A colleague of Insider's who covers the retail travel beat called an agent contact of hers on the afternoon of Nov. 12 to ask about United's just-announced pay cap on international bookings. "Why don't you just go away," said the agent to the reporter. "Every time you call, I get a fax and they cap my commissions."

Georges bites

Speaking of adversity and human resiliency: We were favored with lots of local comment during a post-storm inspection of some eastern Caribbean islands.

To wit:

"By Georges, we have survived and will all survive."
--Ministry of Tourism spokesman, St. Kitts

"Georges knocked us back a little, but we were not down for the count."
--Rodney Williams, director of tourism, Antigua

"This is the price we have to pay for living in Paradise."
--St. