If you’ve ever flown across the country with your children in tow, you’ve probably wished for some extra help. And if you’ve ever traveled in the vicinity of children in general, you’ve likely wished there were someone designated to keep them from screaming and making you miserable.
Enter Nanny in the Clouds, a California-based company which matches parents seeking in-flight childcare with experienced babysitters aboard the same flight. It’s free to sign up, but parents must pay a $10 fee to access the contact information of a potential sky-nanny. After that, the two parties must agree on a rate; the company suggests charging between $10 and $20 an hour. The sitter and the parents are also responsible for calling the airline and requesting adjacent seats if they so choose, as well as arranging a meeting place and establishing the extent of the care. Assistance could last for the full ticket counter-to-baggage claim stretch or just for the duration of the flight.
The company does not conduct background checks, but potential sitters must submit two verifiable references for interested parents to read. Then it’s up to the parents to conduct interviews and any additional research. Currently, sitters and parents can only search by flight number, which could be a major shortcoming. Thousands of flights crisscross the skies each day, so it seems it would take a decent dose of serendipity to pair eligible sitters with interested parents on the same flight. The company has said plans to search by city pairings are in the works. If search options are indeed broadened, the venture just might take off.