I Won’t Apologize For Flying With Kids

Last year, there was a popular story about a couple who, before boarding a flight with their infant twins, created and distributed goody bags to the other passengers.

Knowing the odds were high that their babies would make a ruckus, these parents got proactive and put together bags full of candy, ear-plugs, and even a little note in which they apologized for their kids’ potentially-forthcoming commotion. It was a clever strategy, and it inspired copycats, like a blogger friend of mine whose courteous, empathetic wife recently employed a similar gambit.

It just so happens that my wife and I are hopping on a plane later today, along with our excitable toddler. Inspired by the ingenuity and foresight of the people mentioned above, I’ve created a goody bag of my own for our cabin-mates, to thank them for not getting too mad at me for flying with kids.

Let me know what you think!

Dad and Buried’s “Pre-Flight Preemptive Apology for Flying with Kids” Goody Bag:

goody bag, air travel, parenting, traveling with kids, traveling with toddler, moms, dads, stress, travel, airplane, lifestyle, life, vacation, funny, parenting


  • Drink Coupon: For one warm mug of SHUT THE FUCK UP if you ever get the urge to bitch about a two-year-old.
  • Compact Mirror: So you can take a good look at yourself and consider what kind of person gets pissed off at parents traveling with a toddler who’s making their lives much more miserable than he’s making yours.
  • Pill: It’s either a sleeping pill or Ecstasy. Either way your mood will improve.
  • The World’s Smallest Violin (not photographed): For you to play as you’re being whisked through the air at astonishing speeds to someplace far away while watching TV and listening to music through headphones that block out any noise from the toddler a few rows back who has never intentionally annoyed anyone in his entire life. (Except his parents.)
  • E.T.: Unfortunately a DVD was too big to fit in a bag, but here’s a few bucks so you can rent the movie when you land and try to remember what it was like to be a kid, you heartless asshole.
  • Heartfelt Note: In which I challenge you to a fight.

Unfortunately for the other passengers on our plane, I’m not quite as nice as the parents mentioned above. #SorryNotSorry.

More power to them, though, for taking the time between packing every children’s toy and DVD and snack – and everything else they needed to survive a flight with their kids – to package up a bunch of goody bags for a collection of adults who are so selfish that they feel entitled to complain about the child nearby who’s making delighted shrieks because he’s never seen clouds so close.

I’m simply not about to preemptively beg forgiveness should my son disturb your flight, and I’m certainly not going to pay some kind of tax to every other passenger just because my wife and I wanted to get away for a few days and we figured our son might want to come along.

Parents are as entitled to travel as anyone else. Whether it’s to see family, or attend a friend’s wedding, or go on vacation. Gueparenting, fatherhood, flying, travel, kids, funny, humor, dads, dad bloggers, mommy bloggers, family, parenting, airplane, mike julianelle ss what? Families travel together! Are children not allowed to see their grandparents because they might make a little noise? I’m exaggerating; of course, they’re allowed. This is America! It would just be appreciated if you paid extra for the privilege. Not much, just 100 bags of candy and gum for Mr. Expensed-It-Anyway Businessman and Ms. Twenty-Something-Returning-From-Spring-Break-with-a-Hangover Chick.

The next time you get on a flight and see a couple – or god forbid, a solo parent – escorting a kid to his seat or attempting to calm a tantrum or hoping to god no one shits their pants, consider for a second that the parents flying with kids are having a MUCH WORSE TIME than you are.

They‘re the ones who deserve a stupid goody bag. With extra liquor nips.

Print page

53 thoughts on “I Won’t Apologize For Flying With Kids

  1. Hahahahahahaha I laughed so hard! I live in Ecuador and my parents live in Seattle. I travel twice per year to visit them (3-4 flights and 24-hours of travel) with my children. Try navigating 4 airports, keeping track of 6 passports, doing customs and immigration with a 3 year old and a 3 month old all by yourself. I’m always glad when that part of my trip to see the grandparents is over! It IS so much harder on the parents than the rest of the travelers, but you know what, for the most part people have been WONDERFUL to us! Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Amen. As someone who’s written about the trials of toddler travel a few times, I’m officially adding this approach to my air flight regimen. Good stuff!

  3. OMG, love this! I’ve never experienced the joy of flying with my kiddos. In fact, when we went to Disney a few years back we left them behind (how rude are we?). But, based on just the everyday outings with 3 girls, two of whom are under the age of 5, I can only imagine. Every single parent flying with their kids deserves a freaking medal…..or at the very least a fifth of gin! 😉

  4. A steaming mug of SHUT THE FUCK UP – love it!

    I have flown solo with my son and with his dad, and so far I’ve found most people to be pretty understanding. As long as you express a small degree of graciousness and apology, people will generally sympathize. Anyone who is a dick over your child acting up is probaby going to find another reason to be a dick absent that child, so don’t sweat over it.

