Please Don’t Turn Airplane Apologies Into An Expectation

In case you’ve been living under an internet-less rock, or you haven’t been frequenting the parenting-blogger circuit and every major media outlet this week, there was recently a family that handed out apology notes, along with “favors,” to passengers on a plane to apologize in advance for their 14 week old twins who may get fussy on the flight.

Image via Reddit & Imagur

Now, this idea doesn’t seem new to me. I’ve heard of parents offering ear-plugs to passengers seated next to them and their baby on planes. And, it’s not that I’m judging the gesture because I GET how stressful flying with a baby (or babies, in this case) can be. If offering small favors and a note of apology help you feel better about the situation, and give you a little more control over the anxiety that comes with trapping yourself and your infant(s) 20,000 feet in the air while the pressure changes constantly and you’re hard-pressed to find a space big enough to change a diaper, then you do what you gotta do. Truly, more power to you.

It’s just that the reaction to this has been, from what I’ve seen, so overwhelmingly “Well, now THAT is how you should fly with babies. WHAT A NICE THING TO DO!” And frankly, that sorta pisses me off.

Kristen Chase addressed this earlier this week. If that is how we should be flying with babies, by offering apologies before they are even warranted (along with bags of candy), then I want to know where my apology and Jolly Rancher is from every asshole about to board a plane who’s going to make my flight less comfortable in some way. But of course, I don’t really expect that (and would be a little weirded out, truthfully, if I got it) because as much as they annoy me, they have just as much right to be on that plane as I do.

It’s a form of transportation, not a leisurely carriage ride through Fairy Land.

I guess what I’m mainly concerned with is expectation following this because, while some may have the time and desire to create hundreds of apology notes and favors for every passenger of the plane they’re about to board with a baby, I’m lucky to be packed by 2 a.m. the night before and not forget diapers and wipes. If an apology is warranted from me or my children, you will get it by way of my ragged mouth or a wave of my tired hand, which is likely crusted in toddler snot and lollipop slime, exhausted from trying every trick in the book to keep my kid from annoying you on the plane.

So please, I beg of all of you, let’s not turn this into a “thing.” Let’s not start putting up free printables for Airplane Apologies. Let’s not start pinning this shit. Let’s not let this become something that is EXPECTED of us.

Because parenthood already comes with too many damn expectations.

  • Nicci @ Changing the Universe - YES!! Honestly, we paid just as much for our plane ticket as the other passengers paid for theirs. It’s not like they paid extra to have a “Super Quiet Fun Time Flight.”

    Furthermore, if this the new “norm” I want a treat bag every time some jerk hogs the armrest, talks too much, or farts.ReplyCancel

    • Good Girl Gone Green - What Nicci said!ReplyCancel

      • Leyna - THANK YOU. I’d much rather listen to a crying baby for 2 hours than smell the gross farts of the old dude in front of me. I want an apology note that says “Pardon me for being 65 and slightly incompetent. Hopefully my Depends will hold in the stench, but here’s a single-stemmed rose for you to sniff just in case.” Ugh.ReplyCancel

        • Leyna - *incontinent. Der.

    • Albert - Actually, if you are flying with a lap child (as these parents appear to have been since only two seats were mentioned in their note) you DIDN’T pay as much as everyone else. You are getting a two for one deal as long as baby stays on Mom or Dad’s lap. Which, since lap children are allowed up to the age of 2, doesn’t always happen.
      I fly a lot, and I have flown next to lap children that were spectaular, and some that were spectaularily horrible just as I have flown next to some regular travelers who were fantastic seat partners, and many who weren’t (the man who smelled as though he hadn’t bathed in a year comes to mind).
      Why can’t we just all have some human decency and all sympathize with each other…snotty babies, old man flatulence, or fat chick seat mates we are all in this together!ReplyCancel

      • Jill - The problem I have with the argument that these parents didn’t technically *pay* to have lap children is that leads people to think that they are then considered stow-a-ways, afforded no rights that the rest of the “paid” passengers get. The fact of the matter is the airlines ALLOW lap children, and there is no way of knowing if the guy next to you got his ticket for half-off on Kayak.com. Would that mean he’s only allowed half the tolerance?

