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Why parents are giving passengers on planes goodie bags to apologize for their kids

Posted July 27

About four years ago a trend started, popularized through social media, of parents creating goodie bags for airline passengers to apologize in advance for their kids possibly being disruptive during the flight.

The Washington Post noted a 2014 Expedia survey that found 64 percent of airline passengers believed that screaming or whiny kids were the top annoyance on flights.

Slate reported, "Airports and airplanes are more crowded than ever, and all that spatial scarcity tend to dampen, if not destroy, any sense of camaraderie among seatmates."

While the goody packages are thoughtful, often including earplugs, candy and a thoughtful note, critics argued that people should not have to feel like they should apologize for having children, especially on flights.

"Babies are babies, and sometimes they cry. Everyone needs to just accept that reality and get over it," Rebecca Dube wrote for USA Today. "Hold your head high. Smile and be polite — but don’t apologize."

However, those who have been recipients of the goodie bags seem to appreciate them.

The Daily Mail reported this month that one note from a goodie bag was uploaded to the Love What Matters Facebook page, by plane passenger Christina Galese. "Such a thoughtful, simple act of kindness that I am so happy to have experienced," she wrote.

Elissa Strauss for Slate argued that there would be no need for goodie bags, if children weren't viewed as culturally pervasive.

"The real problem in American life today is that we treat children as something we must hide away until adulthood," Karol Markowicz for Time argued.

Parents have a few options to keep their child calm on flights and ditch the goodie bags.

The Washington Post noted that flying with a small container of Children's Tylenol may help for treating air sickness among children. Additionally, cutting back on sugary snacks during the flight will help to calm children and packing foods like oatmeal or milk will help induce sleep.

Email: mmcnulty@deseretnews.com

Twitter: megchristine5

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