My experience flying with young babies is that most people understand parents are doing the best they can to keep little ones content during the flight. But, as any mom or dad knows, sometimes it’s just impossible to settle a baby down—especially when you’re squeezed in the middle seat of a plane.
It turns out even George and Amal Clooney had some pre-flight anxiety about how passengers would respond to their 6-month-old twins during a transatlantic flight. According to Page Six, the celebrity couple proactively handed out noise-canceling headphones to fellow fliers on their way back to the United Kingdom recently.
“Even Quentin Tarantino, who was onboard, wore the headphones,” reports a passenger, adding the headphones were adorned with the logo for Clooney’s tequila company and came with a note “apologizing in advance.”
Somewhat miraculously, the witness says the Clooney twins “didn’t make a peep” during the flight. But for many more of us, that just isn’t the reality.
Even if you don’t go the Clooney route with branded headphones, some other parents have attempted to stay on fellow passengers’ good sides by handing out snack bags and notes. At the very least, this can give you confidence you did what you could to make others’ travel experiences as calm as possible—even if we shouldn’t have to feel guilty if a fuss-fest does break out.
That said, as nice as the Clooney’s goodwill gesture is, let’s be sure it goes both ways. So, to others, if you happen to see a parent struggling to calm their child at 30,000 feet, here’s a tip: Please don’t add to our anxiety by making it clear the noise is unpleasant. We get it. But babies pick up on that energy, so making us feel worse about it is only going to prolong the process.
Thankfully, my experience is that the skies are still largely friendly when I’ve flown with babies in tow—even during The Teething Incident of 2016. ✈️