British Airways has been having another of their now-annual summer personnel catastrophes. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the airline. Partly, that’s due to their overpriced, surly service; the principal reason, however, can be summed up in a single word: Heathrow.

I have never encountered a more charmless, dingy, inconvenient, poorly-administered, overcrowded, overpriced, incoherently signposted, badly-staffed airport anywhere else in the world. I remember my shock—and shame—after returning from a year living in Japan only to arrive at that miserable excuse for an airport.

But I’ve actually been relatively lucky in my dealings with BA and Heathrow. Someone I know came back from Georgia (the country საქართველო, not one of the USA) on a British Airways flight the other day.

After landing, they were stuck on the plane, in the middle of a field, for seven hours. They couldn’t disembark, because there was no one to drive the stairs. Regulations prevented the crew from opening the doors to get fresh air, regulations that also inhibited them from serving some of the alcoholic beverages on board. As a result, they spent seven hours sitting on a landed aircraft, with no food or drink, and without any information about when they would get off.

When they eventually escaped back to the terminal, sans luggage, all they received from BA was a piece of paper apologising for the inconvenience.

The world’s favourite airline my arse!