  5. Hilarious. Have 3 under 3 so I can totally relate. Just finished a trip from Chicago to St Croix where we live, and it was eventful to say the least. One guy from the plane actually saw me days later att the beach and actually asked me how I was doing, as well as my daughter since she banged up her nose (long story, another time!), but sadly this guy said he remembered me from the flight. We never talked on the plane and I don’t recall him, but that should give you an idea of the impression my kids made on him.

  6. WORD. why i gotta suck up to y’all relaxed mofos when we have every right to fly. i sat behind a young tender who would mutter “Jesus Christ” when my toddler boy would whine even just a little. was about to fight her but realized that the air marshall would have to get involved and i might get banned from future flights so i didn’t but i prayed that she would have triplets some day sooner than later and have to fly from nyc to new zealand.

    also props to you for your list on how living with a toddler is like being in prison. after some unfunny analogies i’ve come across, this one was on point.

    wanted to share a toddler/mama pee-pee story with you if you have a LONG moment to read a LONG post. would be tickled if you read it…thanks: http://ajummama.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/naps-penis-envy-and-bruce-lee/

  7. I preface this with tone is lost in text- I apologize if this sounds more harsh than I intended.

    While I absolutely agree that families have just as much right to travel as everyone else, do you have to be so- please pardon the phrasing because the 4-year-old kept me up all night and I can’t think for the life of me- superior about it? Yes, you absolutely have a right to travel with your children. Children have to get from one place to another with their families. But those other folks on the plane have every right to be irritated when the toddler behind them won’t stop kicking their seat that they shelled out big bucks for. Travel is expensive, and just like you have a right to travel, so does everyone else.

    I’m not saying that the asshat who gripes about the 6-month-old who is crying because their ears hurt or the toddler who freaks because flying is FREAKING SCARY, even for adults, because that guy is a douche who needs to get a grip and understand that children exist and have feelings. But I am saying that maybe instead of being so angry because you got a dirty look when your child exclaimed about how delightful the clouds were for the entirety of a six-hour-flight, we can step into someone else’s shoes for a minute? Just as you would like your fellow passengers to think about the situation from your perspective as a parent, maybe you can consider it from theirs. Calling people entitled because they want to travel comfortably after shelling out what for some people amounts to a month of rent (or two) is, in my humble opinion, taking it a little too far.

    I commend your courage for flying with your kid- the one and only time we flew with the Munchkin I was so stressed I ended up crying in the airplane bathroom for six blissful minutes of solitude. So cheers if you managed to hold it together better than me. 🙂

  8. I love it! Who has time to pack goody bags for people who will hate you/your kid anyway? I would hate that couple for doing something so lame anyway. Everybody hates other people’s kids when they fly. I once flew from Sacramento to Washington, DC on a red eye with my infant son on my chest and my 9 year old sitting next to me, both of whom slept the entire flight. My 4 year old sat with her dad. The kids behind me kicked my seat for 6 hours. The man sitting on the other side of my daughter asked me what drugs I gave my kids after we landed.

    I know parents stress over the people around them who are annoyed by their kids, but odds are most of them have flown with kids before or will at some point, so have a beer or some wine and just hope your kid doesn’t puke or take a crap on you, because that will happen at some point on some trip.

    I LOVE to fly alone now and I don’t care if a baby is screaming in the next seat. It’s better than having to deal with the screaming baby.


  9. Thank you so much for this!!!! We just finished a trip with three (6, 4 and 10 months) to Mexico and back. I love the looks that people give us as we are getting on the plane, the first two kids never walking fast enough with baby on hip and my husband dragging half of our worldly possessions to entertain the children (I’m sorry, was their a two bag limit?) My favorite part is the huffs and puffs from the old hoity-toities who are completely miffed because Delta lets us pre-board, how could we board ahead of them? Imagine that? Do you really want my kids sticky hands touching your seat and bumping into you on our way down the isle…or my baby leaning over and spitting up in your lap because I’ve accidentally squeezed her belly too hard as I have her facing away from me on my hip because the diaper bag is too big and I can’t maneuver past your first class oversized seat. But now worries, as soon as you get that first free cocktail in your system, I’m sure your nerves will be calmed, as I scramble to entertain three child while my husband snores three rows back, because they didn’t have 4 seats all together… Thank God the Delta flight attendants are patient and empathetic.

