Monday, November 9, 2015

Flying with kids isn"t so tough when you have a nanny on board.
(Photo:
Etihad)If you love travel and you love children, there are few jobs more
enviable than being a Mary Poppins in the sky."Sara Adra is one of the flying
nannies for Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates,
and one of the premiere luxury airlines operating around the world today.Most
parents can"t afford to bring their own personal nanny along for a
flight.
Etihad makes one available on demand.
The job of a flying nanny is to
be an extra pair of hands for parents.
They do they everything from preparing
kids to go to bed, keeping them entertained and making flying enjoyable for
the whole family.
They"re skilled in arts and crafts, hand puppetry, origami
and even face painting and magic tricks.It sounds downright brilliant to
us.
Isn"t it in every passengers" best interest to keep children well-behaved
on a plane?We got a chance to ask Adra what it is really like to be a flying
nanny for a premium airline, taking care of the smallest of "VIPs." Frankly,
it sounds pretty great.World traveling club Travel: What do you like the most
about your job?
Sara Adra: I assist all our true VIPs of the flight, the ones
that are just over a week old that don"t yet know how precious they are to the
world, the ones that are discovering their feet and have mommy chasing them up
and down the aisles to the ones that are way too cool to be coloring in and
are totally in love with watching movies like "Frozen" and of course, there"s
the real special ones that want to be a flight attendant someday so when they
meet me they feel today is the day.
I see myself as the new and reimagined
Mary Poppins.
What isn"t there to like about my job?A flying nanny can truly
be a mother"s best friend.
(Photo: Etihad)My favorite part of the job is when
I see all the happy face at the end of a flight and I know it"s not just
because the flight is over when I"m showered with farewell cuddles and I get
beautiful cards made for me.My second favorite is when I become shadowed by
this little figure.
I"ve had children attempt to help me collect the headsets
and point guests to an alternative direction for another lavatory when the
line is too busy.
It"s just too cute.It"s so nice to see the parents in a
state of happy shock too, when they realize the flight was nowhere near what
they expected on the scale of difficulty and also when they see their children
being so entertained and social with the crew.Related: Airlines Compete to
Offer the Sickest Luxury SuitesWorld traveling club Travel: What exactly are
your duties?Sara Adra: My role is to help every family have a smooth flight.
I
meet and greet all the lovely little VIPs with a special package that has
coloring pencils, a book, cards for a fun game of memory, stickers and more.
I
help show the children how to navigate the movie menu for our kids" club
section.
I show mom how to block any other movies on our screens in case she
falls asleep while her little angel is breaking bedtime rules.
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.Related: Would You Pay $106k For This Flight?World
traveling club Travel: How did you get into this gig?Sara Adra: I wanted to be
a flying nanny after I finished my cabin crew training course and found out
more about the role.
I was lucky enough to get the position and be trained by
the world-renowned Norland College and I haven"t looked back.World traveling
club Travel: How often are you on the road? Is it tough on friendships and
personal life?"Sara Adra: As an on-board nanny, I am usually scheduled for
anywhere between six to eight flights per month and mostly ultra-long haul
flights to the U.S.
It is a unique lifestyle.
For me, it"s been great.
There
is no other job in the world where I could say I"m going to London this
weekend to see a friend or I"m in Los Angeles next week so let"s go to Malibu
for lunch.
I love that I can so easily connect to my friends who are living
abroad and can see them more than just once a year.
So overall, no, it"s not
really tough.
It"s more of a blessing, I am absolutely grateful and lucky to
lead the life I have where my personal life is enriched with travel benefits,
cultural awareness and just general opportunities.
And, of course, all the
incredible people and new friends I have gained."
World traveling club
Travel: How often are you in the air?"Sara Adra: Everyone"s roster is
different but for me I"ve found myself doing anywhere between one and two
short flights a week or one long flight a week.
A four-day working week! Yes
that"s right, I get that a lot.
Etihad offers great work/life balance."World
traveling club Travel: What is a typical day like for you?"Sara Adra: I don"t
have a ‘typical" day.
Every day is different and it all really depends
on where I am.
If I"m on a layover somewhere, I can guarantee you my day will
involve massages and pampering if I"m in Asia.
When in Europe, I am outdoors
walking and exploring and when I am in the U.S., you can be sure to find me in
the nearest shopping outlet.
Every day is really full of surprises.
The only
day that I can guarantee you laziness in is when I"m home in Abu Dhabi,
relaxing and enjoying a bit of me time.
"Sara comes armed with chocolate cake
and coloring equipment.
(Photo: Etihad)World traveling club Travel:"Any
hilarious situations involving the kids? Sara Adra: I have had some funny
moments with many children I"ve flown with since becoming a nanny.
[During a
game of dress up] I had a little girl get completely transformed into a cabin
crew outfit.
"We put the whole lot on her - the jacket, apron, hat, gloves and
scarf.
She was so adorable and the funny bit was watching her waddle about to
show her parents.
The sleeves were so long on her and the jacket was almost at
floor level.
She was only about four."World traveling club Travel: "Are the
first class parents any different?Sara Adra: I do not think that a cabin
"class" of travel differentiates parenting skills or parenting nature.
We are
here to make the flight as enjoyable as possible for children and parents
across all classes of service.World traveling club Travel: What do you wear to
work?"Sara Adra: I wear the same uniform as the rest of my crew however, I
change into the signature orange apron that Ettore Bilotta designed for our
nanny crew.
We have a dress type of apron rather than just a half apron like
my colleagues which provides more protection from the coloring pencils and
markers used for crafts and the occasional baby drool from cuddles."World
traveling club Travel: What do you hope to do after this?"Sara Adra: I chose
to apply and work for Etihad not because of the luxury I get with my travel
opportunities or living in the UAE.
