Planes are public spaces so it’s not unusual to strike up conversations with strangers.
But one woman’s encounter with a fellow passenger became very awkward when their conversation was interrupted by the man’s wife.
In a TikTok post entitled ‘Husbands I meet on airplanes’, entrepreneur Jordynn Wynn recounted her experience when she was upgraded to first class on a flight.
Wynn did not disclose precise flight details but mentioned that it was a three to four hour flight and that her upgrade was unexpected, but appreciated.
On the seat next to her was a man who she described as in his “thirties or early forties.” At first, Wynn said that they were both working on their own laptops, but when the flight attendant came over to offer drinks, the man started a conversation.
They proceeded to have a casual conversation over glasses of wine. Wynn found out that the man was a professor and was traveling to give a speech about nature conservation.
The conversation, Wynn said, was interesting but casual and “not flirtatious”. At one point, the man told Wynn that his wife was actually on the flight, seated in economy with their two kids.
As if on cue, the man’s wife appeared with a baby and a toddler in tow.
Wynn said that the wife plopped the youngest child in her husband’s lap and angrily told him that if he was not going to be working on the flight, he might as well take care of their kids.
The husband and wife then had a brief discussion. The wife returned to the economy cabin with the older child, and left the baby with the husband.
Wynn said that she did not engage in further conversation with the man.
The TikTok post was met with plenty of amused and annoyed observations. One of the comments was from someone who identified themselves as a flight attendant and said that this scenario of husbands taking first class seats and leaving “wives in the back” happens way too often.
Plenty of comments sided with the wife, saying they too would be angry if their partner or husband left them at the back of the plane to care for two kids while he was chatting to another woman.
Parents leaving kids in economy while they fly business or first
It seems that parents flying in first or business while leaving their children in economy class is fairly commonplace.
The late Ivana Trump famously disclosed in a 2017 interview with CBS Broadcasting that when she was raising her children, she took them on summer trips to Europe. On those trips, she would fly in first or business class, and would have her children fly in economy.
In the interview, Trump said that when her daughter Ivanka was 14, she asked to be upgraded to first class. Trump told her daughter that she could upgrade herself when she started making her own money. According to Trump, this taught her children the value of hard work and money.
Trump is not alone in this approach. In May 2023, a UK property investor posted a TikTok video of himself on a flight, saying “see you later” to his kids in economy with their nanny, and then moving to the first class cabin where his wife was also seated.
His video said, “Rich people, don’t spoil your kids.”
Parenting and motherhood website ScaryMommy also raised the issue that some parents are getting shamed for leaving their kids “for the finer things in life”.
It seems that a number of influencers are also leaving their kids in economy when they fly as a family. While some followers are of the opinion that this is cruel, others agree with the parents, saying that young kids do not yet know how to enjoy the advantages of premium flying.