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

At Cozumel, you’ll feel like you have the beach all to yourself
At Cozumel, you’ll feel like you have the beach all to yourself

COZUMEL, Mexico — This lovely, laid-back island off the coast of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which provides the easygoing yin to those cities’ pulsating yang, holds a special place among my travels. My first visit here came for the express purpose of getting certified as a scuba diver. After an entire week of exploring nothing more exciting...
NAACP lifts travel warning against American Airlines

The NAACP on Tuesday lifted its nine-month travel advisory against American Airlines, after determining that the company has made "substantial" progress in addressing concerns of mistreatment of black passengers.  Since the civil rights organization issued its warning to African-Americans last October after receiving complaints of discrimination...
In Southwest Colombia, treasures are forbidden no more

The morning my guide, Juliana Chávez, met me in Popayán, at the southern point of Colombia’s verdant Valle de Cauca, she warned me that the drive ahead of us that day would be rough and long. Our destination was San Agustín, home to some of South America’s most compelling archaeological finds that during the more than...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Chicago's West Loop

Just on the other side of the river from downtown Chicago is West Loop, which was and remains an active industrial district. The city wears its blue collar proudly, and it was in this neighborhood that organized labor staged a rally in 1886 advocating for the eight-hour work day, an event that devolved into a deadly riot. In recent years, the area...
Getting the royal treatment at Los Cabos spa resort
Getting the royal treatment at Los Cabos spa resort

With what limited time we have for vacationing, when we run off, we want our romantic voyages to exceed our wildest imaginations. We want the best of the best, with everything as soothing and simple as can be. Le Blanc Spa Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico, has already been awarded the AAA 5-star status. That’s the pinnacle of luxury destinations, with...
More Stories