Flight Controversy: Should Wives Travel Economy While Their Husbands Travel Business Class? African Women React

businessclass Recently The Telegraph newspaper published an article about husbands who travel business class and relegate their wives to economy class. Why on earth would any man do that? We decided to carry out a survey to find out what African women think about this issue.  We got some really interesting responses. Please join the conversation, your comments are most welcome.  Telegraph

 Ayodele Olofintuade – Writer/Editor:

When I read The Telegraph’s article, the first thing that crossed my mind was … this is a white, upper-middle class problem. Because, according to pop-culture in Nigeria, women are second class citizens that should ‘submit’ to their partners/husbands.

With a lot of effort at trying not to generalize, I suppose the average Nigerian woman’s response would be – ‘I don’t care. Aren’t we getting to the same destination?’ Or she won’t even think it odd that her husband is in Business class while she’s ‘slumming it’ (according to the Telegraph’s article), in economy class.

My second thought was, isn’t this how the whole contraption called the society is set up? Some get to go first class, some get to ‘slum it’ and at the end of the day we all arrive at the same destination … death?

But on a more serious note, I think once the partners have decided what their own ‘normal’ is then, there shouldn’t be any problem.

From the tone of the women interviewed, they didn’t seem to mind. Even though I didn’t get the impression that it was discussed previously. Something along the lines of, ‘Honey, I love you, I’m stinking rich, and I’ll take you round the world… but you’ll have to fly economy.’

Even the woman that was complaining hedged a bit, because she emphasized the amount of fun she usually has, once they get down to the proper ‘holiday’. It’s the ‘business’ bit that seemed to bother them… a little.

economy_classWould you allow that?

Every relationship has its own ‘normal’.

Frankly I’ve never thought of myself in those terms. I’m more of, make-my-own-way-round-the-world kind of girl. Now that I think about it, I think I’d like to get me a partner that would take me round the world

But thanks for asking this question, I’ll have to add this bit to my list of ‘demands’, if I ever get that serious with anybody.

Would I allow that? No … we either travel first class together, economy together or you go wherever and I go wherever, we can always meet up at home, after our holidays. Life shouldn’t be that tough.

Emma Arogundade  – Academic

 I don’t think it’s ‘perfectly normal’. My first reaction is that I think it is unfair. I also think there may be a range of reasons and until we know what the story is, it’s difficult to judge. The questions I’d ask:

Is she okay with it?

Did they discuss it, and come to an agreement?

Is there some factor outside of their control (like the business pays for his ticket and they’re making a plan for her to go with so they can be together?), or is it just because there is a feeling she is not important enough?
Would you allow that?

It depends on the circumstances. As a matter of ordinary family practice, hell no! But maybe I decide that I want to give my husband the gift of a comfortable journey and I upgrade him, or a circumstance like the one above like it’s the only way to make it work.

Abby Ogunsanya – Marketing Consultant:

Depends what you mean by normal. One thing I have learned is that each person’s ‘normal’ is different. Perhaps a couple decides on their own preference and the wife/partner doesn’t think first or business class is worth the expense and would rather spend the money on other things; perhaps shoes, bags or clothes. Or perhaps the man is the one footing the bill and he doesn’t want to pay the money for his wife/partner to travel in the same class as he does. As with flights, so it is with other aspects of relationships, some couples relate to each other in ways that often makes no sense to outsiders.
As for me, if my partner is paying and he can afford it, he wouldn’t be type that would even think about putting me in economy because I choose my partners to match my personality. He simply wouldn’t be that type of person. If I am paying, the same applies. It’s as simple as that. I happen to be the type of person who definitely thinks travelling business/first class is worth the expense. I am not a shopper. For me, whether travelling for business or for pleasure, comfort is key and if I can afford it, I will pay for it. If I can’t afford it and he can’t either, then we travel economy but I certainly won’t judge anyone who does otherwise. I don’t walk in their shoes.

Nkem  : Oil and Gas Executive :

It depends really.  Your question doesn’t include children or family travel so I will use my own situation to respond.If we were travelling as a family, it wouldn’t be a problem as I do not believe children should be seated in any class above economy.  As long as we are all headed to the same destination, I cannot be bothered what class we sit in.

Diana Bada


I don’t think it’s normal. It sounds disrespectful to make such a move. I believe the husband and wife should have same benefits regardless of the income status or traditional beliefs or for whatever reason the man feels he deserves priority over his partner. Both should fly the same class. And if tickets that are available are only one first class and one economy, then the husband should ride economy and give first class to his partner. Women should be treated as the queen’s that they are, she’s the child bearer, sensual, beautiful, powerful and the spiritual balance to a man.

Medical Doctor 

Reading this article has helped me see that the world has always had selfish people and always will have them! #endofrant

I just cannot understand why a husband and wife should travel in separate classes while on a trip together. To me marriage means you have chosen to spend the rest of your life sharing stuff with one person and that includes the class in which you travel. When you travel alone you can choose any class you wish but together one class is preferable. For companionship mainly. After all that is one of the main reasons people get married anyway. If my husband travelled first or business class while I was stuck in economy I would know that his comfort mattered to him more than I did and honestly it wouldn’t bode well for our marriage. I dare say I wouldn’t even have married him in the first place!

Reading that article made me so angry








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  1. Hell no! We are either going big together or slumping it together. If he can’t afford two buiz tickets , then he should join me in economy. What’s the point of traveling together if I get to stay alone throughout the trip. The only situation I can allow that is if he has a medical issue and we can’t afford two buiz class tickets. What rubbish

  2. Lool….I guess it depends on the circumstance. There has to be a good reason for that . I sure hope my hope I don’t end up with a man who does this for no good reason. Sad

  3. Don’t seee any problem with this Atall. I’ll promise to check her during the flight and maybe even send some champagne her way. More seriously though I see nothing wrong with it. I know families that have the wife and kids in Economy and husband First class. Big deal!  

  4. I dont understand why this is a debate. Am I his pa or domestic staff? A man that respects his wife will actually offer his wife the higher class if necessary. They should be together all the time, if they can’t afford two business class tickets then they both go economy. Any man that thinks differently obviously thinks his wife is beneath him.

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