History repeats

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The British are coming, and they're cutting commissions. British Airways reduced base commissions for U.S. agents on first class, business class and Concorde tickets, and it made permanent its two-tiered pay-for-performance structure. In response, U.S. agents are reportedly hatching a plan to throw crates of tea into Boston Harbor.

In its report on airline alliances, the General Accounting Office concluded that alliances "may have beneficial and harmful effects on consumers." Moreover, the GAO might or might not do something about it either before or after lunch, which could be a sandwich or a salad.

California is launching a new advertising campaign that will advance the notion that people who live in California are having an awfully good time and that they "have a unique way of approaching life that is desirable to others." Separately, New York is considering adopting a new marketing tagline: "Fine, go to California. See if we care."

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