Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tea and biscuits for all arrivals

Every person flying into Britain will be offered a free cup of tea and a biscuit in an ambitious, if eccentric, plan to make the country more cheerful.

The hope is that tourists, and travellers returning from holidays, will be able to banish dark thoughts of a delayed flight, poor weather, and global financial meltdown if confronted with a free cup of English Breakfast tea and a plate of Jammie Dodgers.

The man behind the idea is Mark Price, the managing director of Waitrose.

He has persuaded airports operator BAA to run a week-long trial in November at Terminal 5, offering 5,000 cups a day to travellers in the arrivals hall. Visit Britain – the tourism agency – has agreed to back his campaign, which could see all airports across the UK offering the traditional British mix of milky tea and quirky biscuits in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Price said: "What could be more welcoming that a cuppa and jammie dodger or Garibaldi? When everyone seems so miserable about the economy, I am sure a cup of tea would put things in perspective."

Before the plan goes ahead, Waitrose needs to decide which style of biscuit they will offer to in-bound travellers. "I am very fond of a Garibaldi, or bourbon, but neither is a very good dunker."

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