I don't know about you but I am just writhing in my chair in anticipation of the announcement of the 2007 Airport of the Year Award. Will Singapore's Changi run away with it again, or is there room in our hearts for a newcomer?
I know it's too late to nominate but I believe the gong should go to the teeny tiny gem that is Sumburgh Airport, the bustling hub of the Shetland Isles.
It may lack the razzle dazzle of your Heathrows or LAXes with its crumbling high school looks and absence of restaurants, Duty Free or vibrating massage chairs, but Sumburgh would charm the pants off the most hardened traveller.
– Instead of the usual fast food monoliths, Sumburgh has a cosy cafeteria with a wholesome K-Mart style, with fresh scones and traybakes made by the local hotel. There's even a real live bloke frying up eggs and bacon and black pudding, ready to plop onto a fat bread roll for your dining pleasure.
– The Hotel makes sandwiches for the outbound flights too; so going home feels like a jolly picnic. No dodgy pretzels here!
– The normal procedure for returning a hire car involves a surly bastard inspecting your vehicle with a magnifying glass and questioning every scratch. But at Sumburgh Airport there's no one waiting – there's just a little slot in the office window for you to chuck the keys into.
– Old red tractors at work!
– Instead of warnings about illegal parking or unattended luggage, the only announcement we heard over the airport PA was, "Attention ladies and gentleman, if you are the owner of a wee powder blue Nissan Micra, you've left your lights on!"