Orderliness

You need this. Your primary role as a parent is to bring order to chaos; we can help.

Like the Griswold family, hang a handy garbage bag on the back of the seat in front of you and encourage your kids to use it. Somehow being on a plane seems to generate tons of trash (candy wrappers, er, raw carrot peels and apple cores) and there is no place to put it. The headphones come wrapped in plastic, the food has foil covering, even the darn utensils are in a plastic bag. Stuffing all this junk into the seat pocket works for a couple of hours but if your fight, er, flight is long enough for two meals, the seat pocket will likely explode.

Hang up the bag and fill it. Your flight attendant will also thank you when you hand her a neatly tied bag for disposal as opposed to a sticky handful of wrappers six times across the Atlantic Ocean.

P.S. I believe that flight attendants keep secret notes about parents flying with kids and share them with other airlines, so brownie points earned on one carrier might help out on another, like transferrable frequent flyer miles. My actual purpose of writing all this is to come back into the good graces of flight attendants now that my kids are old enough that I might one day be invited into business class to at least say hello. I'd even be willing to help tidy up after the meal if that would help.

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