Kathie Nunley, a psychologist who traveled more than 100 days last year, was on the road one day in 2002 when she got news about her son, Keller, then 9.

“They called me on the cellphone from the state fair, where Keller had won a blue ribbon in the art show,” says the 47-year-old Amherst, N.H., mother of four children who range in age from 8 to 21. “I was standing in the Cincinnati airport and had to share my excitement with the agent in the Delta Crown Room. I went in the ladies room and cried. It hit me how sad it was that I was sharing this moment with an airline agent rather than my own son.”

STORY: How to keep in touch with kids

Nearly every veteran business traveler has a similar tale of important family moments that they’ve missed by being away — a child’s first step, a birthday, a school play or a milestone anniversary. It’s a topic that psychologists and sociologists say hasn’t been widely researched, despite a boom in the number of business fliers — including many more women — during the past few decades.

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