Heathrow Terminal 3 is not a happy airport, either, even though it handles only scheduled flights. "Is it always this chaotic?" I asked the poor chap whose job it was to shepherd travellers through the shambles resulting from the collapse of a tunnel being dug for the express rail link. "It'll be like this at least until December," was the cheery response. But by the time you have battled through the labyrinthine queues, Richard Branson may give you cause to smile. He has named his latest Boeing 747 "Tubular Belle". This is more than just a poor pun on the name of Mike Oldfield's album - it is recognition by Mr Branson that the success of the simplistic euphonies of Tubular Bells created the wealth that led to the creation of Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Mr Branson has since expanded his empire to include a large slice of Britain's rail network. The Manchester-to-London run is one of his acquisitions, but given its punctuality record, the name he has chosen for one of the locomotives is particularly apt. It's called "Mission: Impossible".Reuse content