        But yes, in the end, we need to all just be… nice.ReplyCancel

  • Beth at Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids - This? “It’s a form of transportation, not a leisurely carriage ride through fairy-land.” Brilliant. Preach.ReplyCancel

  • tracy@sellabitmum - Seriously. I totally agree. (and now the race is on to make the most clever airplane note..wtf)

    Love this.ReplyCancel

  • Rhiana - AMEN! Thank you sista Jill!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh Ann - Seriously! I’ve been that twin parent on a plane with a screaming baby. It was more stressful and embarrassing for us than for anyone else on the plane I’m sure. But you’re so right. Where’s my apology for the person who smells? Or the one who hogs the armrest?

    I hate feeling like i need to be apologetic for my kids around every bend. That’s been hard enough for me to get over without crap like this.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - I cannot agree more.. if this starts, I will demand nose plugs for the asshole with BO next to me, a sanitizing wipe for my shoulder when some stranger drools on me, and a coupon for a massage after I am scrunched into my seat because fat ass next to me is hogging the armrests and spilling over onto my seat :p.ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - There needs to be a spoof series of this note

    I want a goodie bag for having to travel with my kids and keep my sanity. WHERE IS MY CANDY FOR THAT?ReplyCancel

  • polly valenzuela - yeah i too agree.. i bought the same airline ticket.. hate it or love it.. they are kids.. im not going to say sorry for my kids.. i too agree.. great post.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife - I like the thought that went into these notes and goody bags. It’s completely impractical but they recognized they may disrupt others nearby and took the time out to apologize. Would I apologize in advance? NO WAY but if my kid or I (or is it “me”) disrupted someone I’d certainly offer an apology…it’s just decent manners. Everyone can stand a reminder in manners when we’re out in public.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Where’s my apology note for being on the plane back from DR with the guy who SHIT. HIS. PANTS. no joke. I cannot even explain the long-term odor ramifications to you all. Let’s just say I was happy I had apple hand sanitizer that would effectively kill my sense of smell for about 90 seconds at a time. I felt very bad for him, I am sure he was embarrassed and it was sickness from the food while on the trip. The point is, that is flying. We are stuck in this little thing until we get where we are going. It was nice of those parents to do that, but should not be expected. Let’s just all try to practice common courtesy all the time every day instead of trying to get a gold star because, here have some candy.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne @ Have Baby Will Travel - Makes me sad to think the parents had to go to this length. This is a perfect example of how the mainstream media’s reporting on the extremely rare cases of issues on flights due to babies and toddlers has discouraged and alarmed new parents. People are usually very nice when you’re flying with a little one, and the eye-rollers and huffers and stink-eye givers and other so-called grown ups need to grow up: http://havebabywilltravel.com/2012/03/14/people-are-nice-when-you-fly-with-a-baby-seriously/ReplyCancel

  • Jenni - Just what we need, another responsibility. Like packing for 5 humans isn’t enough. I agree with you and beg the interwebs to not make this a thing.ReplyCancel

  • Jess - Pinterest is setting the bar too high. Seriously. Who does this crap?ReplyCancel

  • Laura - No effing way. I am so sick of the idea that I am supposed sequester my children away until they are 18 because somebody I don’t know and will be in the presence of for no more than a few hours (more often a few seconds) might be offended because they make noise or need to be breastfeed or simply exists.
    I try to be a good public citizen but at the end of the day the needs and happiness of my family matter not the comfort of strangers.ReplyCancel

  • emily - I have no problem with the note or the idea behind it. If those insane parents want to put in the extra work to make goodie bags for impatient adults (seriously?!?! grow a pair, grown ups) that’s fine. I love treats. It’s the frickin expectation that now comes along with it. Thanks a lot, over achieving twin parents.
    I hear ya, Jill.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t fly with kids most of the time (yesterday I did, ironically) because I don’t have kids, and babies don’t bother me on planes. I bring earplugs, headphones, and reading material, because I am responsible for my own comfort on an airplane. You want to do the rest of the plane a favor? Don’t worry about how your 14-week-olds act – worry about how your 8-year-olds act.ReplyCancel

  • Elaine A. - Can I pass out notes that say, “Please remember to wear deodorant and not to bring smelly food on the plane”? THAT would be awesome, right?

