For women going places

The Flight Before Christmas (2010)


'Twas the flight before Christmas and all through the hub

Woman Road Warriors with laptops had gone to the club.

The shoes and the purses were stacked in the bins.

Experienced flyers stripped down to their skins.

The passengers were crowded all snug in their seats

with visions of coffee, maybe Starbucks or Peet's.

And my seatmate with ear buds and I in my wrap,

had just settled our brains for an all-flight long nap.

The lights dimmed and all power came to a stop.

The hubbub had ceased, you could hear a pin drop.

The luggage was heaped and sat dead on the belt.

Long faces, short tempers, you could see how they felt.

Emergency lighting reflected the glare

of ice on the wings of planes going nowhere.

The crowds were on edge, gate attendants on guard,

this was not their idea of a quaint Christmas card.

We'll be trapped at this airport and miss our connection,

no Christmas surprises, no Kwanzaa confection.

When out on the runway there arose such a clatter,

I leaned to the window to see what-now was the matter?

And what to my wondering eyes should appear

but a turbo-charged sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

The driver was short with a round little belly;

he was just like the Santa you see on the telly.

He stroked his beard twice and his eyes caught the light.

I knew in my heart things would soon be all right.

Santa scoped out the problem and said not a word

and that's when the miracle began to occur.

The reindeer that recently had been to-ers and fro-ers

transformed themselves into super snow-blowers.

On Dasher, on Prancer, on Dancer and Vixen

then Donner and Blitzen decided to mix in.

Comet and Cupid both made the snow fly.

By the time it was settled the runway was dry.

The force of their effort created such heat

that the ice from the wings melted off at their feet.

Snow and ice was dispatched with a speed that was frightening

and the power restored in a flash much like lightning.

The TSA staffers had burst into song.

Those security lines were now whizzing along!

The air was alive with holiday cheer

on account of the man and his first class reindeer.

Ah Santa, I thought, I knew you could do it.

Once again, you've provided true Christmas spirit.

And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good flight!

May the Holiday Spirit Give you Wings

and Compassion for your Fellow Travelers.


*Special thanks to airport reporter Deborah Williams

Share |

Workout Wonder: How to Stay Fit on the Road


Working out on the road takes even more of a commitment than when you are at home. You have to lug your workout gear in your suitcase, find a safe place to exercise and then deal with the sweaty clothes afterward.

Now Westin Hotels and Resorts is trying to make it a little easier on you. The Wall Street Journal reports that the hotel chain is offering a free program to loan guests fitness shoes and clothing. Women will get Capri pants, shirt, sports bra, socks and New Balance shoes. The clothes will be washed with the same process used on the towels and sheets, according to Westin. The shoes will be cleaned and insoles replaced as well. Even with those promises – will you wear gear someone else sweated in?

Regardless of whose clothes you wear – we have some tips to help you get moving on the road.

Most major hotels provide access to fitness facilities and many are doing upgrades as the demand increases. You may be charged for using them; find out when you check in.

Almost all hotel health clubs have some type of aerobic equipment, free weights and resistance machines. Also check to see if classes are offered such as yoga, Pilates, or kick-boxing. If exercise is priority, be sure to ask about facilities and equipment before you make your reservation.

If you’re a member of a health club at home, it may have a reciprocating arrangement with a club in the city you’re visiting. This could provide an alternative if your hotel’s health club doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

If you are a runner, ask the concierge or front desk for safe routes to follow. If you’re running after dusk or before dawn, wear light clothing or have some type of reflective device that’s visible to others. Also bring some type of identification with you.

If you don’t want to brave the health club or the busy streets, another option is to do an in-room workout. If you have a personal trainer at home, you can develop a routine that works in a hotel room and still gets your heart rate up. Another option is to download a video on your smartphone or iPod or iPad or bring an exercise DVD. If your room doesn’t have a DVD player, you can request one from the front desk. Some hotels will even bring exercise equipment to your room.

Whatever the method, I’ve found that exercising makes me feel better and relieves the stress of business travel. I hope it does for you too.

See you on the road,

Kathy Ameche


Share |

Airplane Seat Etiquette: To Recline or Not?


When you're on an airplane - do you recline your seat or keep it in an upright position throughout the flight? What about when the person in front of you reclines his or her seat? Do you accept it as part of flying or get annoyed and voice your displeasure?

