Guest Post: The Spouse and Upgrades debate, take 5 – by Road Warriorette

This post is brought to you by Road Warriorette while Jason is out with two broken wrists and a microphone. Keep an eye out at MilesQuest for future guest posts by other Boarding Area bloggers.

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I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed the spouse and upgrades debates. It’s been very entertaining to hear all the different sides of the story. And, as a wife, I admit it’s been rather gratifying to hear that most husbands let the wives have the upgrade. My upgrade story is a little different, though.

Most of the time on vacations, either we have both gotten the upgrade or neither of us has gotten it. So I don’t remember any incidents where there’s only one and we’ve had to decide who gets it. But once, we were flying back from a trip to Vegas for my cousin’s wedding. We booked our flights way in advance, and were super happy to see we had been upgraded a few days in advance. A great way to end our week of gambling and partying! Except that we realized the day before our flight that my 90-year-old grandmother was also on our flight. Even after begging and pleading, the agent couldn’t get her an get her in first class with us for free. The only way to make it work was to purchase 3 500-mile upgrades, at $30 a pop.

Let me tell you a little bit about my grandmother. She is 5’2”, very energetic, and a bit of a firecracker. She’s also, as are so many from her generation, very frugal. So when I went to her and explained the situation, and said we would be happy to split the $90 with her, she laughed at me. “Pay 50 dollar?” (She’s also Norwegian, with an accent even after being in the States for over fifty years.) “For what? A bigger seat and a glass of wine? No thank you!”

The Home Warrior and I had a quick whispered conference. What to do? Do we let her sit in front while one of us sits in back? And the answer is, yes. Yes, you do. So we told her she could have one of our seats, and she said no! She refused to come and sit in first class, even when we asked her to switch with us for just a little while. So we sent her back a glass of wine, and visited from time to time. But of course, today she is 94, and still reminds us of that flight where we sat in front of the plane and she sat in back.


  1. Would it be easier if you just pay $90 to get the upgrade for your grandmother and tell her that it is free so that she can sit upfront with you both? Thanks.

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