To Upgrade or to Break-up

I recently witnessed such an interesting airport dilemma that I could add a travel-related chapter to the bestselling self-help book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.”

Two of my friends-a couple-were flying from a vacation in the U.S. back to Europe together. He was a frequent flyer gold card holder and got upgraded to business class for free. They don’t always upgrade, especially on trans-Atlantic flights, so he jumped at the opportunity. She is not a frequent flyer and did not get upgraded. She was mad at him for taking the upgrade and leaving her behind in economy class. He felt slightly guilty, but not guilty enough to sit in coach and completely give up the seat, or to shell out an additional $650 to get her upgraded as well. He offered that she sit in business class instead of him, but she refused.

Her argument was that he didn’t even consult with her and just announced it to her. She never said it bothered her, and just stopped talking to him.

He viewed her reaction as ungrateful. After all, he paid for the whole vacation, including her ticket. Now she wanted a paid upgrade too? Didn’t she want him to be comfortable and use those quickly-disappearing frequent-traveler perks? Plus, when he offered he would switch seats with her, she was not interested.

Any Dr. Phils out there who have an answer to this? Should you give up an upgrade for your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse so you can suffer with them in economy class?