May 6, 2008

Bribes For Surrounding Passengers: They're Not Just For Infants Flying To Australia Anymore

Collin's Gift, originally uploaded by mnot.

This is awesome. A couple flying from San Francisco to Sydney with a baby in tow hands out cookies and ear plugs with a note, apologizing in advance:

"Hi my name is Collin. Sorry if I cry, but this is my first plane ride. Hope this helps."

I'd love to hear how this turned out. Anyone?

Update:I emailed photographer/traveler/bribe recipient mnot to see how the flight went. His report: "It went well; he barely made a peep, and slept for most of the flight." Sounds like Collin's parents have a hefty surplus in the karma bank.

Thanks to jspaw, who might have found it via the always useful parenthack tag.


We used the "Congratulations! You Get to Sit Near Me!" tshirt.

Since we boarded first and he was bouncing on our lap as everyone else boarded, they smiled and had a chuckle. It broke the ice.

get the shirts here:

see the shirt here:

That is genius. We may have to use that for our next flight with the boys.

What a great idea! I'm sure all of the passengers who took United flight #943 from Paris to Chicago on January 1st of this year seriously wish I'd thought of this. But considering how they reacted to my daughter's 5-hr meltdown on that flight, I doubt they would have settled for cookies and earplugs...

That is brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Yeah, that is, indeed, an awesome idea.

It's funny, but at first I thought the cookies weren't for the passengers to eat, but instead for them to feed to the child in case he starts wailing.

On a flight from Tokyo to San Fran aboard a DC-10 a few years ago, I did the reverse of this. I staked out three seats in the middle section of the coach area. As soon as the doors closed, I made a big show of getting a blanket and pillow together and getting ready to sleep. I then produced a large bag of Hershey Kisses and passed out one each to each child in the immediate area. Most were toddlers of Japanese origin but there were a few Americans mixed in. I was greated with big smiles and quizical looks from parents. I then crashed in by makeshift bed for a long 5 hour nap. I was undisturbed by any crying and was well rested. After my nap, I again produced the bag of Kisses and passed out two to each child to show my gratitude for their good behaviour while I napped. This has worked successfully on numerous occasions since and I have even seen it adopted by a few fellow travelers who have caught on to the idea. Works for me.

oh ...really? Now I have to bring goody bags for all the other passengers as well? With all the stuff we need for the first 24 hours of our journey I might just put up a help wanted poster on the wall of the cabin instead.
Just in case anybody out there is reading this and may want to alter their travel plans...we leave JFK for Perth via LA and Sydney, and then on to Brisbane (via Sydney), then LA back to JFK in late July. WITH 2 year old twins (and a 9 year old but she's no problem). I'm sorry but SF to Sydney with one child would be what I call a pleasant journey!!!
However those T shirts sound awesome!!!! On our last journey I got the daddy a "Babies on the Plane" T shirt (from Cafepress)- it is in the genre of the horror movie poster. I always have to remind the daddy not to wear it when he flies solo because that's not so cool. Going to hunt down a T that says " We don't want to be here with you either".

geez, they could have at least baked their own cookies... how impersonal...

I'm surprised that mjd420nova's tactic (passing out Hershey kisses to nearby toddlers) worked so well. If my 2-y.o. son received a Hershey kiss, he would be thrilled, but shortly thereafter would start asking for another, in ever more strident tones, and eventually would start wailing when no more materialize.

I usually have the (unspoken) philosophy: "Sometimes you get seated near a toddler. Sometimes you don't. Better luck next time, and you probably brought your own headphones anyway." The Collin thing is definitely cute, though.

Very nice ideas I like it.

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