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.

Mother attempts to flush newborn baby down airplane toilet

A 25-year-old medical student has been arrested in Northern India after attempting to flush her newborn baby down the toilet.

The woman was flying home from Turkmenistan when she gave birth in the bathroom. Upon landing, she left the plane, leaving the baby in the toilet.

The entire toilet had to be removed, and surgeons at a local hospital used a saw to remove the newborn from it. According to doctors, the baby is in critical condition.

The mother was arrested in the airport and has been transferred to a local hospital where she was reunited with her baby.

Once doctors declare her fit, they’ll investigate her motives, but it appears she had been studying medicine in Belarus and did not want to return home with a baby.

[Image from Flickr/dpstyles]

Asian airline puzzled by mysterious mid-air toilet clogs

Any time you put 300 people in a metal tube, the strain on the in-flight toilet system is going to be immense – but Hong Kong based airline Cathay Pacific is having more than just a bit of trouble.

The airline is actually dealing with a huge mystery. Their toilets are so unreliable that a Hong Kong bound flight had to make an unscheduled landing in Mumbai, India when all ten of the bathrooms became clogged and unusable.

The 278 passengers on the “crappy” flight were delayed for 18 hours. But to be honest, I’d rather spend 18 hours in Mumbai than 18 minutes on a plane with no bathrooms.

In other incidents, two other Hong Kong bound flights had to refuse boarding to a substantial amount of passengers when all the bathrooms on one side of the plane stopped working.

All these incidents are on the Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, and Cathay Pacific is said to be working overtime to figure out what is causing the problem. A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman suggested that passengers may be to blame.

‘You would be amazed at what we find in the pipes when we clean the system – not just face towels but medicine bottles, socks and even children’s stuffed toys,’

Until the real reason is uncovered, engineers are carrying out deep cleaning treatment and replacing pipes.
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“Passenger created” toilet clogs delay flight for 10 hours

Remember those signs in the airplane bathroom that politely request that passengers refrain from throwing anything into the bowl (other than the usual stuff)?

Well, apparently passengers on Biman Bangladesh airlines saw it, but either ignored it, or decided to see what would happen if you stuff it full of bottles, cups, paper and sanitary napkins. And they didn’t do this to just one of the toilets, but all five of them.

The major clog in this airplane plumbing resulted in a 10 hour delay in taking off from Dhaka. The plane was London bound, and the plumbing job only took 2 hours, but by then they would have arrived at London past its nighttime curfew.

Wing Commander Asaduzzaman, who is in charge of engineering at the airline, blamed retuning Bangladeshis for clogging his toilets.

This crappy problem (pardon the pun) is just another blow for the airline, since the United Nations recently advised their own staff to avoid flying them because of safety concerns.
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