Airline Hires “Flying Nannies” To Give Parents A Break On Board. But Will It Help?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 4 2013 6:50 PM

Airline Hires “Flying Nannies” To Give Parents A Break On Board. But Will It Help?

73714676
The first flight from Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to Sydney marks the opening of the airline's new non-stop route.

Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Long haul flights can be a pain. Throw a screaming child into the pressurized cabin mix and, no matter how sympathetic you are, it can turn into a sleepless disaster.

Etihad Airways, however, thinks it has the solution: “Flying Nannies.” The United Arab Emirates national airline has not, in fact, trained its air stewards to fly, but they have beefed up on child-friendly training. The “Flying Nannies” will not only have the usual childcare essentials at their disposal—stickers, sock puppets, magic tricks, general arts and crafts—the onboard parental assistants have book learning to back up their methods, says the airline.

Advertisement

The course includes in-depth training, from the world renowned Norland College, concentrating on child psychology and sociology, enabling the Flying Nannies to identify different types of behaviour and developmental stages that children go through and how to appreciate the perspective and needs of travelling families.

While it certainly can’t hurt to have a steward that doubles as a magician, some of the ideas seem like, well, a bit of a stretch. “The Flying Nanny will also frequently use service items such as paper cups which can be made into hats and the Japanese art of origami to fold paper into sculptures,” says the airline. “All activities are designed so the Flying Nanny can leave the children to produce and complete on their own.”

In other words, back to you mom and dad! Don't get too comfortable.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.