When I win the World Series of Poker, I’m hiring a flying nanny for a family trip.
Above all else, this is what I took away from a recent Yahoo Travel article by friend and colleague, Jo Piazza. The story, titled, “Confessions of an Airline Nanny,” offered up a Q&A with Sara Adra, one of the flying nannies employed by Etihad Airways.
According to the piece, these “Mary Poppins in the sky” (as Piazza puts it) play entertainment concierge, personal chef, and more. They tackle everything from managing carry-on bags to preparing kids for bed and “distracting” kids when they’re feeling spent. And who the hell wouldn’t want that on a flight with kids?
Specifically, Piazza’s piece notes that many flying nannies are skilled puppetry, origami, face painting, and magic tricks. The story quotes Adra recounting an anecdote about a time when she dressed a 4-year-old passenger up in a flight attendant uniform. It also offers up some of Adra’s “expert” advice on soothing crying babies in mid-air; not surprisingly, she mentions offering the child a pacifier.
The piece is a fascinating perspective into the life of the rich and famous, a look at how someone else might mind your kids at 35,000 feet.
It did not mention how much extra flying nannies cost, though I’m guessing it’s a lot.
The part of the story that stuck with me most was the part where Piazza asked Adra about her “duties” in this job. Her response: “I am there to help any family to have an easier flight—whether that means to cater their meal times differently to our serving times, to distract the child with coloring competitions and other fun games while mom and/or dad take a break or even help mind the children while the single traveling parent takes restroom breaks and a quick stretch.”
For me, the notion of “taking a break” on a family trip seems like an incredible luxury. Someday, dear readers, even if only for a few brief moments, I wish all of us can experience it at the hands of a flying nanny.