    I mean, I understand where they were coming from and it is a nice gesture but yeah, it’s a bit too much.ReplyCancel

  • Jen S. - It’s just sad that this is what child-less complainers on flights (and media/internet coverage of such topics) have pressured this new mom into doing, so that she doesn’t have to endure their criticisms on an already possibly stressful flight. I think she was just trying to keep herself from being a target. But it’s the people who constantly complain about children that I blame (and the media)… not her. (Not at all saying that you blame her, just giving my opinion on it, too). Every person has a right to be on a plane.. like you said.. it’s not a leisurely carriage ride where people paid extra money for quietness. I have traveled with all of my girls multiple times and I do my VERY BEST to keep it all under control, which I like to think I do a decent job of, BUT.. kids are kids. They will get loud at times. Their ears will hurt. They will get antsy. It takes a lot of prep work to keep those butts in the seats without pissing other people off, but there are times when you might not be able to keep it all under control. And, for the most part, people on those flights are sympathetic and understanding. It’s these few cases that get blown out on TV or the Internet and then the topic of “keeping kids quiet on planes” sparks argument. I just can’t stand that this is even such a large topic among the disgruntled passengers who can’t deal with kids on flights. Yuck.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - I totally agree, Jen. It SUCKS that she even felt the need to do this. And I’ll add that 90% of my traveling experience with kids has been generally pleasant when it comes to those around us. There really are good people, good parents out there. It’s the bashing of the very few, and the propagation of the attitude that children are not entitled to behave like children in public that makes shit like this even an issue.ReplyCancel

      • Jen S. - Let’s see how it goes when my family gets on a plane in October for Florida. There’s only so much we can prep for– direct flights, lots of snacks, movies, coloring… but I do travel with a 3 year-old and that’s like traveling with a tiger. I remember reading a thread about this topic on The Today Show’s FB page once and I could not get over how many commenters were filled with animosity towards parents who traveled with kids. It just blows my mind.ReplyCancel

    • GreenInOC - Please, let’s not say it’s limited to the childless who are the complainers!

      I have not born any babies from my womb Scarlett (I don’t know why but it felt like a Prissy from GWTW moment for me there!), but I don’t mind babies/kids on flights and I don’t care if they scream the entire time either. I “care” in the sense that I hope that there is nothing wrong for them, but it doesn’t bother my delicate sensibilities!

      I have however, sat next to parents (flying without their kids) while a baby/child was somewhere else on the plane and the fellow parent complains loudly “I would NEVER let my kid cry like that / In my day, kids weren’t allowed to fly – it’s rude”, etc…ReplyCancel

      • Jen S. - Ha- you’re right. It’s not only childless, because some of the elderly (who have had children but forget what it’s like when they were younger) cannot deal with kids either. And there are the few that fly alone and seem to complain about everything (who do have kids). But, for the most part, the disgruntled comments I”ve seen on this topic across the Internet are usually not parents. BUt, yes, there are all kinds of complainers!ReplyCancel

  • kassie - These are crazy!! Really flying with a 14 week old is a breeze, and they’ll most likely just sleep. Stop the madness!!! What needs to change are the grown men getting drunk on flights and being loud! Stop that crap!ReplyCancel

  • Brett - As a frequent business traveler with no kids (yet) I will attest that parents/kids are usually the least offensive travelers I’ve come across as far as annoyances go. People with bad hygiene, PDA (a couple “cuddling” under a blanket in the seats next to me), business travelers in groups having happy hour in the aisle, and even an airline pilot flying as a passenger have ranked higher in overall annoyance to me.

    The only family that has ever annoyed me was not because of the kids… the mom had a LOUD Jersey accent and you could hear her 20 rows away while we barely heard a peep out of the dad and 3 kids under 5.ReplyCancel

  • Jonica - I only have one and while we never fly we use public bus system. I do say sorry if my child acts out. but I refuse to go above and beyond that because at the end of the day it is still just her and i. There is no way I have the energy or stamina to sit at the table and make goodie bags because my child acted like a child. I have more important things to do with my free time when she goes to bed. Like a bath and clean the house.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I don’t fly often with my kids, but I have found that people are usually understanding. My brother spent some time in China and on the way back had a pair of screaming twins on board. He said that everyone was rocking them and trying to help the parents out. Let’s stop catering to self-centered assholes and start reporting the stories of people being decent human beings.ReplyCancel

  • OT and ET - plus, Jolly Ranchers and Wether’s hard candies? That’s like Halloween throwaway candy. Flya pleez.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Now, if it were little wine bottles they were handing out, YES! Make that a thing.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Word.

