I was so busy posting up stuff about champagne over at The Fat Expat that I totally forgot to post this, although I had promised myself I would.
Flying back to LalaLand from LHR, we'd checked in and were going through security when I went to put my mobile in my laptop bag before going through the scanner. A creature of habit, I always put my mobile in the laptop bag for security. Not this time.
There was no mobile. I'd left it in the hire car. Now I don't know about you, but my mobile is relatively important to me. I once got a whole Campaign column out of the day I forgot my mobile. To fly back to work sans mobile was not an option. I had to get it back. We called the 'phone, but no answer. There was only one thing for it.
The nice bloke at immigration wouldn't let me just unleave the UK. I had to arrive again. So I left an exasperated Sarah and some mildly resigned hand baggage and made my way to flight transfers, where they said I could go to visit the UK again. Then I had to go the wrong way through a lot of scanners and amused security people. And then, finally to arrivals, where I waited at the bus stop for an Avis bus to turn up.
Now I was perfectly aware of my chances. Who in the world would expect to get that phone back from a hire car checker in the world's busiest airport? I stood, mentally kicking myself until I finally, three hours later (ten minutes, really) saw a red bus hove into view.
I explained. The driver got on the radio, called his control, who went on a quick search and then confirmed they had indeed got the mobile and would send it over on the next bus. No messing around, thoroughly pleasant and helpful, efficient and generally wonderful. And twenty minutes later I had my phone and was back at departures in plenty of time to do some last minute shopping and have a couple of swifties with herself.
Which, along with their excellent, flexible and intelligent customer service throughout our complicated holiday car arrangements, is why I'll be using Avis from now on.
It's also why I went to the UK twice this summer - and managed to leave twice in an hour!