Airline Madness Champion: Obese Passengers 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.

airline madness champion obese passengers

Obese passengers who take up two seats has won our Airline Madness tournament. After last year’s Hotel Madness tournament was completely dominated by the #1 seed, it’s shocking to see this Airline Madness won by the #13 seed. It just goes to show that you never know what to expect when things are put to a vote. Obese passengers who take up two seats garnered a shocking number of votes from Gadling readers in every round of the tournament. Even in the championship round, #2 seed Legroom struggled to secure even 40% of the vote. Our readers, it turns out, do not like to share their space.When we first put out a call for airline pet peeve submissions on Twitter and Facebook, heavy passengers were frequently mentioned, though not nearly as often those that would ultimately be given the higher seeded annoyances in our tournament. That’s how we arrived at the #13 seed for the eventual – and unexpected – champion. We had no idea at the time that readers would vote in droves for the Cinderella of the tournament.

We fully anticipated voters to be motivated by their wallets. Shockingly, however, an overwhelming majority of our readers voted for Obese passengers who take up two seats in the first round against Baggage fees. We knew then that readers from across the globe shared this opinion. Little did we know that voters would continue the trend all the way through the tournament.

Now, it should be noted that some of the blame for the phenomenon on planes must be placed on the airlines. They have made their seats smaller and smaller over the years. So much so, that even average-sized travelers struggle to fit comfortably. That, of course, explains how Legroom made it to the finals. And, as any traveler with broad shoulders will tell you, rubbing shoulders with the passenger next to you is fairly common. So, heavier passengers are not solely to blame for the cramped quarters on planes.

That said, voters in our polls expressed that they do not like giving up their space. Outside of paying more for a business or first-class seat, we’re stuck with the economy cabin seats offered by the airlines. The airlines dictate the size of those seats. And our readers have said that they do not want anyone infringing on that small portion of the airplane that they get to call their own.

Another Travel Madness tournament in the books. What a wild ride this year’s run has been. An unexpected champion, an amazing number of votes and some fantastic feedback from our readers. Thanks to everyone who voted in all of the polls.

If you missed any of the action from Airline Madness or simply want to enjoy it all again, use the links below.

More Airline Madness:
Championship: Obese people who take up two seats vs. Legroom
Final Four
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 Championship: Obese people who take up two seats vs. Legroom

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

In a tournament full of upsets and unexpected outcomes, it’s fitting that the Airline Madness championship match-up does not feature the bracket’s top seed. Instead, it all comes down to #2 Legroom and #13 Obese people who take up two seats. In the Final Four, Obese people who take up two seats proved to be too big for all of those other annoying passengers combined. Legroom, meanwhile, kicked those change fees and standby charges off the plane. That’s how we got here, but what happens next is, once again, up to you. Only one of these truly annoying airline pet peeves will be declared the ultimate annoyance of the skies and your votes will decide it.

It’s almost unbelievable that a #13 seed could advance to the finals, but Obese people who take up two seats have proven to be bigger than any challengers. Legroom has proven itself deserving of its #2 seed by showing that it’s a pain in the neck as much as it’s a pain in the knees.

Which airline annoyance deserves to be named champion? Vote now and share your thoughts in the comments!
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Championship voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Monday, April 2.

In case you need help deciding, let’s take a look at these two aviation irritations:

#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.

#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?

More Airline Madness:
Final Four
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: 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: Baggage fees 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 baggage fees obese people two seats

This Airline Madness first round match-up is sure to spark plenty of debate. The #4 seed, Baggage fees, ticks off just about everyone. On the other hand, #13 seed Obese people who take up two seats is too big to be ignored. If we’re traveling, we need luggage. However, airlines seem to punish us for packing even a normal amount of clothing by charging us exorbitant fees just to check a bag. Meanwhile, the limited space we do have for ourselves on the plane is being infringed upon by overweight passengers overflowing into our seats. If you’re too heavy to fit in one seat, shouldn’t you have to purchase a second?

Only one of these airline annoyances can advance to the second round. Learn more about them and then vote for the one that you simply can’t stand.

#4 Baggage fees
We understand that some people overpack and attempt to bring way too much crap onto the plane. But, what about the people who just want to pack properly for their two week business trip or family vacation? How can the price of a single bag not be included in your airline ticket? Are we all supposed to fly with one change of clothes in our carry-on bags? Let us pack like normal human beings and travel with some personal belongings without shelling out an additional $50!

#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?

Only one pet peeve can advance. Will it be Baggage fees or Obese people who take up two seats. Vote for the one that pisses you off the most and then share your feelings 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
#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.