As the place degenerated into the world's busiest international traffic jam, when work on the new Heathrow Express affected existing buildings, one reader reached the airport just as his flight was due to leave. He was relieved to find there was a 45-minute delay.
Air India, however, felt unable to get him and his hand luggage on board, citing the fact that check-in was 150 minutes before the official departure time. The cost to him of a cancelled ticket was pounds 75. Had this been after 1 November, would he have got the pounds 10 departure tax back on the grounds that he had failed to depart?