Wife Who Flies Coach With Her Kids While Husband Flies First Class Questions If The Arrangement Is 'Unfair'

'Not my husband anymore at the end of the flight,' one reader explained their opinion on the matter.

airplane cabin Kelly 311 & Eko Agalarov / Pexels

A woman wrote to the New York Times Ethicist column with her own version of a ‘very strange’ situation between her and her husband. She questioned the inherent unfairness of her husband flying first class on family trips, while she sits in coach with their two children, ages 12 and 16.

She explained that her husband “loves to travel” yet when they travel as a family, “he buys himself a ticket in first class and puts us in economy or economy plus. He even did this recently on an overnight flight to Paris.”


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The wife thinks her husband’s expectation that he fly first class while she flies coach with their kids is ‘unfair,’ and many readers agreed.

“He justifies flying alone in first class because of the cost, and the fact that our kids (12 and 16) might feel alone if I were to travel in first with him and leave them in the rear cabin. I feel that this is unfair,” she stated.

She asked if it was ‘unfair’ to want to fly first class with her husband and let their teenage kids sit alone in economy plus. She qualified her question by explaining, "We are happy to travel, and love going places together, but it is still very strange," although the description of his actions as "strange" overlooks the sheer self-centeredness her husband continuously exhibits. 


Photo: Soloviova Liudmyla / Shutterstock

The beleaguered wife continued, “My husband has suggested traveling alone on a different flight ahead of us so that we don’t feel badly about the disparity, but this does not really address or solve the problem of the inherent selfishness in his thinking. Am I wrong?”

The answer she received touched on the theme of equity in modern-day marriages, which the Ethicist described as a relationship “in which each partner treats the other with respect, consideration and dignity. Each has a say in the making of significant decisions, and each cares about the other’s comfort and preferences.”


Based on that simple definition, it doesn’t seem like the woman’s husband takes her comfort or preferences to heart. He seems more concerned with staying apart from his family members, and one has to wonder what else he requires of his family to give up in order to suit his own needs.

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The overwhelming majority of Twitter users responded with one possible solution: Divorce.

“That’s fair if he wants to be divorced and have his children stop speaking to him when they’re 18. Win/win/win,” said one comment.

“Maybe find a new spouse?” Asked another person. “Why not share the first-class seat? Take turns?”


“If he’s so concerned about the kids why doesn’t he sit with them? What is this?” Questioned someone else.

“Time for a new husband,” stated yet another person.


While there are certainly more pressing issues revolving around equity in the larger landscape, the manner in which this husband relates to his wife appears to not take her presence or needs into account. Calling for divorce could be seen as a drastic decision, but it’s fairly obvious that at the least, the wife would benefit from clearly communicating what her needs are in their relationship, and even putting herself first, for once. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.