    I mean really. We’ve flown 8 times with our 18 month old and I did not apologize to one person. No one ever apologized to me when they stood up talking for four hours during an overnight flight to London, hogged the arm rest all the way to Texas, fell asleep and then FELL ON ME, etc, etc, etc. If my child does something that needs apologizing for, I’ll apologize then. Not before and certainly not with a bag of candy. Good. Lord.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa @ See Vanessa Craft - I’m as crafty and corny as they come, but I absolutely agree with you. If I gave a piece of candy to every single person my child annoyed on an airplane/in the grocery store/at the mall, I would be broke.ReplyCancel

  • Denae @ New Mom Adventure - This makes me sick. That these parents felt they had to apologize, in advance or after, for their 14 week our babies being babies. Are we that coddled as adults, so fearful to offend, that we need a formal apology and concessions to smooth our discomfort? Are we going to start suing the Dr’s office when we, adults, need a shot or blood draw and they dont say, “this may hurt” and give us a sucker afterwards?

    Personally, as an airplane passenger, the things that make my mad are those that disabuse the airline staff or fellow passengers, seem unable to use headphones with their portable DVD player, or fail to correct (not stop – that sometimes isnt possible) their school age child from running wild, screaming for fun, or kicking the chair. You can tell the different from a parent that is trying and one that doesnt give a damn. A formal apology is not needed to realize that difference.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - When we flew with our 5mth old, we brought earplugs with us and informed the flight attendant that we have a limited supply of ear plugs and if anyone complained about our child we were more than happy to give them a pair. Our son never cried on our first flight and made goo-goo eyes at the biker gang member sitting behind us on the second flight.

    I would never made “goodie” bags for an entire flight.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsey - Well, I think it’s a cute idea. I wouldn’t mind it if someone handed this to me. BUT, I don’t ever think it should be expected. I think what should be expected: for every passenger to prepare themselves for a flight. There’s always a chance you’ll be on board with a baby screaming for 5 hours.. plan ahead, pack your own damn earplugs if it bugs you. Need a pillow? Bring one. Hungry? Pack a lunch. Damn it all. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Kate, aka Guavalicious - Well, as a mom of twins I can see doing this. Mainly because the look of horror that crosses people’s faces is intimidating and I think this would be a great icebreaker and mood changer. Now I said “can see” because I am way too lazy to actually do it.ReplyCancel

  • Alena - Oh bother. Who the hell has time for this? BAGGIES TO APOLOGIZE. Oh please. Where’s my baggie of liquor for the apology that your sick ass is spreading germs all over this damn plane and will likely cause me and my kids to be sick with the plague for the next two weeks. WHERE IS MY BAG OF LIQUOR DAMN IT!ReplyCancel

  • Abbey - Amen!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - hehe….bag of liquor: now THAT is a great idea i saw on pinterest (for drinking on the beach)!ReplyCancel

  • lynet witty - Incredibly nice and naive of the parrents to do that….and people who expect a pair of 14-wk old babies to not make a sound during a flight are totally NOT parents. Yes, let’s NOT pint this shit.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Baum Purshotam - Amen!ReplyCancel

  • Becca Dee - I’m with ya, girl. I’m already given the side glance by EVERYONE in the grocery store. I already feel enormous pressure if my kid in any way does anything out of the realm of “perfect toddler behavior.” GOD FORBID my toddler act like a TODDLER.ReplyCancel

  • Snave - Ugh, we’re flying with our 2-year old in a couple of weeks (she will have a paid seat) and people better not be looking at me for their candy and ear plugs. They want a nice quiet flight, get your own damn private jet or even pay for first class! I’m not killing myself to prepare little goodie bags for a bunch of whiny jerks on a plane that can’t handle a kid who might be a little overwhelmed. Where’s my goody bag for dealing with eye rolling and huffs and sighs and dirty looks? They can suck it.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Sanchez - Exactly. So what’s next? Bringing a treat bag to every restaurant, grocery store or public venue you venture out to with your kid when there’s a chance they misbehave? Flying with kids isn’t a new concept. You risk it every time you take a flight (I flew to Orlando for a conference and was about the only childless person on the flight!). I really hope this doesn’t get out of hand.ReplyCancel

  • Allison Duperier Hayne - you are hilarious!ReplyCancel

  • Sheri Prush - Well said!ReplyCancel

  • Crys Wiltshire - Abso-freaking-lutely. Hit the nail on the head with this post.ReplyCancel

