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Please Stop Bribing Airplane Passengers

"Awwww someone left me a cute little bag with lollypops, lottery tickets and a Snickers bar. So sweet. Now I can surely tolerate that screaming infant next to me for the next 8 hours!"

Better yet.

"A $5 Starbucks gift card? Now I can caffeine up when we arrive, since I didn’t sleep at all on that flight. Thanks for reminding me how horrible this plane ride across the country will be with your kids!"

Seriously, people, this happens. I mean, maybe that is not the inner monologue exactly. But surely someone had those thoughts when, back in 2012, the parents of young twins offered a goodie bag with a note telling them twin infants would be seated next to them for several hours in a flying tin can. News of their actions exploded across the Internet and national media after Reddit reposted a photo that one passenger shared on social media after receiving the bag.

The passenger thought it was brilliant. The public was split on their opinions.

Before you get up in arms about some notion that I have an anti-family flying stance, you need to know that I fly with my boys all of the time. I have been flying with them since they were seven weeks old. This is not a random thing. I do this for a living as a travel writer. My boys have been on more flights and more long haul international flights before they were three years old than I had been on before I was 21. We are old pros by now. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our bad flights, but really, who doesn’t.

What miffs me is that I am seeing a growing trend in air travel where passengers feel I should bribe them just because I’m getting on a plane with my kids. It’s almost as if people look at my children, look at me and then wonder, “Where’s my treat?” as if they were puppy dogs who deserve a reward for merely putting up with my child’s presence.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Holiday Travel with Kids

Now I ask you, where is my air freshener for the guy who farted in the seat in front of me from Seattle to Honolulu for six hours straight in October? Where was my Snickers bar, when the lady next to me on the same flight continually fell asleep and smacked into my shoulder while I, the business traveler (rare for me these days to fly solo) was trying to get work done on my laptop? I didn't see any complimentary ear plugs to block the French couple behind me talking so loud that I had to put headphones on and blast music just to collect my thoughts. This was a trifecta of bad airplane behavior. Know what I noticed least? The mom two aisles ahead with her kids. They cried once, I think. Did she give me treats? Nope. Did I expect them? Not a chance.

The thing with air travel is that everyone feels entitled, as if this is a sacred space for them to rest and relax. In the 1950s, this was the case — but no longer. Commercial flights are like trains and subway rides: they are a means to an end. They get you from point A to point B. They are public transportation that you pay a hefty price to use. If I can be on the East Coast six hours after I leave the West Coast, you better believe I’m going to bring my tired toddler on that plane rather than sitting with him in a car for five days. This is my right, just as much as it is yours to take up your seat and half of my seat or grab the back of my chair and fling it back every time you get up from your seat. Let’s not even start on the people who throw their seats back without a little warning, so laptops are broken or at least bent.

My boys are well behaved on flights for the most part. Yes, we have our moments, but I’ve seen plenty of adults have unpleasant moments on flights, sometimes more often than my own kids.

Mike Julianelle wrote a fabulous rebuttal to the parent bribing trend on Huffington Post, "The No-Bullsh*t Goody Bag for Parents to Give out on Planes." He had his own goodie bag for passengers who thought children flying meant they deserved a present. What did it include?

  • Drink Coupon: For one warm mug of SHUT THE HELL UP if you ever get the urge to b*tch about a 2-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: 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 a**hole.
  • Heartfelt Note: In which I challenge you to a fight by the Hudson News closest to our gate.

RELATED: Choose Your Own Adventure: The Toddler

Classy in every sense of the word. I wish I had thought of this first. It expresses the feelings I am much too nice to let lose on a flight with my kids in tow. My boys are well behaved on flights for the most part. Yes, we have our moments, but I’ve seen plenty of adults have unpleasant moments on flights, sometimes more often than my own kids. Should passengers be bribed to sit next to or near a child? Not if you ask me.

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