Business Travel can be lonely, exhausting, and frustrating, but occasionally we experience moments of beauty, or of human kindness, and it’s those moments that keep us going from one to the next. Here are five of those true-life uplifting stories of women helping women on the road.
- Spontaneous Collaboration
While walking through LAX recently, writer Beth Bornstein Dunnington observed a pregnant mother with three children, including a baby and a toddler — a boy about 18-months-old, she estimated — in the midst of a serious tantrum. Mom was in the midst of a meltdown. Or vice-versa.
In a Facebook post that became widely shared, Bornstein Dunnington recounted what happened next: “The women in the terminal, not women who knew each other, approached and surrounded her and the little boy and we knelt down and formed a circle around them. I sang ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’ to the little boy,” she wrote.
“One woman had an orange that she peeled, one woman had a little toy in her bag that she let the toddler play with, another woman gave the mom a bottle of water. Someone else helped the mom get the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and give it to him. Only women approached.”
The moment passed, and the good samaritans went their separate ways. Bornstein Dunnington, who has written for TV and documentaries, went on “Good Morning America.”
“We didn’t even get each other’s names, or talk about it afterwards,” she said on the show. “And, honestly, it felt significant in that it was women who got up to help.”
- The Great Gate Agent
Sometimes the worst can bring out the best in people. Peggy Uhle was relaxing in her seat, awaiting takeoff from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio. Suddenly, she was asked leave the plane, no reason given.
“I figured I was on the wrong plane,” she told thedenverchannel.com. “The gate agent told me to check in at the desk and when I did she told me to call my husband.”
It was terrible news. Her 24-year-old son in Denver had suffered a head injury in an accident and was in a coma. Rather than merely witness the unfolding drama, the Southwest gate agent took immediate action. She sent Uhle to a private waiting area, booked her on the next flight to Denver free of charge and re-routed her luggage and made sure she had lunch. Later, Uhle said, she got a call from Southwest asking how her son was doing. He has since recovered.
- Book a Flight, Help a Cause
Megan Maloney was 11 when her father started a new travel site. Saddened, angered and inspired by the loss of several family members to cancer, she asked if there was any way the new site could help raise money to fight the disease.
This was in 2008 and Charity Pro Travel was soon born. Then the recession took hold and the project went on hiatus. But a successful re-launch has things up and running again. The organization donates up to 50 percent of its booking commissions to a charity of the customer’s choice.
The re-launch was facilitated by Charity Pro Travel partnering with a friend of the Maloneys, Keith Hudson, the CEO of Hudson Ministries and the father of pop star Katy Perry. The team created a partnership with Priceline to get the organization further exposure.
“Everyone travels — online travel is a $160 billion business — imagine all the good we could do,” Megan told the Galesburg (Ill.) Register-Mail. “So, why not use Charity Pro Travel?
- One Woman Can Make A Difference
Kesha Bernard was seated on an early morning Alaska Airlines flight in Seattle waiting for a delayed takeoff when she and other passengers couldn’t help but notice, or hear, the predicament of a mother of three. Two of the kids, a baby and a three-year-old, were wailing away and generally carrying on.
But while others were acting out their displeasure in passive or aggressive forms, Bernard acted, period. The mother of two got up and asked if the beleaguered mom needed some help. She readily accepted, and soon the kids settled down. Bernard, who actively promoted what she did and became a viral sensation, posted on Facebook (among other things), “Be nice and considerate… How we can ignore a human in distress beyond me. Please be kind. Please be considerate. Help one another…it makes everything easier.”
- “Lady Bro” to the Rescue
After washing her hands in the ladies room at Calgary International Airport, Carlee Field took this photo:
(photo credit: Little Things)
An unidentified woman wrote, “None of the tampon vending machines work in this area so I was forced to buy this $15 box from Relay. Not acceptable! Please take one if you need one.”
Carlee, who referred to the woman as “Lady Bro,” posted the picture on Reddit, where it quickly gained momentum. Other women shared similar stories. The airport soon refilled the machines and got Relay to lower the price to $6.25. That’s still considerably more than at Wal-Mart and other retailers, but considering typical airport inflation, it’s a far better deal than before.