According to, on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Denver, a male passenger got so upset that the man in front of him reclined his seat, he shook the man's seat and grabbed his ear, knocking the man's glasses off his face. When the plane landed in Denver, the man was arrested for assault.

Now, most people probably wouldn't go that far to protest someone reclining a seat. Usually, you'd just roll your eyes and mumble derogatory statements under your breath. But it does raise the issue of right versus privilege. You paid for the seat, why shouldn't you be able to use it as you want? Or do you care about other passengers comfort in this day and age of cramped flights?

A true road warrior typically will ONLY recline her seat a little bit out of respect for the passenger behind her. Common courtesy goes a long way when flying and it's the obligation for both passengers to work on a solution.

I would love to hear your stories.

See you on the road,

Kathy Ameche

Share |

Review Runaround: Online Restaurant Reviews


When you’re in a new city and looking for some where to dine – where do you start? Who do you ask for recommendations? The concierge? Your friends or family? Locals you meet on the street? Online review sites?

Lately, it’s been online review sites for me, or in particular. I used them recently on trips to Baltimore, Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale.

I like to tell myself that checking a website takes the least amount of work (and I don’t have to bother anyone). But I’m pretty sure it’s taking much longer than stopping at the concierge desk on the way out of the hotel. But I’m using my smart phone so it has to be simpler, right? Not really, when you have to wade through a bunch of junk to find the gems.

My favorite reviews are the ones that go on and on about how bad the service, food and atmosphere are yet still give it 3-4 stars. Huh? Figuring out just how to read the reviews is an art in itself. You end up analyzing the reviewers – how many posts have they made, how many visits to this place; do they speak in restaurant terms or as regular Joes? What is their biggest complaint – hair in the soup or a table near the kitchen?

In Cleveland, I was looking for a breakfast place – nothing fancy just good inexpensive food. I remembered seeing a restaurant highlighted on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and looked it up. Holy cow – there were hundreds of reviews on Yelp, mostly negative. It seems the increased exposure had led to increased expectations and decreased quality.

So I was in a quandary. Go anyway or believe the reviews? We ended up taking the reviews to heart and trying another restaurant that had fewer reviews but many more were positive. However, that place turned out to be just mediocre to us. So you really can’t win, can you?

So what’s your tried and true method for finding a good place to eat on the road?

Road Reporter Vicki Zwart

Share |

LaGuardia Airport - Rated Worst, But Not By Me


Zagat’s annual airline survey is out and there are few surprises. In a survey of 8,000 travelers, Southwest came out as favorites in many categories including Best Check-in Experience, Best Luggage Policy and Best Value. Continental was the top overall winner among large domestic flights for premium service. And JetBlue claimed first place among large economy class carriers.

The survey also rates 30 U.S. airports. The top three are Portland International, Tampa International and Salt Lake City International. At the bottom? LaGuardia, followed closely by Miami International and LAX. LaGuardia had just 6.2 points out of a possible 30 making it its fourth consecutive last place finish.

I just spent some time in LaGuardia. I LIKE this airport for its convenience to Manhattan. Getting out to JFK or Newark is an adventure unto itself. Will the cab driver know the way? Will there be traffic? Silly question really, there’s always traffic.

Ah, but LaGuardia is reminiscent of another time. You can almost picture the Pan Am Clippers flying over the Sound. Or if you weren’t around in 1952 when the last one flew you can always rent “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” LaGuardia was also home to the first American Airlines Admiral’s Club in 1939.

In April of this year it was announced that plans would be made to demolish and rebuild the whole airport. Can’t wait to see what they come up with.

See you on the road.

Kathy Ameche


Share |

The Thanksgiving Pat-Down That Wasn't


Remember when

- It was going to be long waits at security?

- Opt-Out Day at security?

So much for the upheaval with the new TSA security procedures the media reported. It appears all that occurred were a lot of anxious people who got to the airport in more than ample time only to encounter a non-event. I’m sure the airport vendors appreciated the additional customer purchases due to travelers trying to determine what to do with their extra time.

It has been reported that business people are opting out of traveling and the reasoning is because of the additional security procedures. Possibly. But how about air travel is fraught with fewer flight options, delays, charges for everything from baggage to changing a flight? Who wouldn’t opt out?

Lesson learned – blowing up a problem when it comes to national security isn’t helpful to anyone. Do procedures need to be reviewed? Yes. But can’t we take the issue out of the media?

See you on the road,

Kathy Ameche


Share |

Join our mailing list


back to top