Husband in business class while I'm in economy?

posted 3 months ago in Travel
  • poll: What would you do if hubby flies business but you can only afford economy?
    Sit in economy while he sits in business : (40 votes)
    17 %
    Ask him to sit in economy with you : (64 votes)
    27 %
    Ask him to pay for your upgrade : (77 votes)
    32 %
    Other : (57 votes)
    24 %
  • Post # 91
    191 posts
    Blushing bee

    What’s the point of being married if you can’t rely on him to cover your costs? I’m sure you working shorter hours means you’re probably doing more at home. It sounds more like you’re his recent girlfriend than his wife.

    Post # 93
    619 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    With your recent update, I guess I’m kinda confused as to what your original question is? Are you feeling unfair that he’s not paying for your business class ticket despite him already paying for a cleaner, saving toward a house, expensive hotels, and most of the holidays? He’s paying for quite a lot!

    If he’s not *that* tall, then economy premium should be enough of a compromise. I can never sleep on a plane despite the flight being 10+ hours but I still suck it up. And I do find it hurtful for him to leave you in economy class while he sleeps away on business class.

    BUT if my Darling Husband was paying for the holiday and hotels, I think I might be okay with sitting economy alone especially if I could sleep through the entire flight. But I know my Darling Husband would never do this to me.

    Post # 95
    4989 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    bougainvillea :  For those who don’t think I contribute, you can’t put a price on the love and support I’ve given him the entirety of our relationship. 

    I mean, he could say the same about you but he is still stuck with the bill as life costs money.  That isn’t really a fair outlook.

    Post # 97
    36 posts

    Bee, different people will feel differently about this. I think this thread is a great example of that.

    I’m 5’4 and my brother is 6’1. Whenever you used to fly out  for vacations, I could see how uncomfortable he was. 

    Economy isn’t great for anyone but there are a lot of people here telling you they’d expect their husbands to suck it up when I personally think that’s really cruel because what that comes down to is someone choosing to inconvenience their spouse for their own comfort instead of inconveniencing themselves for their spouses comfort. If you’re shorter and fit a little better in the seat AND have the ability to fall asleep on flights, economy seems to be a pretty great option for you. Why not afford your husband the same luxury? That way you’re both well rested and ready to take on a lovely holiday.

    Additinally, and correct me if I’m wrong, it feels like it’s a comfort and rest issue for him but a monetary issue for you. If he works a lot more hours than you and has the money to not only take you both on these wonderful vacations but save up for a house and pays for a cleaner to give you a break, I’d say spending 8+ hours away from each other en route to a holiday so both of you can get some rest is not an unreasonable situation.

    However, if this goes deeper and there’s emotional resentment and this is just the tip of the iceberg, then it’s worth exploring that first. Do you feel like your husband doesn’t value you? Do you feel like he has more say because he earns more? So often things like this are just a symptom of something else.

    Post # 97
    309 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    Whilst I appreciate there are some practicalities here I just am flabbergasted at the amount of people who shrug this off as OK. 

    He flies business class and puts you in economy. Wow. Just wow wow wow wow wow. Not only would my fiance never ever even consider doing this, he would also be able to experience long term solo travel from that point onwards if he ever considered it. 

    How much you both earn is irrelevant. Does he also eat steak whilst you have bread and water? Where is the line drawn here? You should be equals in a marriage and this is far far from it.

    I’ll say it again. WOW. 

    Post # 99
    446 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I have only read some of the responses, but I don’t think this is cut and dry. I am also married to a tall man who feels extremely uncomfortable in econony.  On our next trip, he volunteered to pay the extra it would cost for first class. So we both are going first class. To be honest, I never really considered sitting in economy while he in first class. I booked online and I don’t recall a way to separate the travellers into different classes, although it might have been.

    However the amount of money it is costing for me to be in first class on a three hour flight (and it is A LOT of money) is a complete waste because I don’t mind economy at all. Frankly I would rather we save the money and use it for something besides me having more room and getting to board first.

    So sitting separately seems like something I might suggest in the future, though I am sure he would fight me on it.

    As an aside, separate finances have taken a few knocks on this thread, but it’s a perfectly fine arrangement that works for many couples. It doesn’t mean that they don’t share of pay some expenses together.





    Post # 100
    619 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    “I could fly economy although would love to experience business, plus while he feels the “comfort” may be lost on me, the food and wine would be lost on him. “

    I would say this: my Darling Husband would never, ever enjoy business class without me. Why? Because I’m his wife. Whether I sleep through the flight or not (I don’t), he would still want me to enjoy the luxury of business class with him. 

    “nevermind that I am hugely responsible for his place in life right now. Sounds egotistical but if you were to ask him he would agree he would not be where he is without me.”

    Now you’ve made me curious what/how you helped him where he is today… It sounds like you’re holding this against him though.

