These parents sparked serious debate online when they took a complimentary upgrade for a flight, leaving their son in coach alone
There’s not much that all of humankind can agree on, but this is one of them: Long-haul flights suck. They’re cold, they’re cramped, they’re uncomfortable, airline food is bland at best, and the glass of wine you desperately need to survive double-digit hours on a flight is going to run you a cool $17. Any of us, when offered a complimentary upgrade to the land of legroom and free champagne—first class, baby—would jump at the chance. But what if you were flying with your kid and they didn’t receive an upgrade? Would you still take it?
For Momtrotter, a travel influencer and mom who posts about her family’s #RVlife adventures on TikTok, the answer was a resounding yes. In a recent video, she revealed that she and her partner were offered a free upgrade to first class on a 13-hour flight, which they gladly accepted—leaving their 10-year-old son, Aiden, alone in coach.
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She posted the video with a caption that read, “Sorry son,” with a peace sign emoji, which is honestly a vibe and we get it. But the internet did what the internet does, and was quickly divided over the decision to let Aiden fly alone while his parents enjoyed a more comfortable ride.
“I think it’s highly irresponsible to leave your 10-yr-old to be seated alone for a 1-hour flight so I couldn’t imagine a 13-hour flight,” one commenter wrote.
Another added, “No shade sis. But we would have been playing musical chairs the whole flight.”
Yet another brought up the potential danger of a mid-flight emergency.
“I couldn’t relax not being able to see what’s happening with my kid,” the wrote. “In evacuation emergencies, I need to be next to my child.”
But many parents took a more balanced approach, saying there’s no right or wrong answer in this situation, and it depends on a lot of things. Even though Aiden is young, he’s a seasoned traveler and can presumably handle a flight well. And it’s not like his parents shoved him aboard and said “Sayonara”—he could have walked up to first class if he needed them at any time, for any reason.
So what would you do in this situation? Tell your kid you’ll see them at your destination? Or turn down a comfy seat in favor of sitting together? The internet may never agree on this one.