Boss demands worker give her upgraded first class seat on work trip

  • 07/03/2023

Another plane seat drama has ignited heated conversation online, this time with a boss said to be furious over not being given a better seat by a younger employee they were travelling with.

The popular Reddit post comes after several stories have gone viral telling of anger over people not moving from pre-booked seats to accommodate families or couples seated separately.

On the 'Am I The Asshole' subreddit, a woman recounted the work trip on which the incident allegedly occurred.

She doesn't say where it took place, but it appears to be the US. In the comments section she said she works for a "large corporation" and that she is aged 32 while her boss - also female - is "around 50".

"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," wrote Reddit user Scootindog.

"I'm a frequent traveller 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?"

There are over 700 comments on the post with opinion strongly in favour of Scootindog being NTA (not the asshole).

"That's your money from your credit card and you don't owe her shit," said one.

"I also don't like the idea of a boss demanding a gift from an employee that they supervise and who makes less money than they do."

Another added: "Haha, I cannot believe she's salty that you got upgraded and she didn't. You have status with the airline, the company didn't pay for a first class seat for you."

Many Reddit users suggested her boss was so out of line that HR should be involved - however, Scootindog suggested the boss had "retaliated against'' other people for raising concerns.

"Corporate standard etiquette says that employees should not give superiors gifts. Bosses are absolutely not supposed to demand them either," said one commenter.

"If you work for a large enough company there's a handbook that outlines behavioural expectations. There's probably a whole section just about gifts between coworkers.

"As someone else suggested, emailing HR with a brief explanation of what happened and a request for clarification of expectations going forward is the best approach."

Another added: "She's straight up wanting to essentially use company funds to secure herself a better seat by pulling rank. That's gross misconduct and abuse of her title and I would 100 percent let HR know. Might tarnish your relationship with your boss, but if she retaliates just keep reporting that to HR."

Scootindog's story follows a business class passenger being applauded for not moving seats for a family with children could sit together, while another man was shamed for sharing his rage over a passenger refusing to move around the plane to accommodate him and his wife.