  • Ariana Falerni (aka becomingmom) - Amen!!! Though, frankly I don’t see this as being an issue for us because once the twins arrive (in 3 weeks or less) I don’t think we are ever going anywhere again LOL!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany Barnes - I’m just seeing this for the first time – and GOD forbid this becomes the expectation – I have enough work in satisfying my children’s expectations – I can’t handle perfect strangers. I’d resort to releasing snakes or something to keep the other passengers distracted. And say you’re welcome. I don’t have time for this crap.ReplyCancel

  • Gina Walker - AMEN!ReplyCancel

  • Dorothy - Riiight! Everything you said… plus, as if parents don’t have enough to pack on trips with kids… they think we should pack one more thing that gives the idea that we should apologize for having children? No thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Janine (Alternative Housewife) - I have to admit, I don’t agree with everything you post – But I am right with you on this! UGH! Babies are PEOPLE, and I have met many adults who are more obnoxious than my son has ever acted in public. I feel like these apologies are almost like apologizing for your kids’ existence, and it feels wrong. If this was, “I plan to breastfeed in public. If that makes you comfortable, here’s a bag of treats!” we would all be outraged. Same thing.

    I’ve only flown a couple of times but DUH, bring your own earplugs if you are the type of person who needs them. Or headphones. Or Valium. Or whatever. Or buy your own damn private plane.

    Should we be hanging out apology cards on the bus too?

    I know that childless people especially can have an issue with other people’s kids. I’d like to take a moment to remind those people that while they don’t have kids, they once WERE kids. And an airplane is not the same as a bar or fancy restaurant with an age limit and expectation of manners. Like you said, just transport.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Ferrara - I agree completely. ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Emilian - I don’t think it will become an expectation but it was a nice thing to do. Would I do it?Probably not. I don’t see myself having the time. Would most of you do it? Probably not for the same reason as me. Nobody expects kids to act perfectly ever and if they do, they don’t have children. But let’s admit, a few minutes of crying in a grocery store or restuarant really can’t compare to HOURS of crying on an airplane. In most public places, you can excuse yourself if needed (as I and I’m sure most of you have). An airplane is a different story. That being said, if anyone would expect anything like this every time they board a plane with a small child, they will be sorely disappointed. For most , this project is unrealistic but if these people were able to do it, more power to them. ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Schroeder McGrath - Yes thank you! Who has time for this crap??ReplyCancel

  • Maria Kintner - BRAVA! This made my day 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - Motherhood Uncensored - Thanks for the hat tip, Jill. The jolly ranchers are in the mail.ReplyCancel

  • Anastasia @ eco-babyz - Yes! Thank you. Even though I’m not flying with kids anytime soon. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Liz - How about instead of apologies parents start handing out notes saying “If you don’t like how my kid is acting why don’t you give me a hand?”

    DH was on a business flight once and a mom was flying by herself with a lap child. She was so frazzled and couldn’t figure out how to take a quick bathroom break until he offered to hold the child and help her out. Made the flight more pleasant for all of them.ReplyCancel

  • Morgan (The818) - Dude, I saw Six from Blossom tweeting about this yesterday too. It’s like an epidemic of politeness in the wrong areas.ReplyCancel

  • Johnny Flores - I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to try to put forth an effort, if you have the time and money, to say, hey, you’re going to be stuck on this plane with my baby, who will likely be crying and I won’t be able to do anything about this situation. The difference between a baby and an asshole is that you can say something to the asshole, or a flight attendant, to try to fix the problem. With a baby or small child, you don’t have the option of trying to reason with them because of the lack of mental means for reasoning about pressure changes and such (and is usually too young to be an asshole… usually). This just seems like an asshole attitude and nitpicking over a decent attempt to make an unfortunate situation a little more tolerable. Why begrudge someone who is making any effort to NOT be inconsiderate in an increasingly inconsiderate society?ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - Loved your article. Everything you say is so true. I would strongly advice against turning this into a trend or a thing, cause in my case, IT WONT HAPPEN. There’s enough stuff to do before flying with a toddler…I will not be offering favors or apologies, the only thing I can and will offer is to try and educate my child to behave inside the plane and while she is learning to try and keep her calm and interested in some activity. That’s it.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Thank you 🙂 if unfortunately I do see this on Pinterest, I’ll be sure to leave a link to your post. Vein a mom is tough, let’s not add to it!ReplyCancel

