Why do the loading bridges to air-craft metamorphose some people into the most inconsiderate specimens of humankind?

Recently I was on a flight to Sydney on which two howling kids kept most of the plane awake for the entire night. The parents - the only two people whose attention the infants wanted - fobbed them off on to a helper, themselves slumbering through it all.

There are also those who travel business or first class and put the kids in cattle class. Probably when they reach their destination, they dump their offspring on unsuspecting grandparents, claiming jet lag.

Some parents fly with a stockpile of distractions to stave off their children's boredom: a new Lego kit; silly string; play dough; stickers. One I know travels with sticky notes - she swears they keep her kids amused for hours.

I plan to copy this idea next time I travel. Not only will it give the kids hours of fun, it might keep me amused, too. I can write "shut up" on one and post it on the forehead of a 3am jabberer; on another, I'll write, "Put your shoes on, Mr Stinky."

"Please stop farting" would undoubtedly be popular - as, of course, would "Deal with your screaming nippers".

Maybe I could even charge other passengers for stickers emblazoned with "Stop pushing my seat", which they could slap on to the backs of their own headrests.

And for the attention of less-than-attendant flight attendants, the message on my own forehead will simply read: "Double Scotch, double happiness."