Top of the Pops

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The U.S. got bumped down the international-arrivals chart in 1998, coming in third behind France, which, like the previous year, was the No. 1 destination, and Spain, which surged to the No. 2. spot. I sensed this was coming, ever since salsa replaced ketchup as the most popular condiment.

According to American Express' 1999 Trends and Forecasts, business travelers can expect to pay more this year for everything, from air to car to hotel. Despite projections of low jet-fuel prices, the average business air fare will rise 3% to 4%, the report said. Jet-fuel prices go down, distribution costs are obviously lower because the major airlines slashed commissions... yet the average business fare is expected to go up. The airlines couldn't possibly raise fares in light of those cost cuts, right? I mean, there must be a flaw in Amexco's data, right? Gotta be...

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