Airline Madness: Inattentive parents of crying babies vs. Obese people who take up two seats

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

gadling airline madness cry babies obese passengers

The two Cinderella stories of Airline Madness meet in the second round’s most intriguing match-up. #12 seed Inattentive parents of crying babies won its first round contest without breaking a sweat. Similarly, #13 Obese people who take up two seats simply dominated in its contest and racked up an astonishing number of votes. Now they face each other in a battle to determine which controversial annoyance advances to the Final Four. What bothers you more when it comes to ear-splitting cries being ignored by parents and heavy passengers spilling into your seat? Read on and vote!#12 Inattentive parents of crying babies
Look, we’re not pointing fingers at the babies here (because it’s rude to point and babies will put your fingers in their mouths). The problem is the parents who either aren’t prepared (with toys, activities, diapers, etc.) or don’t seem to care that their child has become a 110-decibel problem. Take the kid to the bathroom, bounce him on your knee, give him a bottle. Exhaust every option and then start over again from the beginning. Show everyone that you’re aware of the problem and, at the very least, offer some acknowledgement of (and apology for) the disruption.

#13 Obese people who take up two seats
Not all obese people are created equally. Some overeat, others have genetic disorders, while many suffer from crippling medical issues. Regardless of the reason, however, there is no excuse for taking up someone else’s space. I paid for my seat and only I get to use it. If you can’t fit in one seat, shouldn’t you have to pay for the space that you do need? It’s not a punishment; it’s just common sense. Once a child becomes too large to sit on his parent’s lap, he needs his own seat. Shouldn’t the same hold true once your waistline is too large to fit in a single seat?

One of these upstart lower-seeded combatants is going to advance to the Final Four and find itself one step closer to possibly being named Airline Madness champion. Which one will it be? What annoyance bothers you more?
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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
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #3 Lack of free food/prices for food
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #2 Legroom issues
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: Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies

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

gadling airline madness overhead space parents crying babies

The first round of Airline Madness rolls on with #5 Lack of overhead space going head-to-head with #12 Inattentive parents of crying babies. Thanks to baggage fees and idiots who don’t know how to pack properly, there never seems to be enough room for everyone’s carry-on bags. Once the plane takes off, however, we’re often subjected to unprepared parents who don’t seem to care that their baby is causing everyone’s ears to bleed.

Only one of these aggravations can advance to the second round. Read their bios below and then vote for the one that you find the most obnoxious.#5 Lack of overhead space
When did people lose all sense of spacial relations? That massive bag isn’t going to fit inside that tiny overhead compartment. And your jackets don’t belong up there either. Why is the overhead space filled up before even half the passengers have boarded? Baggage fees and the fear of lost luggage have encouraged more fliers to keep their belongings with them in the cabin. However, there’s no place to put everything and too many idiots abusing the space.

#12 Inattentive parents of crying babies
Look, we’re not pointing fingers at the babies here (because it’s rude to point and babies will put your fingers in their mouths). The problem is the parents who either aren’t prepared (with toys, activities, diapers, etc.) or don’t seem to care that their child has become a 110-decibel problem. Take the kid to the bathroom, bounce him on your knee, give him a bottle. Exhaust every option and then start over again from the beginning. Show everyone that you’re aware of the problem and, at the very least, offer some acknowledgement of (and apology for) the disruption.

Do you hate overhead space issues or the parents of crying babies more? Only one of these annoyances will be moving on to the next round. Which one do you think deserves it? Vote and then voice your opinions 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
#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.

Fed up passengers demand child-free flights

The New York Times devoted some of its coverage to another of those always controversial airline topics – children on planes.

Once again, passengers are apparently voicing their concerns about children in the cabin, and some of them propose to outfit planes with a child-free zone.

The article even mentions a frequent flier from Boston who has started a Facebook group called “Airlines Should Have Kid-Free Flights”.

Stories like this pop up at least once every six months, and the passengers they talk to have very little understanding of kids or the aviation industry.

When the Boston based frequent flier sat behind a screaming child on a flight from LA to the UK, he said:

“The parents were not doing a thing to stop it,” he said. “They were just sort of weakly smiling and giggling like, ‘Oh, what can you do?’ But give them a pacifier, do something to make them stop.”

This is the solution that comes from all people who either don’t have kids, or don’t understand them. Pacifiers only work on children that are used to using them, and even with one, the cabin pressure may be too great to stop annoying them. But of course, “do something to make them stop” is something these people think the parents didn’t try themselves.

In all my flying, I’ve come across plenty of screaming babies – and it is not fun, but I’ve come across more pompous frequent fliers who irritate me more than babies. Babies eventually get tired and fall asleep, but the loud business traveler is one that never knows when to shut up.

The concept of creating a child-free zone on the plane is another that will never work – simply because airlines are hurting enough as it is. Sure, there may be a niche airline that considers creating special seating areas for families, but the investment and ticketing challenges may prove to be too great for it to ever be a success.

Of course, a lot of these complaining passengers fail to realize that there is already a (virtually) child free zone on the plane – the business and first class cabins. Instead of demanding that parents do something about their kids, people who don’t like the sound of a crying baby should just pony up the cash and sit up front. Alternatively, bring some ear plugs and noise canceling headphones.

What are your thoughts?

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[Photo courtesy of: Online Photography Course]