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A man who flies first class but leaves his wife in coach has social media users in an uproar, with some calling it cause for divorce

mother daughter plane
A reader's submission to The Ethicist has social media users in an uproar.Getty
  • Friday's edition of The New York Times Magazine's newsletter The Ethicist sent social media into an uproar.

  • In the column, a reader wrote that her husband flies first class, leaving her and their kids in coach.

  • The reader questioned whether that was fair. Social media users said it was cause for divorce.

In a rare case of internet unity, it appears social media users have come together to agree on one thing: that a man who allegedly takes first-class flights, while leaving his wife and children in coach, is in the wrong.

The topic was the subject of a recent edition of The New York Times Magazine's newsletter, The Ethicist. The column, written by philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, helps readers navigate "life's trickiest situations and moral dilemmas."


In Appiah's most recent column, he fields a question from a person who wrote: "My husband flies first class and puts me in coach. Is that fair?"

The reader's submission states that her husband always "either pays for, or gets an upgrade into, the first-class cabin" and "justifies flying alone in first class because of the cost, and the fact that our kids (12 and 16) might feel alone if I were to travel in first with him and leave them in the rear cabin."

She added that her husband suggested traveling alone on a separate flight, so his family wouldn't "feel badly about the disparity."

Ultimately, Appiah suggested that the reader ask her husband to take turns sitting in first class. Social media users across Twitter and Facebook, however, had a more merciless suggestion — divorce.

In a tweet with 1.4 million views and 16,000 likes as of Sunday, The New York Times opinion columnist Lydia Polgreen wrote, "This is grounds for immediate divorce."

Dozens of commenters under her tweet agreed, with one jokingly calling divorce the "mildest possible response."

Journalist Yashar Ali also weighed in to suggest divorce, with his tweet garnering 10 million views and nearly 70,000 likes as of Sunday — as well as a similar response in his post's comment section.


Meanwhile, on Facebook, thousands of comments called out the husband for his "selfishness" and instructed his wife to "check if she has enough points to upgrade. To a better husband."

Appiah didn't suggest threatening immediate divorce, instead writing that in a modern marriage, each partner is meant to treat the other with "respect, consideration and dignity."

"Each has a say in the making of significant decisions, and each cares about the other's comfort and preferences. Your husband has another view," Appiah wrote. "He evidently thinks that because he's the ticket-buyer in the family, his own preferences get priority."

Read the original article on Insider