  10. This is hilarious! We ARE having a worse time than everyone else. It sucks when you’re kid is crying or pooping their pants or talking REALLY LOUD.

  11. Whenever a kid is kicking my seat and and screaming for no reason other than wanting to scream, that dirty look I’m throwing isn’t at the kid, it’s at the lousy parent who can’t control them.

    1. Excuse me………instead of giving dirty looks, why don’t you try to lend a hand and then the issue you are experiencing with the child will be over with sooner than later and everyone can relax.

      1. Why should someone else have to “lend a hand” in the proper parenting of your child? If a parent isn’t capable of raising their child to be well behaved and respectful, they should not have kids. It is no one elses job to raise your kid. And other adults have a right to be annoyed at the disrespect and parental failure.

    2. I was with you up until you used that phrase “control them”.

      Clearly you don’t have kids of your own. There is no such thing as “controlling” a child.

      Disciplining, yes, absolutely. Removing them from the situation. Moving them so they can’t kick a stranger’s seat. All good moves. But there’s no “controlling” a toddler. Go ahead and try. I dare you.

      I always find it hilarious when people use that term. They’re not a car. We’re not driving them. We’re raising little human beings. And yes, it’s a parent’s job to teach their child how to behave. Absolutely. But control them??? Parents who “control” their kids will be paying for therapy for a really. long. time. Or not, because it’ll come out of your taxpayer dollars.

  12. Dear Mike,

    I am just amazed at the sickening amount of entitlement in which this article reeks of. In case you didn’t realize it, having children is a CHOICE. A choice which some people do not make. Usually those are the intelligent beings that have weighed the pros and cons of raising children; this would include the undesirable antics that go along with small children, and more so with the one who have incompetent parents. Based on your article, it appears that you feel these smart individuals should be forced to suffer right along with you in your misery of parenting. Sorry sir, it doesn’t work that way. You wanted the kids, YOU deal with them. Your problem, not anyone else. And when someone spends their hard earned money on plane ticket, for whatever that reason maybe, that does not obligate them to “assist” parents on board with their children during meltdowns or temper tantrums. It also doesn’t mean that they need to sit back and be forced to listen to people’s kids scream and cry (Not included in the airfare) Those sneers you spoke of don’t just come from people without children, they are also from parents who know/knew how to parent, know/knew the limitations of their children and acted in an appropriate manner; traveling when their children were older, driving, or not traveling at all, because those parents had not only enough respect for other people, but for themselves and their children.

    Do you really think anyone should have sympathy or more respect for you simply because you procreated? I hope not, but if you do, you need a reality check and NOW. You didn’t do anything any other person on the planet couldn’t do and your children are not special, nor are you. You are not raising the next Buddha or Einstein and you are not royalty so get over yourself. Learn to respect others and try being a little humble; that includes being respectful to others in public (including airplanes). You might find you will do better in life and get further.

    1. And you, who chose to not have children, good for you, but when you are old and decrepit and no longer able to care for yourself, who is taking care of you? Oh, those kids that were kicking the back of your seat on the airplane, so maybe you should not be so self entitled and be grateful for those of us who did sacrifice and commit to have the next generation to care for your selfish butt!

      1. No one should be grateful to you for creating the next generation. We are as a species at ZERO risk of dying out due to lack of procreation. If your kid is taking care of me, they will not be doing it for free.

      2. there a over 7 billion people on this planet. The planet’s resources can not sustain that. Most naturalist believe anything over 3 billion is over population. So you are not carrying on the next generation, you are contributing to over population. But nice try.

  13. How self entitled can you get? If you, and your family are ever on the same flight as me I will turn up the volume on my iPod when Lily Allen’s F*ck You comes on, and loudly discuss how great contraception is. Also your offer to fight anyone who disses your ‘pwecious baybee’ will be seen as a threat, and reported to the police. Good luck explaining your criminal record!

  14. This has to be the douchiest thing I’ve ever seen. You actually passed these out…even to people you had no idea if they’d be bothered or not? I’m sure they hated you and your brats after that. Way to make people dislike kids even more.

    1. He didn’t actually pass it out. He was speaking hypothetically in response to the couple who passed out the apologetic packages. I have to say I’ve never seen the word “douchiest” before, LOL!

  15. Sorry parents: I sympathize with you, but don’t have the balls to bring a screaming child onto a tightly enclosed tin can and tell ME not to throw shade your way when it’s you insisting on forcing your parental trauma onto everyone else. Do you have a right to fly? Hell yeah! – Do I need to STFU and take it? No, not if and when it goes beyond the realm of a crying, cranky toddler and into the now-common entitled mommy and daddy letting little precious run about the plane screaming, kicking, shrieking and being an overwhelming, unbearable pain in the ass just because you think it’s A-okay and the total norm. ..It isn’t, and American parents have become the worse at this sort of entitlement.

