millionsofmiles – 30/05/2013 15:01 GMT
If you read the BBC report, the plane flew back to LGW because the pilots were still within their hours whereas the cabin crew were out of theirs. Presumably, they dead-legged it back to LGW as well.
Having nearly had a comparable experience at VCE when the inbound was well delayed, I can attest that at VCE pretty much everything shuts up come 23:00. Perhaps BA might like to think a bit around this experience and their late night LGW/VCE/LGW scheduling if hotel availability either in Venice or on the mainland is so tight – particularly in the Summer tourist season.