    Post # 101
    280 posts
    Helper bee

    Your updates are confusing. Are you saying the whole trip (his flight, your flight, the hotel, meals) is 8k and your upgrade alone would be an additional 8k? Does he get some kind of perk through work or miles that affords him cheap upgrades? If he’s flying business class on the cheap and would have to pay full price for your upgrade (essentially doubling the cost of the vacation), I can see why he’s reluctant.

    Also, you say you’ve never flown apart before. Isn’t that the whole point of this post—that he sits in business and you sit in coach? If not, and if this is a one-time thing when he got an upgrade, why can’t you let it go?

    Post # 102
    1580 posts
    Bumble bee

    If you travel a lot you must have racked up enough frequent flyer points to buy an upgrade for yourself each time? Then you can both do business for long haul and premium economy for short haul. Look at other ways to increase your points like paying all bills on a high earning credit card. We do this with all our household bills, groceries, petrol, clothes, everything.

    Post # 103
    494 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I don’t think there is an inherent problem with one spouse receiving an item of higher value than another spouse, it both are ok with it because they value that item differently.

    I do think there is a problem where there is a large inbalance in the power dynamic. It sounds like that is the case here- one person is viewed as earning the overwhelming majority of the income and therefore executes the major decisions on how that income (which sounds like both view as his income) is spent- expensive hotels, first class for one spouse, housekeeper, etc .

    If I were OP I’d want to restore some balance in the relationship- recognizing the joint income is ours and is to be shared jointly, agreeing on expenses togethert (such as compromising on what is important and agreeing to pay for a cheaper hotel room but upgraded flights), having both partners feel they are equally contributing to the combined responsibilities of work both inside and outside the home (including maintenance of friendships, Christmas cards, laundry, the full range of the unpaid physicaland emotional labor), etc. 

    It sounds like the husband has the overhwleminag amount of financial and decision-making power in the relationship and the OP is trying to fit in with his lifestyle decisions. That’s what I would have the problem with. 

    Post # 104
    6897 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Honestly I think this isn’t just a cut and dry situation. 

    For the average flight, no my husband wouldn’t sit in business and leave me in economy. When he flies solo he does quite often upgrade himself to business where as when I fly I rarely ever upgrade myself because I just can’t bring myself to spend the money. I take that back, it really just depends on the flight. If I’m back in economy with a row of 3 to myself and a relatively short flight I’m not upgrading. If it’s a packed flight and it’s over 4 hours, and the upgrade fee isn’t too crazy, I’ll upgrade.

    Business class on long haul flights is EXPENSIVE. My husband and I are NOT the kind of couple who needs to sit together. It’s not like we sit and chat on flights anyway. Still he wouldn’t go buy himself a luxury ticket in business class and leave me back in economy. I can completely understand not wanting to shell out the money to buy the extra business class seat, but I think if your husband went up there anyway and left you back in economy that would be a real dick move. 

    FWIW my husband is also the breadwinner in our house. Like you I consider his career sucess partly due to my support. Not financially but in the sense he spent a lot of years traveling almost full-time for work and I was at home (still working, part time) taking care of the house, making sure bills were paid, taking care of the dog, etc – which allowed him the luxury of being able to take on all the travel required to get him where he is and not have to worry about things at home.

    We mostly keep seperate accounts and he takes care of most of the bills while “my” money handles household items, groceries, my own personal bills, things for our son, etc. I say all that because it sounds as though I’m in a similar situation in terms of how we do things financially but that doesn’t give my husband an excuse to be an asshole. At the end of the day is what class you fly in really that big of a deal? No, but it’s not about that – it’s about being considerate and inclusive of your spouse.

    I think a great compromise could be one of you gets the business class seat on the flight there, and the other takes it on the flight home. 

    Post # 105
    774 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2016

    Hmm. Having separate finances in a marriage is not a dynamic I really understand or can contribute much to. I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom and my husband works. I can’t really picture trying to justify him being able to get some perks that I can’t because he earns more money. We make our decisions together and try to make it so that we have the same quality of life (boosting each other up, not keeping one person down to what the other can afford). 

    If either me or my husband physically or mentally couldn’t deal without having an upgrade, but we couldn’t afford to upgrade both – I think the overall trip would come first and it would be a joint decision to make it work for the both of us. This would only fly because I know it would work either way for us. If one person needs (true meaning of the word) something, the other person will accomodate to make sure it happens. 

    If you’re always feeling the difference in your incomes, I’d recommend some sort of counseling to sort that out. That is not a comfortable dynamic to have. You two are a team. 

    It’s a difficult situation because it sounds like your husband is very used to this flying arrangement and has determined that it’s necessary, but it may not technically be necessary? In that case, if it’s not where you want to make a stand, I’d take up some room elsewhere – not in a petty way, just in a way that meets a want that’s bordering on a need that you may not be pushing for because you know you can go without. That’s how we have solved things where my husband was prioritizing his comfort and it was annoying me because I didn’t. The answer wasn’t to make him stop, it was for me to start doing similar things.

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