Airplane Nannies: New Job Helps Parents Manage Kids On Planes

Kids On Planes

The Huffington Post Canada   First Posted: 03/ 9/2012 10:04 am Updated: 03/19/2012 9:35 pm

Parents dreading the thought of taking their kids on an airplane during these March holidays are getting some relief from a clever entrepreneur. Nanny In The Clouds, a company based in California but operating all over the world, has taken the notion of a holiday babysitter to the next level, offering help right from the airport entrance.

The site acts relatively simply -- would-be nannies (advertised as people who "love kids" and "have childcare experience") who already have a ticket for a destination sign up to offer their services, which can be anything from helping to get through security to deplaning. They're then matched with a family that has paid a $10 "introduction fee" and wants a nanny for the flight. From there on out, it's up to the two parties to figure out the details, including rate, duties and even rearranging seat assignments.

As a piece in Time noted, there are no background checks for the nannies, although two references are required (and it could be argued that the Transportation Security Administration serves as a pretty solid watchperson).

Depending on your parenting style, this may appeal or disgust. As blog Stuck at the Airport reports, Colleen Lanin, editor and founder of TravelMamas.com, had mixed views:

"My first reaction was: How lazy are parents that they can’t even watch their own children during a measly flight?" But after thinking it over, she decided a sitter in the air could be a lifesaver for a mom or dad who is traveling solo with two or more young children. “It would also be a great service for parents who are prone to air sickness or who are nervous/phobic flyers,” said Lanin.

There are already many services offering childcare for travelling families, with resources to be found in almost every country worldwide, and airlines having a long history of treating kids to special meals and trips to the cockpit. But since no one wants to be the person on the flight with the crying child (forcing fellow passengers to, say, pop the emergency exit), this business could be the best thing to hit airlines since free booze on international flights. And if you love kids, earning back some of the cash for that plane tickets could just work out for everyone.

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