At the end of many international trips, U.S. business travelers are likely to have wistful memories, not only of their destinations but of the airport experiences abroad.
My journey to Australia was no exception. First the famously good temperament of most people encountered there, second the orderliness of public institutions. This, in a country whose coastal areas otherwise resemble much of the U.S. in so many ways.
Then comes the experience upon return to America—instant episodes of disrespect for others (Did you really need to race two places ahead in line? Could you have thought twice about getting on an airline with a hacking cough? ) followed by the encounters with ICE and TSA at the airport. If competitiveness in international business is an increasing worry, then someone should intervene to correct for the bad vibes these agencies send out, to citizens and visitors alike. No wonder their business is so often done in joyless basements and choked corridors.