Like many of my colleagues I’ve been en route to the Geneva motor show today, but I didn’t expect my first car-related conversation to start quite as early as the self check-in desk of Heathrow Airport ’s Terminal Five.

I’m a big fan of those efficient self check-in machines that stand sentry-like in the terminal building. If you’re organised and have your passport and flight booking reference number to hand, you can check-in, negotiate security and be on your merry way to WH Smith to shelf-surf for car magazines within minutes.

However, a sub-clause in the law of sod obviously dictates that the bit of paper with your flight booking reference number written on it gets shuffled to the bottom of your holdall (even if you purposefully place it on the top before you leave your house).