Why flying with kids might now get a whole lot easier…

by admin on September 3, 2013


Flying Nanny Service from Etihad Airways
Flying Nanny Service from Etihad


…If you with fly Etihad Airways that is. The airline has just announced a dedicated in-flight ‘Flying Nanny’ service.

Flying with babies and young children is not easy. A long haul flight with young children is a test of endurance. Keeping them entertained, walking them up and down the aisle when they’re upset or chasing them up and down it when they’re bored, or having to grin and bear it when they scream and scream is mentally and physically demanding.

The primary goal: to get through it anyway you can.

Unlike many expat mums who head home for long holidays without their husbands by their sides, I’ve never had to fly with the kids by myself. In fact, I’d rather eat Durian. I have huge respect goes to the mums (and dads) that do fly solo with young children.

My kids are well-travelled and Miss C who is five, has already been on 34 flights and counting. BUT, the whole thought of flying with them still sends shivers down my spine. No matter how easy your baby or toddler is, flying with young children is still exhausting. Miss C has always been a good traveller but Baby C is a different kettle of fish and has been known to reduce me to tears on the occasional flight. Thankfully now she has hit two, things are improving and as soon as children hit three or four, it gets much easier still.

I find cabin crew to be generally unhelpful when we fly with our children. On occasions I’ve been surprised, but usually there is a lack of empathy and even if they have seen we’re struggling, they have rarely tried to help.

How amazing would it be to get some on board help when flying with kids?

Could Etihad’s Flying Nanny service be the answer? 500 of Etihad’s cabin crew will receive specialist childcare training from UK-based Norland College. The Flying Nannies will help entertain kids with things like arts and crafts and teach them magic tricks. For older kids there are quizzes and challenges as well as tours around the galley during quieter moments. They will also help parents refill milk bottles and get water and snacks.
I think the biggest way these nannies will help is if they can actually give parents a break, by entertaining and looking after younger children for a while, so frazzled parents can eat in peace or even have a short nap.
Come Singapore Airlines and BA when are you going to do the same?
When you don’t have the assistance of a Flying Nanny and you’re not upgraded with your baby (yes, that did just actually happen to a friend of mine), there are things you can do to minimise the stress. Have a read of my post on top tips for stress-free flying with babies and toddlers.



{ 1 comment }

Nicola September 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

Will this be a free service? I really can’t imagine BA etc introducing!

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