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

10 great last-minute summer getaways you can book in July

There is no need to shelve that summer vacation you wanted to take but never got around to planning: The last two weeks of August may be the most popular time to get away for the season, but there are still plenty of options available for travelers who are game for a last-minute escape.  Jack Ezon, the president of travel company Ovation Vacations...
In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten
In these parts of France, the Great War will never be forgotten

The last time I saw the Picardie region of France was in 1978. I was visiting an old family friend, who suggested we take a road trip to see the chateaux and cathedrals that dot the landscape there and nearby in Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, all of which are an easy drive from Paris. Off we went in her Peugeot 504 and at some point I became lost...
Santorini: Behind the Greek island’s beauty
Santorini: Behind the Greek island’s beauty

The words “Greek Isles” evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder-to-shoulder against a hillside with a mesmerizing view of glittering blue water. But with more than 200 Greek islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, where do you start? Chances are, Santorini is the island you’re picturing. Once a complete island like...
4 hikes to take in the Colorado Rockies
4 hikes to take in the Colorado Rockies

Summer is here, so why not pack the car and head to the Colorado Rockies? You could also hop a two-hour flight to Denver, but who wants the hassle of trying to fit all your outdoor gear in a carry on? If you get an early start, you can easily travel the 14 hours and be in the Mile High City for dinner. Check out City O’ City for late-night eats...
Are cruises cool? No. That’s what makes them so great.

It’s the final day of this seven-night cruise, and I am sitting in my moderately messy balcony stateroom aboard the Celebrity Summit finishing the last bites of a room service cheeseburger, bags as yet unpacked for tomorrow morning’s disembarkation, the vast undulating North Atlantic just over my starboard shoulder.  I am trying to...
More Stories