I was under the supposition that by leaving England I was leaving behind its vagaries and virtues. And though I’ll miss the Beeb, logical road systems and PG Tips, I’d imagined a fond farewell to the many fouls of English customer service.

We’d not even left the runway however before being reminded that for the next 10 or so hours we were at the service of British Airways.

A Geordie voice crackled over the tanoy.

“This is Dean, your flight service manager,” it said. “Can I just say, it’s very difficult to do our job when yous lot stand in the isles.

“And another thing,” he continued. “There are 208 passengers and 208 meals. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that some of you might not get the right kind. Can I just apologise now?”

And with the pre-emptive apologies of the British Airways cabin crew we were ready, more than ever, to take off.

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