Several years ago, I was on holiday in the southern states of America. As the end of the holiday drew near, the weather forecasts started to become a little worrying.

The part of America we were staying in was prone to tornadoes and tropical storms and I really didn’t fancy flying in weather like that.

Our journey back to Manchester involved us getting an internal flight from North Carolina to Philadelphia and we only had a couple of hours between our flight arriving and the international one taking off for the UK.

So on the day we were due to leave, we set off in glorious sunshine for the 100-mile drive to the airport, hoping our fears of bad weather were groundless.

We stopped for lunch at a roadside diner and while we were enjoying some good old Southern hospitality, it started raining.

Undaunted, we pressed on but the closer we got to the airport, the worse the weather became.

By the time we dropped off the hire car, we were in the middle of a full-blown thunderstorm, lightning, howling winds, the works.

Needless to say, by the time we got to the check-in desk, it was chaos.

Flights were being cancelled and delayed and we were bluntly told that if our flight actually left, it certainly wasn’t going to leave on time and we would miss our connection to Manchester so they wouldn’t let us fly.

And that was that. No flight and nowhere to stay.

It is quite a daunting feeling to be ‘stranded’ in a foreign country and so my heart goes out to all those people who booked their holidays with Thomas Cook and who now find themselves similarly stranded.

My story has something of a happier ending. We were travelling with a ‘full service’ airline that seemed to take its responsibilities to its passengers quite seriously.

We were given some help to find a hotel for the night and were immediately booked on flights for the following day, including a free upgrade to business class for the trans-Atlantic leg of the journey.

We had deliberately chosen to originally fly back on a Friday in case of eventualities such as this (and to give us some time to get over jetlag) so the day’s delay meant we still arrived home at the weekend and didn’t lose any time off work.

Somehow I suspect those poor Thomas Cook customers won’t be getting the level of service we received. I wish them all the best.

While I’m on the subject of air travel, two stories caught my attention this week regarding our local airports.

The first was about an easyJet flight from Liverpool to Venice last week. Merseyside Police attended the airport last week after a ‘suspicious item’ was reported by airport staff.

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that officers attended John Lennon Airport this morning (Saturday, September 21) following reports of a suspicious item.

“At around 10.15am, a suspicious item was seen on a plane due to fly out of the airport, and the captain requested passengers disembark so that airline staff could search the plane as a precaution.

“No items that posed any risk to passengers were discovered and at around 11am they were allowed to re-board the flight, which is continuing its journey.”

And what was the suspicious item? Apparently it was nothing more dangerous than a sticker on one of the doors (yes, it was a sticker).

To be fair, the sticker, which is understood to have been found on the rear door, shows two guns and the words ‘Midlands Mujahideen’. Mujahideen refers to the term ‘for one engaged in Jihad’.

Yep, some stickers patently carry more of a threat than others. I’m of the school of thought that says the airline and police did exactly the right thing here.

But if Liverpool had its problems, Manchester Airport wasn’t without its drama either.

On Monday, there was a full-scale security alert with a bomb disposal unit called in. A suspicious package was destroyed in a ‘controlled explosion’, the airport’s transport hub was sealed off and the area was swarming with police.

It appears the alarm was raised when a man was seen running round the transport hub completely naked, waving his arms around (the report only says it was his arms waving, I have no evidence of anything else being waved).

If you are interested, pictures and a video of the naked man can be found on the internet.

In a happy(ish) ending, the man was arrested and taken to hospital for assessment and the package destroyed in the controlled explosion did not contain a ‘viable device’.

Now I’m no security expert, and I must stress I am guessing here, but I very much suspect the suspicious device contained a hoody, a pair of jeans and some underpants.

But what all these instances show is just how quickly air travel can be disrupted.

My advice: Stay at home, draw the curtains and make yourself a nice cup of tea and ask yourself if all this travelling malarkey is really worth it.