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

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...
Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina
Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina

A Tennessee truck driver is being hailed as a hero after he rescued 64 shelter dogs and cats ahead of Hurricane Florence. According to the Greenvale News, Tony Alsup, 51, from Greenback, Tennessee, drove a school bus to South Carolina last week as the deadly storm strengthened in the Atlantic. Once there, he stopped in Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon...
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 1-year-old dies after vehicle flooded by rising waters
Hurricane Florence aftermath: 1-year-old dies after vehicle flooded by rising waters

Officials on Monday morning recovered the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. >> Read more trending news  Update 10:30 a.m. EDT Sept. 17: Sheriff’s deputies in Union County confirmed in a Facebook post Monday morning that searchers had found the body...
Hurricane Florence aftermath: Journalists rescue woman from car stuck in floodwaters
Hurricane Florence aftermath: Journalists rescue woman from car stuck in floodwaters

They were in the right place at the right time.  Reporter Chris Jose and photojournalist Brandon Bryant with Atlanta's WSB-TV, which is owned by Cox Media Group, have been in South Carolina covering what is now tropical depression Florence. The two are making their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to cover the flooding...
Umbrella Sky is coming down: Time to get those photos while you still can
Umbrella Sky is coming down: Time to get those photos while you still can

Update: The Umbrella Sky project comes down at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. Surely you’ve seen them on Instagram, the joyous raft of umbrellas floating above a cobblestone street in Coral Gables. As handy as they might seem during the afternoon downpours, they’re actually just for show, a summer-long art installation called Umbrella...
More Stories