission to recline our own seats. We can use that seat however we damn well please (well, within reason, of course) and reclining is our right! Our seat, our choice! Now shut up so we can enjoy our reclined seats in peace.

Only one of these competitors can reach the Final Four. Which one gets your vote?

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Second round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 23.

More Airline Madness:
Second Round match-ups:
#12 Inattentive parents of crying babies vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #3 Lack of free food/prices for food
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #2 Legroom
First round match-ups:
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.

Airline Madness Second Round

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

Just like in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the first round of Airline Madness saw some major upsets. The #12 seed, Inattentive parents of crying babies, and #13 seeded Obese people who take up two seats won their first round match-ups with ease against higher seeded opponents. In fact, Obese people who take up two seats received the second-most votes of any peeve in the first round. Meanwhile, we finally settled the debate between seat recliners and people who hate seat recliners, with the haters being deemed the more annoying passengers. In the rest of our first round match-ups, the higher seeded teams advanced with dominating victories. That, of course, brings us to the second round, which features some very intriguing match-ups. Read on to see who’s battling to move on to the Final Four!Voting will be open on all second round match-ups today with their own posts on the site. Here’s what you have to look forward to: [Update: voting in second round match-ups is now closed.]

gadling airline madness annoying passengers recline seats

More Airline Madness:
First round match-ups
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.

Airline Madness: Annoying passengers vs. Disgusting bathrooms

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

gadling airline madness annoying passengers disgusting bathrooms

We open up Airline Madness with our top seed, Annoying passengers, taking on the #16 seed, Disgusting bathrooms. Both peeves enter the tournament with a track record of bothering fliers for as long as commercial planes have been in the air. Whether you’re left covering your ears or holding your nose, you’re unhappy either way.

Read the full bios of both of these Airline Madness competitors below and vote for the one that you believe deserves to move on to the second round. We’re on our way to crowning a champion and it’s up to you to decide the winner!

#1 Annoying passengers
Annoying passengers come in all shapes, sizes and aromas. Sometimes they’re the chatty seat companions who don’t know how to take the hint when you’ve put on your headphones, opened up your computer or closed your eyes for a nap. Why won’t they just shut up? Other times they’re loudly talking to their friends and preventing you from hearing your own thoughts. Worse yet, they can be gassy or just downright malodorous. Did they roll around in manure before boarding the flight? Why are they’re clothes stained? Frankly, everyone on the plane is crazy and all that you can do is hope that you have a row to yourself.

#16 Disgusting bathrooms
Why are airplane bathrooms so wet? The sinks barely dispense any water and the toilets violently suck everything straight down, yet every square inch of that tiny space is damper than the Everglades. How does that happen? Well, turbulence and bad aim are a dangerous combination. Add to that the odors that people create after dining at a Chili’s Express and you have the recipe for a wet, smelly and cramped bathroom that’s shaking while you try to evacuate your bowels.

So, which airline annoyance bothers you more? Vote for the pet peeve that you think is the worst. Is it chatty/stinky/inconsiderate passengers or gross/wet/smelly bathrooms? Vote now and share your thoughts in the comments!
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First round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 16.

More Airline Madness:
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.

Airline Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

gadling airline madness

It’s that time of year again! All around the country, people are filling out their brackets and arguing over match-ups. That’s right; it’s March Madness Airline Madness! Just like last year’s Hotel Madness, we’ve compiled a list of travel pet peeves. Only this time around the competition is for the title of Worst Airline Annoyance. Our selection committee vetted the pool of candidates and chose the 16 worst offenders. Now it’s time for you to vote. Over the next two days, all of the first round match-ups will be posted here on Gadling for you to weigh in. The winners will advance to the second round, then the Final Four and so on until we crown an Airline Madness champion.It’s going to be an exciting few weeks of debates, arguments and rants about cry babies, overhead space and baggage fees. We know you’ll have some opinions to share and we hope that you’ll speak up in the comments.

Below is a list of our first round match-ups that will be up for voting later today for the first four match-ups of the first round. The second half of the first round will be open for voting tomorrow, so keep checking back for all of the action! [Update: The first round has ended and voting is closed.]


#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures



#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets


#4 Baggage fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats


#5 Lack of overhead space vs. #12 Inattentive parents of crying babies


#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment


#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing


#8 People who recline their seats vs. #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats

Welcome to Airline Madness! It’s up to you to pick the champion (because everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy)!

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.