Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

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.

Filed under: Airlines

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport code
If different

Search Travel Deals

Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.

To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.

Gadling Features

Most Popular


Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News


FOXNews Travel


Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel