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I saw a post a few months ago on the Road Warriorette blog.  In the post, the Road Warriorette describes being on a plane to Manila in business class.  During pre-boarding, she witnessed a family together up in the business class cabin.  When the plane was getting ready to take off, the man sitting down in business class said goodbye to his wife and child, and the two of them marched back to take the long trip in economy.

She recounted several similar experiences, including one from Dallas to Tokyo where on a 14 hour flight a man left his wife and baby back in economy class.

There were lots of good comments on the post.  Most of them were negative, but there were a few cautionary comments mentioning that we can’t know what was going on with a particular family situation, which makes sense.

Of course, those of us in the travel hacking world can solve this problem by just getting enough miles and points!

My thoughts

I had a gentleman that I used to work with that said that there was a Seinfeld clip for every situation, and this one is no different

“I can’t go back to coach! I can’t! I won’t!” 😀

I would tend to agree with most of the commenters in the original post, with a more moderate approach.  We don’t know what was going on in any of these scenarios, and what might seem like a horrible decision might make sense if we knew all the context.

When we flew with our family of 8 cross country, we had a few similar decisions about how to seat our family.  We made our best attempts at how to break things up (realize that with 6 kids and only 2 adults, we don’t have enough adults to be able to sit with every one), and it didn’t stop a fellow passenger from telling us that “we were the type of people that shouldn’t children

Is it right for Dads to fly in first, but moms in coach? Should you break up your family like that?

Other considerations

Another thought is whether it’s even appropriate to have a baby and/or young children in business / first class, which is an entirely different question, and probably just as heated! 😀  Some of the commenters suggested having the parents swap out with each other during the flight, but I think that would probably not work well – it seems like most airlines don’t allow a “revolving door” between cabins, and I could see how lots of movement could be frustrating for other passengers, especially on an overnight / red-eye flight

(SEE ALSO: 4 tips to survive a red eye flight in economy)

What do you guys think?  Ever had to deal with these kind of scenarios?


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