Airline Madness: Legroom vs. Inefficient boarding procedures

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

The first round of Airline Madness continues with #2 seed Legroom taking on #15 seed Inefficient boarding procedures. As most of us are usually flying in the economy cabin, we know just how cramped those seats are. If you’re 5 feet 9 inches or taller (the average American adult male is about just below 5 feet 10 inches tall), your knees are probably going to touch the seat in front of you. Meanwhile, before you even get on the plane, you need to wait for your seemingly arbitrary zone to be called and then stand in a line of people eager to board a metal tube full of recycled air.

Only one of these pet peeves will advance to the second round. Check out their full descriptions below and then vote for the one that’s the most infuriating.#2 Legroom
The average seat pitch in economy class is between 29 inches and 30 inches. That doesn’t allow for much legroom, no matter how much thinner they make the seat-backs. You don’t need to be freakishly tall to feel cramped once you fold yourself into your seat. Want more legroom? Well, now the airlines make you pay for exit row seats or “Premium Economy,” which is nothing more than an economy seat with the legroom that was offered to everyone a decade ago. These days, you might have more personal space in a dog crate in the luggage compartment.

#15 Inefficient boarding procedures
The gate agent has announced pre-boarding (which is a misnomer, because once anyone is boarding the plane, it’s just called boarding) and yet everyone with a ticket for the flight seems to have surged toward the counter. You’re seated one row away from your friend yet are separated by three boarding groups. The crowd of people near the gate resembles a Soviet-era bread line, only less organized and far more aggressive. When your group is called, you can’t get anywhere near the plane because of the wall of people in your way. Oh, and the flight is scheduled to takeoff in two minutes. Surely it will be on time.

Which airline pet peeve grinds your gears the most? Do you demand more legroom or have you had it with the chaos of boarding? Vote for the annoyance that most deserves to advance to the second round and share your thoughts in the comments!
First round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 16.

More Airline Madness:
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#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.