Etihad launches ‘flying nanny’ service
Abu Dhabi, September 1, 2013
UAE national airline Etihad Airways has launched a dedicated in-flight child care assistance programme for families.
The new Flying Nannies on-board long haul flights can be identified by bright orange aprons and they aim to provide a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors, said a statement.
They will also introduce children to the collectable Etihad characters – Zoe the bee, Jamool the camel, Kundai the lion, and Boo the panda – who accompany them on their trip.
During the past two months, 300 Etihad Airways cabin crew members have completed enhanced training for the role and a further 60 will be trained in September and 500 Flying Nannies are expected to be working across the airline’s flights by the end of 2013.
The course includes in-depth training from UK-based 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.
The course also covers many different creative ways that can be used to entertain and engage with children during flights.
Aubrey Tiedt, vice president-Guest Services, said: “Flying with a young family can be a daunting task, even for the most experienced travellers, and the Flying Nanny role demonstrates our understanding of our guests’ needs and our commitment to making the journey as relaxing and comfortable as possible.”
“The Flying Nanny will liaise with parents and use their experience and knowledge to make the travel experience easier. This includes helping serve children’s meals early in the flight and offering activities and challenges to help entertain and occupy younger guests,” Tiedt added.
A key on-board highlight is set to be the creation of sock puppets which uses stickers from the Flying Nanny kit as eyes and the socks from the guest’s travel pack.
In addition to the arts and crafts, the Flying Nannies can also teach children simple magic tricks which helps retain their focus and interest while seated.
For older children, the Flying Nanny is equipped with simple quizzes and challenges to keep them occupied as well as taking them on tours of the galley during quieter moments of the flight.
The Flying Nanny will also advise families that are transiting at Abu Dhabi about the various baby changing and child facilities at the airport, besides informing them that there is a children’s play area at Gate 32 in Terminal 3, and in the premium lounges. - TradeArabia News Service
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