To the numerous reports by your readers of bad treatment they received at foreign airports, I would like to add the one suffered by my wife at Rome airport after a flight from Los Angeles, when she was about to board a domestic flight to her destination.
The Alitalia ticket agent told my wife, in very rude terms as if she was trying to sneak on board the plane, that her ticket was no good for that flight. He then proceeded to give my wife 10 of the worst minutes of her life, refusing to listen to her explanation that the ticket had to be good since it had been issued by TWA. And then, for no apparent reason, he changed his mind and let her board the plane.
When we wrote Alitalia about the incident, it took them six months to investigate it and even when they answered, admitting that my wife had a perfectly valid ticket, they had not one word of apology for the behavior of their incompetent and rude agent.
The American tourist must be prepared to deal with people to whom the word service has a completely different meaning than it has for him or her.