How long since you have given in to your “travel itch”? If the reason you have been delaying or stalling a holiday abroad is your little one, you’ll certainly be thrilled by the idea of having a nanny to help take care of him through the flight.
For parents who have attempted travelling internationally with an infant, a toddler or even an older kid in tow, much of the fun would dissipate soon after the little one starts throwing tantrums. The personal difficulty and the thought of bothering the other travellers can be very stressful. Thus, having someone to give you a hand, particularly when you are travelling alone, is genius.
Airlines looking for ways to boost their income will find this germ of an idea an absolute genius. The service is now called by different names – Nanny in the Clouds, In-flight Nannies, Sky Nanny, Flying Nanny – but they all mean the same thing: Comfort and convenience for parents with a kid or kids in tow, and for the rest of the passengers.
The Good News for Travelling Parents
Genevieve Shaw Brown’s In-Flight Nannies Help Ease Traveling With Children for ABC News -Travel & Lifestyle Section takes you down Brown’s terrible thoughts before flying with her child and how it can be assuaged by this in-flight service called “Nanny in the Clouds.” She writes…
“The concept is simple: Parents plug in their flight details on the Nanny in the Clouds website to see if there’s a nanny registered for the same flight. Nanny in the Clouds charges the parents $10 for the match, releases the nanny’s contact information, and then lets the nanny and parents take it from there.”
Brown talks about how nanny in the Cloud was conceptualized. “The service, which launched in November 2011, is the brainchild of Julie Melnick. On a return trip to Los Angeles from the East Coast last summer, she struggled to handle her 2-year-old son, his car seat, her luggage, a diaper bag and more. She asked for help, and was told by an airline employee that “her belongings were her own responsibility.”
Those problems were just a part of a bigger package of troubles. Wouldn’t it be so nice if she can take a nap while on board in preparation for more difficulties by the time the plane lands? Who can help her? “Necessity is the mother of all inventions” indeed. That lit the light bulb in her head. Most mom friends agreed with her: a nanny in the clouds would indeed be a great idea.
Addressing a “Universal” Problem for Travelling Families
Same problems bother countless parents around the world. Just to let you know you are not alone, Melnick tells the story of two women who are frequent travellers – Libby Conover, Style and Entertainment director at GQ magazine and Eileen Ogintz, a family travel expert and an author. They, however, are just two of a big number of modern moms and dads who have to travel while doing parenting in the air (and in the destination) at the same time. The idea of having a nanny to help them with taking care of the kids while flying is a tremendous help.
The Challenge of the Service/Program
The idea is brilliant, but as of the writing of Brown’s article (March 2012), she says, “Most fundamental issue facing Nanny in the Clouds is gaining the critical mass necessary to make it work. To date, there has not been a successful family-nanny pairing.”
A more recent blog on the service (October 2014), however, made by Anucyia Victor for MailOnline – Travel News Section, shows that it is working fine for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. The service is known as Flying Nannies. Here’s what she writes:
Hate flying with children? Etihad Airways offers free Flying Nannies to help entertain youngsters to ensure parents get peace and quiet on board long-haul flights
- Etihad Airways’ Flying Nanny service is available on all long-haul flights
- Crew members receive training at childcare institution Norland College
- Staff refill bottles, organise craft activities and teach magic tricks
It seems the program started earlier (write up is dated September 2013), according to Time’s (Business Section) Airline Introduces ‘Flying Nannies’ by Melissa Locker.
“First Singapore’s Scoot Airlines boasts child-free sections and Nanny in the Clouds connects parents with nannies traveling on the same plane for a fee. Now Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, offers its own “Flying Nannies,” who are specially trained to entertain children on long-haul flights.”
Locker explained how the Flying Nanny, trained in a respectable works with Etihad. These female attendants are trained in a “nanny-training school, Norland College, to study child psychology, sociology and child development. There the trainees were taught “to identify different types of behavior and developmental stages that children go through and how to appreciate the perspective and needs of traveling families.”
These nannies will liaise with the parents, engage the children in varied activities, but will not bring the child to the bathroom or change the diaper “due to legalities and safety,” according to the airline’s website. Etihad’s grand plan: “bring 500 “Flying Nannies” on board.”
Are you travelling with your little one/s soon? Maybe you should check out if your chosen airline has already adopted the brilliant scheme.