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: Change fees vs. Lack of free food/prices for food

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

This second round of Airline Madness match-up hits us where it hurts: our wallets. #6 seed Change fees/no free standby received an amazing 74.9% of the votes in its first round contest, proving that it has a real chance to go all the way in this tournament. Similarly, #3 seed Lack of free food/prices for food showed why people spend so much time bemoaning how airline food service has worsened over the years. It breezed into the second round while receiving more than twice the number of votes as its opponent. In this battle of monetary vexations, only one can win. Which one offends you – and your bank account – more? Vote below.#6 Change fees/no free standby
The airline has an earlier flight with available seats. You have a ticket for a later flight and are already there at the gate ready to go. Seems like a match made in heaven. A couple of keystrokes, some small talk with the gate agent and you should be switched over to the earlier flight with time to spare at the bar. This all makes sense up until they ask you for your credit card. If you’re at the airport, ready to travel and they have the empty seats, why shouldn’t you just be able to switch to another flight for free? It was no problem ten years ago!

#3 Lack of free food/prices for food
Look, it’s not that we expect a fine dining experience to be including in the price of our tickets. We’d be happy with a decent meal, a fresh sandwich or even a bag of peanuts that’s larger than a walnut. Sadly, these days, there really is no such thing as a free lunch (or a reasonably priced snack, for that matter). It’s bad enough getting gauged at the airport for a $9 bottle of water; could we at least be offered a deal in-flight when we’re flying through mealtime?

No one wants to part with their money, especially when they feel that the costs are unfair. This battle is about more than nickels and dimes. It’s about what bothers you more. Let us know!
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Second round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 23.

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
#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: Change fees vs. Lack of personal entertainment

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

gadling airline madness change fees standby in-flight entertainment

Our next Airline Madness first round match-up features #6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment. There was a time when you could arrive at the airport early (perhaps your meetings wrapped up quickly or there was no traffic on the way to the airport) and you could simply switch to an earlier flight. Or, you could at least get on the standby list. Now? That will cost you $100. Meanwhile, in 2012, there are still airplanes that lack televisions in every seat-back, forcing us all to watch some horrible Owen Wilson romantic comedy on shared screens. Or, perhaps worse, we’re asked to shell out $7.99 just to watch anything other than the map channel (side note: the map channel is awesome). We’d sooner player charades with with the people in our row.

Get to know these two annoyances better and then vote for the worst below.#6 Change fees/no free standby
The airline has an earlier flight with available seats. You have a ticket for a later flight and are already there at the gate ready to go. Seems like a match made in heaven. A couple of key strokes, some small talk with the gate agent and you should be switched over to the earlier flight with time to spare at the bar. This all makes sense up until they ask you for your credit card. If you’re at the airport, ready to travel and they have the empty seats, why shouldn’t you just be able to switch to another flight for free? It was no problem 10 years ago!

#11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
With all the money that airlines have collected from us over the years, you’d think that they would update their planes once in a while. How are we still sharing screens that are tiny, antiquated and blocked by people in the aisles? And, when we do have our own screens, why do we have to pay to watch anything? We’re already getting ripped off by our cable companies at home. No one wants to overpay for television a second time!

Which airline peeve gets your blood boiling? Vote for the one that you think should advance to the second round and add your two cents in the comments!
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First round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 16.

More Airline Madness:
#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
#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.