  • Erin Nolan-Tella - I wholeheartedly agree with this quote: “If that is how we should be flying with babies, by offering apologies before they are even warranted (along with bags of candy), then I want to know where my apology and Jolly Rancher is from every asshole about to board a plane who’s going to make my flight less comfortable in some way.” I traveled for 29 years listening to other people’s young kids fuss and whine. Now I have kids that fuss and whine. And when they are grown up, I will have to listen again to other kids fussing and whining. Boo effing hoo (no pun intended). Why don’t the people that don’t want to hear little kids fussing and whining on planes manage their own expectations, procure a bit of maturity and empathy, and either NOT travel on planes or suck it up? Kids cry and fuss on planes. Most parents do their best in dealing with crying kids; we are not out to piss other passengers off. Air travel is uncomfortable and stressful at best. So people need to manage their frigging expectations. Enough said! P.S. Maybe I will start writing “sorry, but get over it” notes and handing THOSE out on planes…. LOLReplyCancel

  • Heather Vanderwaal - I totally agree with you Jill! Considering how much we pay in fees, why don’t the airlines pass out this crap to everyone for EVERY reason like annoying people, loud snorers, obnoxious passengers. The airlines provide a service and it is their job to provide good customer service. If the airlines had an issue with loud children, they would have done something to fix it a long time ago.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - What’s interesting to me- and I’ve flown frequently with my son at various under 1 and over 1 ages- is that even when he’s been a little fussy at times (a cry hear and there, throwing a toy, kicking the seat) at the end of the flight I always have people smile at me and tell me how great he was. So, I really think the media’s responses to this is overblown- most people have pretty low expectations of how babies should be on a flight and are pretty darn understanding. And at the end of the day, it has seemed to me that they actually just enjoyed getting to see a cute baby for a few hours!ReplyCancel

  • GreenInOC - I kind of disagree with you – I wouldn’t mind being on the receiving end of an advanced apology from the drunk, the person who has on too much perfume/cologne or the loud complainer! I’m thinking a pedicure would be the baseline “flight gift” for such pains in the asses!

    I’ve flown A LOT in my life. I will never understand people getting hot and bothered over a BABY crying. Get over it people. The baby can’t help it and neither can the parents.

    One flight I was on a woman was so stressed out that she was hold her 13 month old (guessing) face down by his neck into the seat to muffle his screams. I saw it and went over to her with a big smile trying to calmly tell her that it was okay if he cried, don’t worry about anyone else. She was literally sweating and panicking. I finally started cooing at the baby so he would move his face toward me. It was awful and I wanted to scream at everyone to STFU about it and let the little guy cry if he needed.

    My best advice if you are flying, when you see parents – SMILE at them. Let them know, with your friendliest smile, that you understand, it’s okay, don’t worry.

    If I were on a flight and someone handed me something like this, I would say politely, loudly and with a big smile, “No thanks, I’m an adult and I TOTALLY understand that babies and kids cry. It’s not something you should be worried about AT ALL!”ReplyCancel

    • Janel - AWESOME. You really are an adult. I’ve been writing about this article and it’s shocking how so few people see what you have written. THANK YOU.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ The House of Burks - That is absurd. First time seeing this. Wow. Why should I have to apologize for my baby being a baby? It’s not like letting a 3-year old run up and down the aisle whacking people in the head with flyswatters, Stillwell Angel style in ‘A League of Their Own’. Babies make noise, and like others have said, I pay just as much for a seat on that airplane as everyone else.ReplyCancel

    • Janel - and, I have to ask, what’s wrong with letting a three-year old run up and down the aisles. Yes, I know on the plane it’s different, but in general. Children need to move, to express their frustrations and needs and they do it through movement and sounds. And, on a plane, in close quarters, the ADULTS need to be the ones to really step up and support and accomodate children. On a plane, we are all sorta in it together, and it’s not too much to ask for ADULTS to show up as adults, but it is too much for children.