That was all a bonus for me.
I came from
an office environment so this is a completely new experience for me.
I chose
Etihad because I believe in the company"s vision.
I researched Etihad and I
really like the fact that they are fairly new in the aviation industry and
their achievements so far have been beyond fantastic so I wanted to be a part
of that team, knowing that there will be plenty of room for growth and
potentially a career with the same company – from cabin crew to the
head office.
Of course, this will be in the future and first I need to let go
of my nanny apron and dip my toes into business class service.World traveling
club Travel: What"s the best way to get a baby to stop crying on a plane?"Sara
Adra: There is no magic potion I"m afraid.
It all depends on why the baby is
crying.
If you can work that out, your job becomes a lot easier.
Generally, if
a baby is crying during take-off or as we descend it"s because of the aircraft
pressure so their ears may hurt.
I always suggest to parents to use a pacifier
during these times as it helps the baby"s ears pop.
The aircraft is a
completely new environment for children with new sounds and experiences so
being close to mom or dad always helps.
I also recommend parents bring along
their child"s own baby blankets and cuddle toys which give them added
comfort.
Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with
us on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest." Etihad makes one available
on demand.
We got a chance to ask Adra what it is really like to be a flying
nanny for a premium airline, taking care of the smallest of "VIPs."
Frankly, it sounds pretty great.
Sara Adra: I assist all our true VIPs of the
flight, the ones that are just over a week old that don't yet know how
precious they are to the world, the ones that are discovering their feet and
have mommy chasing them up and down the aisles to the ones that are way too
cool to be coloring in and are totally in love with watching movies like
"Frozen" and of course, there's the real special ones that want to be a
flight attendant someday so when they meet me they feel today is the day.
I
see myself as the new and reimagined Mary Poppins..World traveling club
Travel: How often are you in the air?"Sara Adra: Everyone"s roster is
different but for me I"ve found myself doing anywhere between one and two
short flights a week or one long flight a week.
A four-day working week! Yes
that"s right, I get that a lot.
Etihad offers great work/life balance."World
traveling club Travel: What is a typical day like for you?"Sara Adra: I don"t
have a ‘typical" day.
Every day is different and it all really depends
on where I am.
If I"m on a layover somewhere, I can guarantee you my day will
involve massages and pampering if I"m in Asia.
When in Europe, I am outdoors
walking and exploring and when I am in the U.S., you can be sure to find me in
the nearest shopping outlet.
Every day is really full of surprises.
The only
day that I can guarantee you laziness in is when I"m home in Abu Dhabi,
relaxing and enjoying a bit of me time.
"Sara comes armed with chocolate cake
and coloring equipment.
(Photo: Etihad)World traveling club Travel:"Any
hilarious situations involving the kids? Sara Adra: I have had some funny
moments with many children I"ve flown with since becoming a nanny.
[During a
game of dress up] I had a little girl get completely transformed into a cabin
crew outfit.
"We put the whole lot on her - the jacket, apron, hat, gloves and
scarf.
She was so adorable and the funny bit was watching her waddle about to
show her parents.
The sleeves were so long on her and the jacket was almost at
floor level.
She was only about four."World traveling club Travel: "Are the
first class parents any different?Sara Adra: I do not think that a cabin
"class" of travel differentiates parenting skills or parenting nature.
We are
here to make the flight as enjoyable as possible for children and parents
across all classes of service.World traveling club Travel: What do you wear to
work?"Sara Adra: I wear the same uniform as the rest of my crew however, I
change into the signature orange apron that Ettore Bilotta designed for our
nanny crew.
We have a dress type of apron rather than just a half apron like
my colleagues which provides more protection from the coloring pencils and
markers used for crafts and the occasional baby drool from cuddles."World
traveling club Travel: What do you hope to do after this?"Sara Adra: I chose
to apply and work for Etihad not because of the luxury I get with my travel
opportunities or living in the UAE.
That was all a bonus for me.
I came from
an office environment so this is a completely new experience for me.
I chose
Etihad because I believe in the company"s vision.
I researched Etihad and I
really like the fact that they are fairly new in the aviation industry and
their achievements so far have been beyond fantastic so I wanted to be a part
of that team, knowing that there will be plenty of room for growth and
potentially a career with the same company – from cabin crew to the
head office.
Of course, this will be in the future and first I need to let go
of my nanny apron and dip my toes into business class service.World traveling
club Travel: What"s the best way to get a baby to stop crying on a plane?"Sara
Adra: There is no magic potion I"m afraid.
It all depends on why the baby is
crying.
If you can work that out, your job becomes a lot easier.
Generally, if
a baby is crying during take-off or as we descend it"s because of the aircraft
pressure so their ears may hurt.
I always suggest to parents to use a pacifier
during these times as it helps the baby"s ears pop.
The aircraft is a
completely new environment for children with new sounds and experiences so
being close to mom or dad always helps.
I also recommend parents bring along
their child"s own baby blankets and cuddle toys which give them added
comfort.
Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Hang out with
us on"Facebook,"Twitter, Instagram, and"Pinterest."Etihad makes one available
on demand.
We got a chance to ask Adra what it is really like to be a flying
nanny for a premium airline, taking care of the smallest of "VIPs."
Frankly, it sounds pretty great.
Sara Adra: I assist all our true VIPs of the
flight, the ones that are just over a week old that don't yet know how
precious they are to the world, the ones that are discovering their feet and
have mommy chasing them up and down the aisles to the ones that are way too
cool to be coloring in and are totally in love with watching movies like
"Frozen" and of course, there's the real special ones that want to be a
flight attendant someday so when they meet me they feel today is the day.
I
see myself as the new and reimagined Mary Poppins.

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