I mentioned earlier how the travel day began yesterday, at the only working socket in a corridor at LAX.
Because of luggage complications, it turned into an unexpectedly long day and night en route. Here is how it all ended, as I am checking article-revisions in the baggage area at that epitome of elegant travel, Dulles airport. The other sockets in the vicinity had been covered over or disabled, as had those on the plane itself so that my computer battery was dead.
Hmm, for some reason I can't quite pin down, I am reminded of a recent international survey of airport quality around the world, which found that U.S. airports held exactly zero of the top 25 places in the rankings. [Update: as Obama pointed out just this moment in his press conference.] America's best is the (actually nice) Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky regional airport, at number 30. Next is Denver, at 36. Neither LAX nor Dulles, respectively the beginning and ending of my air journey yesterday, shows up among the top 100 airports for overall convenience, comfort, efficiency, and so on. I wonder why that could be.
More on the glamorous life saga here. And before you write in, yes I do realize that I am extremely fortunate to have spent so many years in a line of work I love -- including what seem like the years spent sitting on airport floors. I even encourage the adventurous young to consider this career path.
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James Fallows is a staff writer for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the new book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which has been a New York Times best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.