15/10/2014 08:36 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Dread Flying With Children? Meet The Flying Nannies!

Etihad Airways

If the stress of flying with small children gives you a nervous breakdown, an airline believes it has come up with the answer: flying nannies.

Not literally (in the umbrella-holding Mary Poppins sense), but in the form of on-board childminders.

The Flying Nanny Service has been introduced by Etihad Airways – and (we're amazed at this) is free of charge on long-haul flights.

Staff, who are all cabin crew members, are on hand to look after unaccompanied minors, prepare cribs for babies, refill bottles and keep children entertained with activities such as crafts, face-painting and magic tricks.

No more kicking the seat of the poor sod in front of you, then!

The helpers have all completed in-depth training at Bath's Norland College, an institution which has been training childcare professionals since 1892.

Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad Airways' Vice President Guest Services, told Perth Now: "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."

She added: "The Flying Nanny will liaise with parents and use their experience and knowledge to make the travel experience easier.

"This includes helping serve children's meals early in the flight and offering activities and challenges to help entertain and occupy younger guests."

For older children, the Flying Nanny is equipped with simple quizzes and challenges to keep them occupied as well as taking them on tours of the galley during quieter moments of the flight.

Mum Kerri Scholz, from Brisbane, Australia, said she was taken by surprise by the service when she and husband Nathan flew to Europe with their three children aged eight, seven and four, in July.

As well as helping to mop out after an 'accident' with her youngest, she said the orange-aproned nanny nursed other passengers' babies ensuring everyone got some peace and quiet.

Kerri added: "There definitely wasn't the noise that you get on most long-haul flights with children."

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