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The Traveller's Magazine
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What’s worst than a delay flight? Whiney and upset kids. It’s been proven again and again that kids on planes are most frustrating thing for other airline passengers so Etihad Airways hopes to make life easier for the kids, parents and fellow passengers with a new nannying service.

After Malaysia Airlines launched child-free flights last year, creating separate children’s areas on the plane, several other airlines have followed in their footsteps. Etihad Airways is taking a somewhat different approach. The Abu Dhabi-based airline proudly presents its own crew of Mary Poppins-like staff, so-called “flying nannies.” The service essentially relieves the parents from entertaining young fliers for the duration of the flight.

Flying Nannies

Brilliant idea, right? Etihad Airways has been busy training 300+ flight attendants and cabin crew to be wholly devoted to children and families on Etihad flights as well as children flying unaccompanied by an adult.

By the end of 2013 there should be more than 500 flight nannies to take care of the airline’s smallest passengers, even settling them in for bed. The flight attendants, recognisable from their orange aprons, will be responsible for child care and education and have been trained at Norland College in Bath, here in the UK.

Young travellers are kept occupied throughout the flight with small game boxes, stickers and activity sheets. They are also trained to know simple magic tricks, make origami and paint faces and perform puppet shows. Small gifts and extra meals should help keep children quiet and distracted during the flight.

The only thing a Flying Nanny can’t do, due to safety and other legalities, is take children to the bathroom or change nappies.

Img: Etihad Airways

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