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.

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!
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.