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Redditor Balks After Boss Scolds Them For Not Giving Her Their First Class Seat On Business Trip

Woman in first class seat.
Pete Ark/Getty Images

Everyone wants to please their boss.

As a result, they will go above and beyond while in the office, making sure they are always content.

However, having a work/life balance is important, and as a result, when you are off the clock or not in the office, your boss should not always be on your mind.

Redditor scootindog recently attended a business trip with their boss, to which their flight was paid for by the company, but they had to buy their tickets themselves.

As it turned out, the original poster (OP) and their boss were on the same flight home, and when their boss saw where the OP was sitting versus where she was sitting, she was not at all pleased.

Going so far as to make a point of letting her displeasure known to the OP upon arrival.

Wondering if they had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not giving my boss my first class seat?”

The OP explained how their use of frequent flier miles ended up putting them at odds with their boss.

“Yesterday, my boss and I were flying home from a conference.”

“We were on the same flight, but our original seats were not next to each other.”

“I’m a frequent traveler on this airline and use their credit card, so I often get free upgrades to first class.”

“I got upgraded on this flight, and my boss did not.”

“After the flight, when we were collecting our bags, she said she wanted to talk to me about my ‘lack of respect for protocol’.”

“She thinks that because the company paid for my original ticket, and she is more senior than me, I should’ve given her the first-class seat.”

“I think this is absolutely insane.”

“While the company paid for my seat, it’s my own personal credit card spending and frequent travel that earned me the upgraded seat.”

“Is this some sort of corporate standard I’m not aware of?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for not giving their boss their first-class seat.

Everyone agreed that the OP was under no obligation to give their boss their first-class seat, as they were upgraded owing to their personal flier miles, not due to the company, with some even suggesting the OP report their boss to HR.


“This was your upgrade, not a company upgrade.”

“I’d keep an eye on this boss from here and document anything in case of retaliation.”- jrm1102

“Obvious NTA.”

“Is your boss 5?”

“What f*cking protocol says you have to give gifts to your boss?”- idontcare8587


“If you want to cya going forward, you can always email HR and ask, ‘X happened while on this trip, and Manager Y advised that I should have done Z’.”

“‘Can you point me to where I can review the protocols so I know going forward?'”

“It documents the incident without being accusatory and lets you be able to cite chapter and verse if there’s a next time.”- gilded_lady


“You got upgraded.”


“The upgrade was connected to your own personal credit card use.”

“Your boss is a bully, and she is being completely inane about this.”

“If she brings it up again, I’d just tell her that she is wrong and leave it at that.”

“Document this too, in case you need to take it to HR.”- neoncactusfields


“The entitlement of your boss is astounding.”

“As long as the company allows you to use your card for miles (not all do), you’ve done nothing wrong.”

“You could have used those miles on whatever.”

“She could have paid extra for the upgrade, as well, but she CHOSE not to.”- NotCreativeAtAll16


“I’ve been in this exact situation (I was upgraded, the boss wasn’t).”

“It never even occurred to me to offer him my seat, and neither did he seem to expect it.”-madelinegumbo


“Your boss is entitled. Ask her to show you the protocol where it says you have to give up your first class seat to your boss.”- Willing_Second1591

“Report to HR. This is a sign of things to come with boss, and better yet, you get your side of the story out there first.”

“Otherwise the company is likely to side with the boss just because she’s boss.”- Larfbarg61

“I hope you said, ‘sure, as long as we can also talk about your entitlement issues.'”

“She’s a ballsy one, lol!”

“NTA.”- IamIrene


“Regardless of your answer, but I’m curious: is your boss the owner of the company or just another employee who is higher in the chain of command than you?”- Furimbus


“I once got a free upgrade. My Lead did not.”

“He did not complain.”

“She was being very unprofessional.”

“If you’re concerned, you can talk to HR about it.”

“Like Boss retaliation or something.”- WJA-EST-84


“Your boss needs to get a reality check.”- ThomasStan_


“Boss probably felt their sense of self-importance attacked because you got upgraded and they didn’t.”

“Stand your ground without being confrontational. You did nothing wrong, so don’t let her push you around with her ‘little talk.'”- AgileBuy8439


“Been here, done this.”

“In contrast, my boss appreciated the ‘cost to my butt’ that got me frequent flyer privileges.”

“Your boss is a jerk.”

“An entitled jerk.”

“She should do better. She gives good bosses a bad rep.”- StandardDiver2791

“NTA, and I am an HR manager.”

“No employee is entitled to another employee’s personal rewards.”

“I had a general manager who traveled a lot during his job. He used his personal credit card to pay for rooms.”

“He always used the same hotel and amassed huge awards.”

“Those are his to keep and use.”

“He was reimbursed for the rooms by our company, but he booked and paid for them originally.”

“The company paid for the original ticket, but the upgrade was a personal reward.”

“Not a company reward.”

“I would definitely email HR and ask what the proper protocol is.”

“If she comes to you later, make sure you tell HR she is creating a hostile work environment.”

“You need to get ahead of this ASAP.”- harleymomma45325


“Your boss is, though.”

“Entitlement is the scourge of the current era, unfortunately.”

“And those that feel entitled often really aren’t.”

“You earned 1st class.”

“Not your boss.”- Imitation_lemon


“Your travel got the upgrade, not the company.”

“Make sure you’re very clear to record the meeting for the ensuing employment tribunal!”

“Haven’t there been a bunch of these recently about free upgrades and either the boss/wife/girlfriend feeling entitled to first class?”- Opposite-Guide-9925


“Your boss needs to get over herself and her sense of entitlement.”- BensBum


“What the heck!”

“Your boss is just jealous you were upgraded, and she wasn’t.”

“It doesn’t matter if she has more seniority at your job. That seniority does not extend outside the workplace.”

“The airline certainly doesn’t care about that.”- ariesgal11

“NTA, what you have here is a classic boss ego trip.”

“Talk to HR and make sure it’s documented because odds are she’ll find a way to make your life more difficult going forward.”- angelaheidt


“What an entitled piece of work your boss is.”- Dipping_My_Toes

“Yes, the standard is ‘I’m the boss, I’m super-entitled and like to throw my weight around.'”

“That’s not the sort of person I’d want to work for.”

“NTA.”- Remarkable_Inchworm


“And if she tries to make it an issue, you need to bring it to her supervisor or HR.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Your points got you the upgrade.”

“Nothing to do with business.”- CancelAfter1968


“It’s the airline who decides who sits where and not you and not your boss.”

“Your flier status got you upgraded, which your boss probably doesn’t understand.”

“If she was a good manager, she would have celebrated your good fortune with you and expressed her overall appreciation for your hard work.”- newfriend836639


“Your boss is an entitled jerk.”

“Does she do other things where she thinks that because she’s the boss, she should get the best of everything?”- AceyAceyAcey


“As you said, your getting upgraded was a consequence of you having spent enough money from your own credit card, so you should get to benefit from that.”

“Also, I’m not at all familiar with corporate protocols and all, but I’m pretty sure your boss is just making things up here.”- KCJV

While one should always do their best to ensure their boss is happy, it’s arguably a two-way street.

Employees will work even harder for a boss they respect and who they can also respect.

From the looks of it, the OP’s boss doesn’t seem to at all.

Leaving one to wonder if the OP might be better off finding a new boss… who they respect and respects them in return.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.