Flying With Infants: Parents’ Tactic Ignites Debate

Any parent who has tried to soothe a fussy baby at 30,000 feet knows that flying with little ones is no picnic. It’s even worse when your fellow passengers are less than understanding.

One couple tried an interesting strategy when flying recently with their 14-week-old twins: they passed out candy to everyone on the plane, along with a note explaining that this was the twins’ first flight, reports The Huffington Post’s Lisa Belkin. The note apologized in advance for any crying, and offered earplugs to anyone who needed them.

One passenger posted a photo of the treats on the website Reddit on Sunday with this description: “Brilliant and thoughtful parents handed these out to everyone on my flight.”

The photo sparked instant debate. Within a day, it had attracted more than 3,000 comments and had been viewed more than a million times. Some people praised the gesture and expressed sympathy for the parents, while others stated that babies just don’t belong on planes. Some complained about times that they’d had to sit next to babies who cried or had dirty diapers.

One commenter suggested that the candy was unnecessary. “Really? You don’t find this to be overkill?” papabusche said. “I don’t require an apology for a crying baby on a plane. This is to be expected. I’m ok with it. People have babies, and they need to travel too.”

The subject of children on planes has sparked intense discussion in recent years. Last summer, Malaysia Airline banned babies under age 2 from the first class cabins of its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.

Readers, what do you think? Were the treats a smart move, or overkill?

Image: Candy from babies via gigantomachy / Reddit.



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  1. by Emily

    On September 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I think this is overkill, but I’m in the camp of tolerance when it comes to distraught children in a public place. Parents don’t go on planes for $h!ts and giggles, thinking “this will be fun, let’s pay $$$ to sit in a confined area with my child for a few hours”. It’s not like CHOOSING to take your child to a formal restaurant (where I do understand when other patrons get annoyed). What are parents supposed to do – NOT take their kids to see far-flung family? NOT take a vacation for the first years of each child’s life – which might mean 5+ years with no vacation at all??

    I’ll never forget a flight I took solo with my 3-month old. I used miles to upgrade to 1st class, and upon boarding, a fellow passenger slammed down his newspaper and said (not quietly) “well, there goes our peaceful flight.” I wanted to cry and run off the plane. My daughter, meanwhile, slept the entire time and didn’t even let out one gaseous emission. At the end of the flight, everyone was cooing over how well she did, while the gentleman just scoffed and stormed off the plane. The moral? No matter how good your kids are, there are some people who just hate being on a plane with them. And I doubt any goody bag with candy and earplugs would help their attitudes.

  2. by Macy

    On September 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    This blog is giving away a really cool pack n’ play called The Breeze. Just thought some of you may be interested.

    Great article Holly!

  3. by Sally Kabak

    On September 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Absolutely over kill giving out sweets to passengers. There is always a change that when flying there is going to be a baby or toddle on board. I think that most people understand, there are just some that are totally intolerant – maybe those people should look at another mode of transportation.

    My husband and I are raising a granddaughter, she is very well travelled. Her first long haul flight was when she was three. I made sure that she had lots to do to get herself occupied, consquently we had absolutely no problems with her.

  4. by Jennifer

    On September 5, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I think it’s a cute, sweet gesture. Being a parent to twins myself and having flown with them, I understand the anxiety and worry if they will be fussy. While I would never go to those lengths myself, good for those parents who did!

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