Dad sparks debate after he flies first class while his wife and children sit in economy
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I've seen enough crying kids at airports to know that travelling with children is stressful, so it's no surprise one dad has sparked debate after it was revealed he leaves his wife and kids behind to swan off to first class while travelling.
It's alright for some.
The man's wife shared his actions in the New York Times' newsletter The Ethicist, where philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah responds to readers to share advice and useful tips.
In the newsletter, the mum explained that she and her husband share two kids, aged 12 and 16. Admittedly a bit older than the extremely stress-inducing baby and toddler years, but still kids nonetheless.
The mum said the whole family is 'happy to travel', and they 'love going places together' - but her husband actually plays it pretty fast and loose with the term 'together' when it comes to getting on the plane.
She explained her partner 'always either pays for, or gets an upgrade into, the first-class cabin', meaning she and the children are left to sit in economy or economy plus.
She used a trip to Paris as an example, explaining that when they all flew on an overnight flight together, the husband justified his own upgrade by saying the kids 'might feel alone if [she] were to travel in first with him and leave them in the rear cabin' - an explanation she described as 'unfair'.
The mum expressed belief the kids would probably be fine by themselves in economy, but she doesn't know if it would be unfair to leave them behind.
Turning to Appiah for advice, the woman said her husband had since gone as far to suggest the family travel on different flights, so she doesn't 'feel badly about the disparity'.
However, the wife pointed out this suggestion didn't address 'the inherent selfishness in his thinking'.
"Am I wrong?" she asked.
Appiah responded to point out that a modern marriage should be all about equality and that they should take each other's comfort into account, though he suggested the husband might believe his preferences 'get priority' because he's the one who buys the tickets.
The philosopher suggested 'creating greater equity' by taking it in turns to fly in first class, but other readers weren't so level-headed with their responses.
One Twitter user claimed the husband's moves were 'grounds for immediate divorce', and another agreed, writing: "He's treating his wife as though she were the nanny. An employee. She needs to divorce him and find someone who respects her as an equal."
One person responded to say they'd take matters into their own hands and upgrade themselves to first class, adding: "My husband's not the boss of me."
However, others described happily being in similar situations, with one responding: "My husband is 6’2” and often flies in Business class while I fly coach (I’m a little one). I’m fine as long as I can order as much vodka as I want and sit on the aisle."
I suppose vodka is one way to get through it...