Corporate Flight Attendant Training 101: In-Flight Child Care Excellence

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Corporate Flight Attendant Training 101: In-Flight Child Care Excellence

This is a post by guest author Dietmar Duller, founder and course leader of Training Solutions. Dietmar was asked to contribute to this blog because of his expertise in business aviation flight attendant training in the Middle East and Europe. Any thoughts expressed below are entirely Dietmar’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.

Children are frequent guests on business aircraft, and we should always make sure that flight attendants are properly trained in child care. This will ensure that children and their parents receive the best service during flights. Also, it is an excellent way to retain those clients for future trips, as they know they will receive excellent service from the flight attendants.

1. How can I make the flight very special for children?

It’s important to make the cabin child-friendly and organized with a good selection of age-suitable toys, books, and DVDs. Always try to have onboard educational books and DVDs, which will keep children entertained and promote learning at the same time. You can easily show you care about children by setting aside time to read to them, play a game, or watch a DVD. If children are watching a DVD or listening to music while adults are present, you might want to have headphones for the adults.

Remember, children’s behavior will greatly influence the parents’ in-flight experience, so keeping children happy is of the utmost importance.

2. Can I give children sweets on a business jet?

Never give children any kind of sweets, unless you have been given permission from one of the parents or the nanny. Children love sweets, but many owners of business aircraft have very clear guidelines when it comes to raising their children and do not allow their children to eat sweets. You might also consider removing all sweets from the aircraft if you are traveling alone with children, if this is necessary, so there are no issues of the children having something they are not permitted.

3. Are children allowed in the galley?

I know many corporate flight attendants who welcome children into the galley, as it can be a favorite place for children. Children may enjoy helping prepare meals and drinks for their parents, nannies, and themselves.

4. Are there any considerations when serving children and setting the table?

Children are often hungry; therefore, some bread, rolls, or crackers should be given to them as soon as possible after boarding. Always give them small knives, forks, and spoons, and have small glasses without a stem ready. Drinking straws are also recommended, and a children’s menu with special names for the food items being served can work miracles in ensuring that they eat well. If possible, always serve the children before the parents, as this will allow the parents to enjoy their meal and have time for themselves.

5. What food items are dangerous for children?

Some dangerous food items for children under the age of four are:

  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chunks of meat or cheese
  • Whole grapes
  • Hard or sticky candy
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut butter
  • Raw vegetable sticks
  • Apple or other fruit chunks
  • Chewing gum

In order to prevent children from choking, corporate flight attendants should always ensure that children eat at the table, or at least sitting down. Children should never run, walk, or lie down with food items in their mouth.

6. What food allergies do children commonly have?

Common food allergies for children are:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts and other tree nuts
  • Seafood

As these food items represent 90% of all food allergies in children, special attention needs to be paid to them. Corporate flight attendants should ensure that a child’s profile is always up-to-date.

7. Bedtime for children. Anything I should consider?

Children will often sleep on a business aircraft, so items that may be dangerous for them are balloons, coins, marbles, toys with small parts, toys that can be squeezed to fit entirely into the child’s mouth, small balls, and pen or marker caps.

And finally

Always remember that children are your clients of the future and may own their own business aircraft one day. Corporate flight attendants should never underestimate the influence that the children have on their parents’ decisions and always make sure that the children have a fantastic in-flight experience.

Questions?

If you have questions about this article or corporate flight attendant training, you are welcome to e-mail me at dietmar.duller@trainingsolutions.ch at any time.

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About

Dietmar Duller is the founder and course leader of Swiss-based corporate flight attendant training specialization company Training Solutions. Since 2007 Training Solutions has helped over 900 flight attendants from 50 countries participate in more than 135 training courses all over Europe, in the Middle East, and in Northern and Western Africa. Dietmar can be contacted through his company site or at dietmar.duller@trainingsolutions.ch.

This guest author’s views are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.

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