Would you refuse a first class upgrade to stay in economy with your spouse?

31 May 2023


Would you refuse a first class upgrade to stay with a loved one in economy? According to research, most people would.

People will often sacrifice a better experience for a less enjoyable one if it means they can do it alongside a loved one. Whether that’s a romantic partner, close friend or relative. Researchers conducted several studies with different social bonds, including friendships and romantic relationships. In one study, over half of the participants chose two adjacent seats far from the stage over two nonadjacent seats closer to the stage when imagining they were attending the circus with a close friend.


Dan would give the first-class upgrade to his wife. Mainly because she deserves it but also so he can get a free seat next to him. “It depends on who I’m with. If I’m sitting there with Emily, I would say babe you take it…But if I was with a friend I would be like see ya I’m off to first class.”

Jackie’s husband took the first-class upgrade on their flight home from Bali. While she stayed in economy with their sick son. “Hubby came down halfway through the flight to let me know they were being served food and drinks. He thought I would be happy for him! I asked if we could swap and he said no.” But if it ever happens again Jackie will be taking that upgrade.

Would you refuse an upgrade to first class to stay with your loved one?

“If my husband is frustrating me I’m out of there. Let’s be realistic!”

“I am taking that upgrade 100%. My partner and I have a mutual understanding, we don’t hold each other back.”

“My husband is really tall so I’d offer it to him but if he took it I’d be mad!”

“I got upgraded on a 12-hour flight once! Guangzhou to Paris! It was amazing! I was on a missions trip to France and God was amazing.”

Listen to Kirste and Dan’s full conversation below!