      My daughter inlaw recently flew with the 6 mo old and 4 year old. Before the flight started an older man in front of them said, “You will be preventing him from kicking my seat, right?” No regard for the boy, for the mom and what she’s managing. Her children’s rights are as important as this man’s. How dare he, I mean, really? There are ways, in this close space, to work WITH someone, to support a mother and children. He can ask to be moved for example. So, THEN, HE puts his seat back taking up more of their space and her trip is spent making sure her son doesn’t bother the asshole. It’s outrageous she should have to create goodies and notes asking people to be kind to and helpful to her children … and I’m thinking it would not have prevented this man from being nasty had my grandson kicked his seat.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Do not do not do NOT agree with this. The drunk asshole in front of me should give me some treats too and so should the big fat lady taking up 1/3 of MY seat who’s sitting next to me. Kids are kids. We flew to Maui and back with our almost 2 year old and he cried a bit…but so did the other kids. Babies are babies…toddler and children, I agree with Rachel ^ control them, don’t let them run around like crazy hooligans…but really. Apologizing for babies!?ReplyCancel

  • TheFeministBreeder - *living under a rock over here. Didn’t know a thing about it.

    All I can surmise is these are NEW parents. Remember how you still thought you had the ability to be SuperParent when your babies did nothing but sleep and nurse? My guess is that the minute these twins turn into toddlers, and those parents no longer have an ounce of energy left to give a shit what anybody else thinks, they’ll look back and laugh their asses off about their jolly ranchers.ReplyCancel

  • They Call Me Mummy - Have you been sneaking into my head when I’m not looking? My sentiments exactly. Lovely gesture – but the negative pressure that generated it – NOT COOL.

    You KNOW this is going to become an expectation, right. It just is.ReplyCancel

  • Janel - I’m an advocate for babies. I believe a world that respects the needs of babies and children (all of us!!) would be a kinder, gentler, safer world.

    I find it one more disturbing thing this culture “needs” to be respectful of babies’ needs. When we go on an airplane we know we are going to be in each other’s space. I have yet to hve a bag of candy or even a drink from loud talker, the v…acationing group still having fun, or the winning team. They don’t give out a note saying we are still drunk, rowdy, or partying, so please excuse me. Haven’t had a note from the grieving, crying person saying, please excuse me. Why the heck do we need to “excuse our babies” for being babies? When do the adults in the world start to get that babies are vulnerable, biological, needy, and expressive? What about people on the plane being the ones to see and respond to, “oh, yeah, aaaaww, there are babies on the plane … let’s all make it easier for the mom and dad and babies.”

    That’s my curt, short version … personally, it’s very troublesome, that this could be suddenly seen as a PC thing to do … those babies don’t need their parent’s stressing out, or seeing their babies as the problems. Babies need a world that respects, protects, and nurtures them.ReplyCancel

  • Zoe - Amen!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Holden Thompson - Amen! Amen! Amen!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I was SO MAD seeing all these comments like you when this hit the net last week. To top it off I was flying for the first time with my 7 month old the day or so after.
    I’ve never gotten so many psychotically mean looks from people on a plane for having a child! And to top it off he didn’t cry or make a peep once! Yet still, 4 businessmen demanded to the flight attendant to be moved out of anticipation of crying. Guess what buddy, you were a screaming baby too once.ReplyCancel

    • Janel - Jessica, which comments upset you?ReplyCancel

      • Jessica - LOL! Oh, no comments here! I mean on posts I saw, much like you, saying how these apologies/treats should be expected of parents. Most people unanimously were hating on parents of young children on planes and it was awful to read.ReplyCancel

        • Janel - hey, jessica,
          to be clear my responses were very much against parents needing to do this. i am an advocate for baby’s rights .. i don’t know anyone who is so much so as I am. I believe that our culture is abusive by very nature of expecting babies to be quiet … I found it outrageous that parents feel they have to do something like this, and that our culture doesn’t support, honor, and even cater to the child and family. BABIES and CHILDREN are the ones who DESERVE Unconditional love. It is ADULTs, wherever children are, whether they are naughty or well behaved by adult standards who must be honored. People on the plane, have ability to cope where as children do not. Adults know that they are in a small space, other’s space, cramped, and they know it’s just a few hours. They have the ability to deal with this. Children and babies do not. What I’d like to see is people around a family to deal with their own crap to be supportive and present and helpful. The asshole business men who can’t deal with their wittle bitty feewings for three hours can go somewhere else.
          I believe if we have a world that honors and supports babies we will have a very different world for all of us. Babies and children who are honored and respected grow up to be respectful, honoring adults. That’s why we have such a mean society.

        • Jessica - I couldn’t agree more! Well said.

  • Chris - All people traveling with babies should do this! These parents are smart. The rude ones are the twits who bring babies on plane and act as if they have a right to ruin the flights of the other passengers.ReplyCancel

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