On Friday I returned from a very enjoyable week in Brussels. Hard work, challenging customer and miscellaneous technical issues. However, unusually, I had the pleasure of the company of a few of colleagues so we were able to have a chat over a meal and share a few excellent beers together.

Over the past five years, I have visited so many European airports, that they all tend to blur into one. However, certain key characteristics soon reminded me that I was indeed back in Brussels.

The lenghty queue for the 123 taxis to pass the roadworks to reach the set down area. The massive queue to clear passport control. The cursory glance at your passport from the policeman followed by a grunt. The long and winding road to security. The same officious, self-satisfied, arrogant security staff. Unfortunately, this queue doesn’t actually move as crew (acceptable) and security staff, cleaners, shop assistants (less so) keep jumping the queue because they are so important.

The short flight itself is uneventful enough although there is a little turbulence on the descent into London. Then, as I fold my tray and return my seat to the upright position, fear is struck into the very core of my heart as I witness something no-one should ever have to witness on an aircraft.

My immediate neighbour reaches into here rucksack for a bottle of orange Powerade. She stands up and screams ‘For the glory of Allah !’ and switches her digital watch to UK time. No, no - only joking.

Suddenly and without any warning, the young lady next to me reaches for the ‘Call’ button with her left hand while simultaneously extracting the ‘Sick Bag, unfolding it and skillfully placing it under her mouth.

I respond by edging away, averting my gaze and covering my knees and expensive Pierre Cardin suit with various sections of the Daily Mail. I note an interesting story about fashions for the summer on my right thigh.

The BA stewardess comes promptly and is kind and reassuring. A glass of iced water arrives and she dispenses some magnificent advice on coping with motion sickness: ‘Take your jacket off to stay cool, keeping sipping the water and oh - don’t forget to breathe.’

Once we clear the cloud cover, the flight is smooth once again and the potential crisis is averted.

We land at Terminal 5 and park on a remote stand. Unfortunately, the young lady is unable to disembark, get some fresh air and rush to the nearest lavatory. After 10 minutes, the smooth, well-spoken co-pilot announces the bad news:

‘I’m awfully sorry, ladies and gentlemen but there will be a slight delay. We are just waiting for some steps and buses to be brought to the aircraft but BAA groundstaff have been practising for the tomorrow’s arrival of George W. Bush and there are now significant delays as a result.’

After 15 minutes, no-one screams with delight or initiates mock applause at the sight of a single bus. We are British, you see. The steps arrive 5 minutes later so half the passengers are free to disembark. But not us, sitting in rows 15-28.

I contemplate brandishing a bottle of Lemon Powerade and and screaming ‘Take me out of here to the land of Heinz 57 vestal virgins. Now.’ While this might accelerate my exit from my plane, it might leave me with some explaining to do.

Finally, after 35 mins, we descend the steps. The co-pilot was indeed correct. BAA have been busy practising for Bush’s arrival. There are eggs, rotten tomatoes and discarded placards strewn across the tarmac. I pause briefly to kiss the ground before boarding the bus. I am left with the pungent after-taste of rotten egg in my mouth.

How ironic, given his record, that the outgoing President refuses to enter the UK at a military base and instead chooses to bring chaos to Heathrow just to get his ego stroked.

We now enter the Stargate style timewarp in order to enter the main Terminal 5 building. Well, it must be a timewarp because on my outbound journey, I noticed mutiple signs containing the dire warning: ‘Please do not enter Satellite B unless your flight departs from ‘B’ gate. It will take (at least) 40 mins to return.’

Which is weird as it took me just 5 minutes, using the timewarp.