Etihad Airways has today, celebrated the graduation of its 2,000th ‘Flying Nanny.’ The first nanny took to the skies in 2013 with the aim of giving a helping hand to families and unaccompanied children. Since then the programme has quickly expanded – Passengers will normally find one Flying Nanny on board select Etihad Airways long-haul flights.
The programme was established in partnership with Norland College – a highly respected UK-based college for childcare training and education. Volunteer Cabin Crew receive training on “child psychology and sociology” and also learn how to deal with the different types of behaviour and developmental stages that children go through.
“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,” commented Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Guest Services when the programme was first launched.
The Flying Nanny is a normal member of Cabin Crew who volunteers to receive additional training – so they’re expected to undertake all the normal training and duties of their fellow Cabin Crew. No previous childcare training or experience is required to undertake the role. It is believed that only female Cabin Crew are allowed to join the programme.
Flying Nannies are trained in a variety of activities to keep children of all ages entertained. This includes arts and crafts using simple items like paper cups, cardboard and straws so that children can make greeting cards for their family.
Other activities include designing origami art, creating sock puppets and performing simple magic tricks. To help parents enjoy a bit more ‘me’ time, the nanny will assist with simple tasks like warming milk bottles and preparing snacks.
Building on the success of the programme, Etihad introduced a special Flying Nanny Kit and an ‘Etihad Explorers’ children’s activity pack last year.
Claire Burgess, Head of Training at Norland said: “This milestone reflects how successful the Flying Nanny programme has been for Etihad Airways, and it proves that Norland’s expertise continues to make a positive impact on the passenger experience.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.