Anxious parents of infant on first flight pack treats — for fellow passengers


Brett and Samantha Kellgren weren’t looking forward to taking their infant son on his first plane ride, an early-morning Southwest Airlines flight from their hometown of Chicago to Boston. 

“I felt like if it wasn’t a family wedding, we probably wouldn’t have done it,” said Samantha Kellgren, 33. “I didn’t know how it would go. Would he be awake the whole time and still be in a good mood?”  

So, like any good parents, they turned to bribery.  

Traveling with an infant, they were among the early boarders on the June 7 flight with unassigned seats. They chose a middle and an aisle seat roughly 10 rows back, with Brett on the aisle and Samantha in the middle holding Owen.  

When the seats around them were filled, Brett passed out about a dozen goody bags to nearby passengerss. Inside were ear plugs, gum, some snacks and a note with a picture of the baby and this message: “Hi there, my name is Owen and I just turned 4 months old! This is my first flight and I’ll try my best to be on good behavior but just in case I get fussy this morning here are some goodies that I hope will help out. Enjoy your flight!”  

The gesture went over well, Samantha said, with some people even saying the care packages weren’t necessary. One woman in front of them stood up just to get a good look at the baby.  

Turns out the Kellgrens didn’t need the bags. Owen wasn’t bothered by the takeoff and landing, and he didn’t cry or get fussy during the flight. Instead, he smiled at the lady next to him in the window seat (a grandma) and spent time looking around and taking everything in, Samantha said.  

On the way home a few days later, Owen fell asleep before the flight even took off. He slept the whole way. Good thing, because the Kellgrens didn’t bring treats for the return flight.  

———  

(Terri Colby is a freelance writer.)


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Uncovering Ireland’s culinary delights
Uncovering Ireland’s culinary delights

Irish cuisine has long been the fodder of jokes — a kind of penance to suffer through in order to enjoy the people, music and lush scenery of the Emerald Isle. But that’s an outdated notion: Travelers today find fresh, inventive, flavorful meals there — and many Irish towns are working to establish themselves as foodie destinations...
A treasure trove along Florida’s Emerald Coast
A treasure trove along Florida’s Emerald Coast

The shades of blue stack up on the horizon like a beach-lover’s paint chip. Sky. Ocean. Pool. When I envision the Florida Panhandle, these are the colors I see. Growing up, I cherished my family’s annual August pilgrimage to Destin, where we’d spend a carefree week filling up on hearty breakfasts at the Donut Hole, shopping for trinkets...
Hurricane Safety: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater
Hurricane Safety: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater

Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death? Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries. Here are six sicknesses you should...
Austin is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in America, according to this list
Austin is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in America, according to this list

Some locals may whisper “don’t move here” under their breath to tourists, but that doesn’t stop them from coming. Austin has made yet another list, this time ranked as one of the most tourist-friendly cities in America by travel website Expedia. RELATED: Austin named best travel destination for solo...
Epicurean escape: Eat like a local with new Paris food tour
Epicurean escape: Eat like a local with new Paris food tour

On a sunny afternoon in a quiet park in Paris’ 10th Arrondissement, a dozen people have gathered for a moveable feast. Removed from the hectic heart of the city, where visitors crowd around the enigmatic “Mona Lisa” and cloud-tickling Eiffel Tower, we’re eschewing escargot for an off-the-beaten-menu tour seasoned with savory...
More Stories