While the kindness of strangers when flying long-haul with babies and toddlers is enough to make any sleep-deprived parent shed a tear of gratitude, one businesswoman wants to connect families and helpers in the air in a more formal fashion.
Nanny in the Clouds founder Julie Melnick started her website after a flight from the east to the west coast of the US with her energetic two-year-old surrounded by other friendly passengers.
Melnick says while the service allows people to search for nannies by city, finding a nanny going to the same place is a challenge, with only a handful of matches so far.
"With over 30,000 flights each day in the US alone, it's very hard to match people on the same itinerary," Melnick says.
"We are focused now on partnering with an airline that can let its passengers know that we are available to help them match with an extra set of hands."
She says duties include help with clearing security, carrying gear and taking care of children during the flight and while luggage is collected.
"We have had a lot of requests for help [from the US] to England, Australia and other countries, since long-haul flights are the most stressful of all. We are a service created by a mum, for other mums, so that flying doesn't have to be so stressful any more."
Registration is US$10 ($12.34) plus an hourly rate for the nanny. See nannyintheclouds.com.
- Sydney Morning Herald