    Your kids are YOUR science experiment, not mine. (But I still love you man, Srsly.)

    1. I can tell you there are circumstances that make it difficult to avoid flying with children. I moved to France and would like to see my family and would like my children to know their grandparents. Moving was the toughest decision I’ve made in my life. Traveling ALONE ,no less with my daughters is no easy feat. They are excellent travelers and have never had a melt down but I have experienced side eye from other passengers EXPECTING my children to be brats. Super nice to have that extra stress. Can you people just try to understand that as a human being that is on this earth ,because someone made the decision to give birth to you, we need to support each other and just deal.

      1. oh and maybe I could tell your parents that I don’t appreciate reading rude comments by their science experiment of a son.

      2. You are missing the point. A well behaved child is not a problem. No one has said leave your kids But they are saying if your child is ill behaved, it is wrong to expect others to just deal. The kids are your choice and your responsibility no one elses. There are always other options.

  16. Sounds like somebody’s angry about other parents raising the bar more than anything else. No one was ever complaining about shrieks of delight in this author knows it. I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind crying babies at all. Babies cry. That’s what they do. It’s parents like this one that are the gross out. Ctfo. Jesus H Christ.

  17. Having a great deal more experience doing this than you most likely will ever have, I have a great deal of empathy for someone on my flight with a screaming kid but if you handed this to me on a flight you wouldn’t have to wait until we got off the plane to meet up at Hudson news because I would punch you in the mouth for being an obnoxious douchebag. Make no mistake, you have every right to bring your kid on the plane and if he crys well that’s just too bad for the people around you but it’s your job to try and keep him quiet. If it can’t be done then it can’t be done but you have to try your best to not disturb the people sitting around you. If you sit there with the attitude of “too bad, deal with it” then you are a complete asshole and you’re kid will probably be an asshole when he grows up too.

    1. I’m with Mike on this one. I love kids, it’s the entitled, obnoxious, self-precious mommies and daddies, typically white entitled ones, who insist their loud, often I’ll behaved children be tolerated by everyone equally.

      Oh, I’m also checking out of this blog and Twitter feed now. Good luck with that whole entitled dad thing dude.

    2. A) I am an asshole.

      B) Obviously this post is using a little hyperbole to make a point. But I guess it’s not that obvious.

      C) Of course it’s the parents’ job to parent, and most of us do. I may not have said it outright, but I’m assuming a basic level of attention is being paid by most parents on a plane, and am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they’re at least trying. Most of them are. Whether they’re “white” or not. But it’s not always easy to calm down a child, especially one on a plane, for a variety of reasons. Many of which are simply not in the parents’ control.

      The last thing I would do is let my kids run wild, regardless of where we are. Not only is it rude, it makes things worse for me! Whenever we’re in public, we have to worry about our kids AND about how everyone else is reacting to our kids. When they’re being loud and unruly, it’s even more stressful for us. Especially on a plane.

      Negligent parents expecting absolution when their kids are wreaking havoc is crazy, but so is providing people with treats – BEFOREHAND – for having the supreme grace to tolerate kids who are just being kids.

  18. It’s like people forget that an airplane is a public place. And when you are in a public place, you are exposed to the GENERAL PUBLIC, which, *spoiler alert* contains babies and toddlers. I have dragged my poor 18 month-olds butt on 49 flights ; many transcontinental and many alone and even in a middle. It’s manage wherr you can’t rationalize, and my son has pulled my hair out in clumps, wondering why he is restricted to my lap. As a flight attendant, I would cringe at the faces of other passenger eye-rolls when they saw a new mom sit nearby. Did the flight change your life? Is is a memory you hope to have etched on your gravestone? I didn’t think so. So yes it’s uncomfortable, yes you thought you could sleep on a red eye, but hey, thats life. The one “entitled” things I have read here today are comments from regular ole’ passengers acting like they paid for a citation.

  19. Its an age* where you can’t rationalize..

    The only* entitled things I have read…

    Excuse the typos. I know there is at least one more but I was tending to my toddler. Inconvenient, and what impulsive fingertips I have… I know.

  20. This is so great!! The dirty looks i get when i get on plane with my kids are so hard to take. I work very hard to plan properly with headphones, treats, prizes, games, crafts etc. To make my kids behave as much as possible. But kids are kids and sometimes they cry and sometimes they misbehave.
    You are not entitled to a perfectly calm flight. If you want quite then fly private.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.