Children travelling with Etihad Airways will be kept entertained by flying nannies
on 04/09/2013 00:00:00
It's an annoyance that one airline is aiming to consign to the past with the introduction of nannies on every flight.
Etihad Airways, which operates a route from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, hopes the newly trained staff will provide a helping hand to families with young children.
The nannies faced with easing the angst of their young passengers will be armed with just an arts and crafts kit and a few paper cups.
The kit contains straws, stickers, and cardboard which can be used to let the children create greeting cards, while other fun activities such as the Japanese art of origami can be taught using the paper service cups.
Magic tricks and sock puppets are two more activities the airline hopes will hold youngsters' attention long enough for families to enjoy their long-haul flights.
Children will also be introduced to a host of new collectable friends, such as Kundai the lion and Jamool the camel, who will accompany them on their flight.
Older children can expect quizzes and other challenges to keep them busy, while a tour of the galley is also on offer.
Unaccompanied minors aged between 5 and 16 will also be able to avail of the service, which will be available on every flight and does not need to be pre-booked by passengers.
The in-flight childcare experts will also help parents refill milk bottles and, upon landing, point out baby-changing facilities and children's play areas at the airport.
Some 300 cabin crew members have already been trained - including 16 Irish flight attendants.
A further 60 are to be trained this month and 500 flying nannies will be working across the airline's services by the end of the year, meaning that the next time you board a flight, your very own Mary Poppins will be waiting to take the kids off your hands and take the stress out of everyone's journey.