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Airlines Get Hip to Family-friendly Flying with Onboard Nannies and Lactation Stations

September 5, 2013 at 10:02 AM | by | Comment (1)

After the recent news that more airlines are creating "child-free zones" in their aircraft, we are excited to announce something to actually benefit families. Etihad now has plans to train 500 of the airline's cabin crew as childcare specialists to act as "onboard nannies" for long-haul flights.

The Flying Nannies will be on hand to keep kiddies entertained throughout a long flight by serving meals earlier to ease into nap time, and filling milk bottles and offering snacks for the next leg of transiting passengers. If the kids just won't get some shut-eye, the attendants trained in the "gentle art of distraction" will use straws, stickers and cardboard teaching origami techniques. If you think all of that sounds fun, sock puppet kits are on the arts and crafts list too, but calm down as they are only for kids.

Part of the training will include child psychology and sociology to identify different behavior types, as well as learning how to appreciate the needs of traveling families. Each of the Nanny crew will be a full-fledged flight attendant, but easily identified by a brightly colored orange apron.

Japan Airlines is also catering to those traveling with a clan (or soon-to-be-clan) by freeing up a section of four seats in the economy cabin for nursing mothers or women who want to apply make-up and freshen up before landing. The empty seats will be available on select flights between Tokyo and Honolulu. The Japanese airline will also recommend that toddlers fly on specific flights so they can stock in-flight children's toys and books accordingly.

[Photo: Etihad Airlines]

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Sooo..

Do they actually watch the kids on the parents behalf, or just fill milk bottles?

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