Travelling with a screaming child The service that matches families with babysitters booked on the same flight
Taking a flight with a screaming child in tow is the part of a holiday most mothers and fathers dread the most.
Now a new website promises to ease the situation, at least for parents, if not for fellow travellers.
Nanny In The Clouds aims to pair families with a childcarer who is booked on the same flight.
Happy travellers: New website Nanny In The Clouds aims to pair families with a childcarer who is taking the same flight
The concept is that parents enter their flight details, and if there is a match, a potential nanny's contact details are released for a fee of $10.
It is then up to both parties to independently negotiate a fee for the in-flight childcare, a cost that would be far less than paying for a nanny's flight, room and board, previously the only other way to guarantee such help.
If a nanny is not available on the family's flight, they can set up an alert that will let them know if and when one becomes available.
It will come as little surprise that the idea for the site was born from a mother's personal experience.
Founder Julie Melnick was flying from her native Florida to her home in Los Angeles with her then two-year-old son last June when she had her lightbulb moment.
Struggling to board with the diaper bag, car seat and luggage – all the normal paraphernalia that a child of that age requires – she asked for help from airline staff, only to be told that 'her belongings were her own responsibility'.
Lightbulb moment: Julie Melnick came up with the idea for Nanny In The Clouds when travelling with her son
She told the family travel website Suitcasesandsippycups.com: 'I was sitting there, in
my seat, thinking about how I loved to travel to see my family in
Florida, but also about how I wanted to have another baby.
'How would I
able to travel with more than one kid without help Between my son
screaming, “I WANT TO GET OFF THE PLANE!” and me not being able to take a
bathroom break since I had to watch him, I was at my wit's end.'
She imagined that there was probably at least one person who, had she known them, might have been prepared to lend a hand, and it was at this stage that she began to question how this could be a business idea.
Mrs Melnick, who has just given birth to her second child, finally launched Nanny In The Clouds at the end of last year.
She explains that safety is paramount, and all nannies who register with the site must provide two references. The parents can then conduct a further interview.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of families and nannies using the site so far, there has not yet been a successful match, but that looks set to change thanks to a new facility that allows parents to enter a travel date range before booking flights, so they can identify which have potential childcarers travelling on them.
The same facility is available for nannies, who can work out which flights they would be able to earn some extra money on.