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Man surprises wife with first class tickets during trip with in-laws; MIL is annoyed.

Man surprises wife with first class tickets during trip with in-laws; MIL is annoyed.


"AITA for buying first-class tickets and leaving my in-laws to 'rot' in coach?"

Okay so here’s the story, I’m a big guy. In fact, I was a NCAA Division II Tight End, for non-Americans, think of the size of rugby players, for nonsports people, I’m a big @$$ dude. Not to mention my poor knees are shot, and I have a bad lower back. Then factor in that I travel by plane often for work. My job reimburses for flights, but they only pay for a basic seat, any upgrades come out of pocket.

Thankfully I make a decent enough living that most of the time I spring for an upgrade to economy comfort or even business class. If I have enough points, or the flight is cheap enough I spring for first class, but only if it’s a longer haul flight. If it’s a regional flight, I just suck it up, save the cash and sit in economy.

Okay so here’s the story, my in-laws invited me and my girlfriend “Diana” on a trip, we paid our own way FYI. The trip would be seven hours so I told my girlfriend and in-laws that I paid for an upgrade to business class, they were cool with it.

But in reality, I had something else cooking, Diana has never flown first class and as a special surprise for her I upgraded our seats to first class and would tell her at the airport. So for all the reasons I listed above and for Diana I got us upgraded to first.

I was so f#$king excited to see her reaction I could barely hold it in. So we get to the airport and when the first class passengers are called, I looked at my girlfriend and told her “let’s go.” She said they didn’t call our cabin yet, and I told her to look closer at her boarding pass, she looks and is stunned. FIL just laughs and shakes his head, MIL is stunned but doesn’t look happy.

Long story short, we had a ball in first class, she loved it and thanked me again and again. She only said to tell her in advance next time so that she can dress more bougie. We get off the plane and MIL is angry at me. She said how could you leave FIL and her to rot in coach while we live it up in first.

To be fair, FIL didn’t really care, he said he slept the whole way. He then told MIL that he’d have left us too if he had the money. MIL said we should all go first together or not at all, that it isn’t really fair or a good look to have two parties be in different classes like that. I said we were originally in business, she said there’s a world of difference between business and first class.

She said I could have at least sprung for economy comfort or business class for everyone rather than be selfish. I talked with Diana afterward and she said that while she enjoyed the surprise, she said that maybe I should have saved it for a private trip for the two of us rather than with her parents.

I still don’t think it’s a big deal, but I’ve been wrong in the past. So AITA? P.S: MIL is usually a nice person, I just think that this just set her off.

Commenters got into it.

Ducky818 wrote:

NTA. You were all paying your own way. You don't have to travel as a herd. MIL is just jealous! MIL could have paid to be in first class but she thinks that she is entitled to have you pay for it. Nope! Nope! Nope! Not gonna happen.

spoiledrichwhitegirl wrote:

NTA. Your MIL sounds bitter & entitled. Also, it’s weird that she claims it ‘isn’t a good look’ to have separate classes. What? If everyone was already paying their own way, I’m really not sure of the problem. I’m tall for a girl (5’9”) & I don’t want to sit in economy. My legs are insanely long & I’m just not doing it. I don’t blame you for sitting elsewhere.

shadow-foxe wrote:

NTA. MIL sounds a bit entitled. She was sitting with her husband, she was not left to rot. If SHE wanted first class she could have sprung for her own ticket. I've been on a flight where my parents were upgraded to first class and us teen kids were left in the cheap seats. We didn't whine about it.

terpischore761 wrote:

NTA. Mothers are often their daughter's first and biggest bully.

Squiggles567 wrote:

Slightly ESH. They invited you to spend time with them. MIL understood the upgrade to Business because of your frame. Further upgrading the tickets to give your girlfriend a treat, but not upgrading your in-laws is a little off.

I agree with your girlfriend. You had a great thought, but it would have been better to save it for a couples trip, rather than widening the difference in treatment between you and the in-laws.

It’s also not great for your MIL to get so grumpy about it though. Everyone was just being human. Nothing hugely wrong here to make a drama about. What’s great is that you and your girlfriend seemed to deal with the fallout as a couple really well. That bodes well for the future, as in-law politics is real!

While most people agree that OP is NTA, there are some who think he could've saved it for another time.

Sources: Reddit
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