Husband Flies In Business Class & Leaves His Wife And Toddler In Economy During 14-Hour Flight

Parental responsibilities don't disappear on airplanes.

Last updated on May 02, 2024

stressed mom with child on airplane christinarosepix / Shutterstock

Traveling with a child can feel stressful, especially when flying on an airplane. For women who fly with their partner, they expect some help during the trip.

Unfortunately, one woman found herself in a stressful dilemma while flying with her husband and toddler. The family was booked on a 14-hour flight; however, they would not be sitting all together after the man made the flight arrangements.

A man booked a seat in business class, but put his wife and toddler in the cheapest section of economy.

Sharing her story to the U.K.-based parenting forum, Mumsnet, the mother explained her frustrating situation in a now-deleted post. Now, she's wondering if she's wrong for being annoyed with her husband for not booking seats sitting together so that he could assist her with their toddler.


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She began the post by revealing that her husband travels for work and asked her and their two-year-old son to join him on one of his week-long trips. The woman agreed on one condition.

“I only agreed to go if my son and I flew premium economy as it's a long way,” she wrote. “I'll be on my own with a toddler whilst my husband is in business class (work paid for his ticket).”

The man assured his wife that he had taken care of their premium economy seating arrangements using his travel points. However, six weeks later when their flight was scheduled, the woman discovered that her husband had not upgraded her and their son to the premium economy seats.


“I discovered he'd lied and basically booked the cheapest economy tickets available (no seat reservation option/upgrade option),” she shared.

She called the airline in hopes of getting the upgraded seats her husband promised, but was told that the premium economy section was fully booked on the departing flight, and on the way home the seats would cost an additional $2,000.

Still, she assumed that when she checked into the flight online, she would be able to choose seats for herself and her son, securing them a window seat to make flying with a small child easier

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Unfortunately, she found out that they were only able to check in on arrival at the airport and wound up with aisle and middle seats.

"We are next to each other which is great but not ideal. I would have wanted a window/middle or two seats from the middle bank of the plane (got an inflatable footrest with the hope son can sleep as it's a night flight, but now can't use as we are stuck with middle and aisle seats),” the woman wrote.

stressed mom holding child on plane Maria Sbytova / Shutterstock

She admitted that she “went nuts” on her husband and called him “selfish” for not booking the premium economy seats she had asked for in the first place. 


She also believed it was unfair that her husband would be enjoying the luxuries of business class while she had to take care of their son for the entire 14-hour flight.

“I doubt we can swap halfway through, but did wonder if he could take our son to sleep with him as he will be able to lie down,” the woman shared. "I'm worried that if my son has the middle seat and if he sleeps I'll have to wake him up to let the person in the window seat go past.” 

Other users empathized with the mother’s concerns and frustrations, and criticized her husband for his actions. 

"I'd be furious. What a crappy way to treat your wife and child," one user commented. "Obviously just swap tickets with your husband and he if tries approaching you claim not to know him. Enjoy the champagne,” another suggested. 


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Parenting with a spouse or partner is all about teamwork.

In this woman's case, it appears as though her husband purposely booked her and their son's seats to be separate from his, perhaps to enjoy a 14-hour plane ride free of parental responsibilities. 

But just because this family is flying on a long flight, that doesn't mean one or both of them can shirk their parental responsibilities. In fact, it's important that they compromise on the situation.

Just as compromise is an essential part of a romantic relationship, the same mindset applies to parenting. 

@honestmommymoments Marriage is all about compromise most of the time.. especially when kids enter the mix. Alot of #men need this memo. Before yall come for me I said ALOT NOT ALL...but #compromise #Marriage #parenting #relationshipadvice #toddlers #stayathomemom#marriageandmoneypodcast #husband #wife #workingmoms #wfhmoms #motherhood ♬ original sound - honestmommymoments

For this couple, the right thing to do would have been to evenly split the time spent with their son. For example, the woman could have taken care of the toddler for half the flight, while the husband took care of the child for the second half, each spending about seven hours on parenting duty.

Another way the couple could have resolved this dilemma may have been to swap seats. While the woman sat with the child on the way there in economy, her husband could do the same on the return flight, swapping seats so his wife was in business class.

The point is that the husband here was, indeed, selfish. But hopefully, everyone involved learned an important lesson about keeping promises and meeting each other halfway.


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.