Outsourcing Your Parental Duties When Flying

If you are contemplating a long haul flight and you have heaps of kids or maybe you just want some peace and quiet and you only have one child that drives you insane when in the air, Etihad has now solved the problem for you.

Flying Nanny - Mary Poppins On BoardThis innovative airline is going above and beyond the call of looking after its clients with its "Flying Nanny Service".  The service, complete with a child care program dedicated to the rug rats in your life, will definitely take the head ache, or for some, the embarrassment, of their sometimes ill-behaved child off their hands. It is definitely for those that don't have the luxury of taking their live-in nanny or over-bearing mother-in-law with them.

There is nothing new about having unaccompanied minors looked after during flights, but this is a first where you can be sitting on the same flight and not care about what your child is up to.  These "Mary Poppins" of the air will totally focus and interact with your offspring, leaving you free to thoroughly enjoy your trip without the nagging of your own flesh and blood's little voice in your ear.

The one problem I see with this wonderful service is that although you may not have to worry about your own child, there is still the "outlander" who belongs to someone else kicking the back of your chair or screaming their lungs out in a torrid tantrum of mammoth proportions.  So whilst the hassle factor is taken off your plate, unless you are in first class and the kids are playing sardines with their nanny in the back of the plane, you will still have the annoying bleating of some other child in your space.

Maybe it should be compulsory, like going to school, that all kids on flights should be rounded up and put in one section of the plane, preferably the rear in a sound proofed compartment, with these angels of child mercy.  The rest of the plane could be a child free zone, where the wearing of noise reducing earphones would be completely unnecessary. This would also solve the problem of sticky fingers grabbing the hair of the person seated in front, the food flinging issues and the back of the chair kicking habit, let alone the toddler meltdowns.

Flying Nanny - Mary Poppins On BoardOne expects the budget airline carriers to be full of unruly excited children, because it is so cheap these days to fly the family anywhere. Unfortunately, children are not the sole domain of the cheaper airlines and they do creep on undetected until in the air, on the more expensive flights.  Maybe there could be a behavior barometer when the child goes through security. Or, "mood" rings could be handed out to the kids at check-in for their flight.  If the ring is black, red or orange, which apparently indicates that the child is stressed, angry or unsettled, then a floating Mary Poppins could hand out a "spoonful" of Phenergan to guarantee a malleable child.  But then again, any of these measures would do away with the need for flying nannies and the extra revenue generated.

Actually, some grown ups on flights are no better than their younger counterparts, so maybe there could be a nanny service for the adults who have no airplane etiquette as well. Now that is a thought: nannies with gags, handcuffs and lockable seatbelts with feet restraints, I think they are sometimes referred to as straightjackets for unruly adults............maybe they come in kids' sizes?

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.