Dear Abby: My spouse left me behind

Yesterday I was sitting on a Delta flight from Cincinnati to Seattle on the window side of Row 28A completely annoying my seatmatesAn annoyed Diane way back in coach because as soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off I popped up to visit the loo and see what Wessel was up to. And I do mean up. My dear spouse was upgraded to first class, leaving little old me behind, way behind, in coach. If the tables were turned would I have done the same thing? You betcha. All is fair in love and airplane seat assignments.

You’d think that me being someone who often writes for travel publications would have a gazillion frequent-flier miles. But in fact I don’t chalk up half as many as Wessel, who goes to Europe for work several times a year. I get more miles using my related credit cards than I do for flying. (Hence my saying: “I’m not spending money; I’m earning miles!”)

So now Wessel is a Delta big-time customer, while I’m a nobody. I can’t even manage to get published in Delta Sky, my favorite in-flight magazine, although last year I did get an exceeding complimentary rejection note from executive editor David Bailey.

Anyway, on the first leg of our flight from Durham, the ride was so rough that drinks weren’t served. Or so we were told. Turns out that first class folks got juice and coffee while the minions in coach were served nary a drop. Safety be damned when it comes to the elites. On the second flight, Wessel got a full breakfast, while we got nada, and free headphones, while ours went for $2. No thanks. It’s always eye-opening to see how the other half lives.

Diane's reward - A view of Mount RainierBut — not that it’s a competition — I happened to be on the side of the plane that gave a full view of Mount Rainier (active volcano in the Cascade Range).  Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. I mean, sorry about that, hon!

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4 Responses to “Dear Abby: My spouse left me behind”

  1. Kristin Thalheimer Bingham Says:

    Dear Diane,
    As a forever-in-coach passenger myself, I feel your back-of-the-plane pain as your husband Wessel luxuriated in first class. It’s always been astonishing to me that we have this blatant, usually socio-economic, segregation right there to behold, literally in front of us. Obviously, you and Wessel share the same socio-economic class, and Wessel got bumped up to the elite part of the plane by his frequent travel habits, but still, no drinks?! All that said, I’m curious about Wessel’s perspective. How did he feel dining on his full breakfast, knowing full well you got peanuts? How did you both handle the post-flight reunification?
    Coach in coach, Kristin

  2. didaniel Says:

    That’s a good question, K. I’ll invite Wessel to answer. He did it on the way back, too, and I got stuck next to a woman who flowed over onto my side, and snored! Such is life in the slow lane.

  3. Yvette Says:

    Diane – You know what my late husband would have done about the first class/second class breakfast? The same thing he had done all through our marriage of 32 years. He would have brought half of his food from the front of the plane to me…in front of everyone! His love for me could never be matched by any other. That’s just the way my precious husband was. He was always thinking of the other person. He didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. Yvette

  4. didaniel Says:

    That is so sweet, Yvette. I’m touched that you had 32 years with someone you loved! Wessel again got first class on the long leg of our journey home, and did give me a free headset so I wouldn’t have to spend $2. How’s that for love? Unfortunately my blasted monitor was on the fritz! Also, I have to say that Wessel got up super early (like, 4 a.m.) the day of our departure and made sandwiches for the flight. So while he didn’t bring me his first-class meal, he did make my sammies! He’s very sweet.

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