The internet is outraged over a man that left his wife and son in economy class while he flew business class. I’m not quite so outraged. Let me explain why.
Wife Upset That She Is Stuck In Economy Class With Toddler While Husband Flies Business Class
A woman shared a story about traveling with her husband that was deleted once it went viral. But here’s the gist of the story:
- Husband was going on a business trip (paid for by his company)
- He offered to take his wife and two-year-old son along
- Wife agreed – as long as she could fly in premium economy (husband said yes)
- “My husband’s going for a week’s work and wanted me and my son (2) to go and tag on a holiday. I only agreed to go if my son and I flew premium economy as it’s a long way. I’ll be on my own with a toddler whilst my husband is in business class (work paid for his ticket).”
- Husband booked them in regular economy instead
- “My husband said fine no problem, had lots of points to use. Booked the flights. Told me had booked premium. Six weeks later I discover he’d lied and basically booked the cheapest economy tickets available (no seat reservation option/upgrade option).”
- Wife then “went nuts” on husband and called him a “selfish prick.”
- “I’ve gone nuts at my husband because I think he’s a selfish prickk that was too tight to book a seat reservation when making the booking. Meanwhile, he laps it up in business class. I’ve rung the airline but they said the seats can’t be changed.”
“Am I being unreasonable to be annoyed with my husband? Am I being unreasonable to drag him out of business class so he can do his share of parenting? I doubt we can swap halfway through but did wonder if he could take son to sleep with him as he will be able to lie down.”
Here’s my answer. She is not unreasonable in being annoyed if her husband promised her premium economy and did not deliver. Shame on him, for not keeping his word and apparently lying. Lying is toxic and threatens the very core of the marriage: it’s a huge red flag. Often when there is deception in one area, there is deception in other areas.
But is she reasonable in wanting to drag him out of business class? My answer is no. Work paid for his ticket, presumably because he has to hit the ground running when he lands in Asia or South America or wherever the 14-hour flight from London took him. He did not have to take her at all and she should not reasonably expect him to give up her seat.
The push for “equality” is a funny thing. Some want to be treated as functional equivalents but still want chivalry at the same time. Now I’m all about chivalry in my relationship with my wife and have given up my upgraded seat to my her on many occasions when her upgrade did not come through. But if I am flying to a destination and have to go to work when I arrive, sorry…that business class seat is mine and I’d be cheating my employer if I gave it away and arrived to work exhausted after 14 hours in economy class.
Ultimately, I see this as an issue of expectations. The wife rightly excepted premium economy class because she was promised it. Again, shame on the husband for lying to her and not delivering. On the other hand, my sympathy is based only upon that key distinction. Had he simply asked her along and not promised her an upgrade, I think she would be wholly unreasonable to want to split time or even have him take the toddler for part of the flight if this was a work trip. She should be thankful she got to go on a holiday and not pay for the hotel.
What are your thoughts about this case?
(H/T: View From The Wing)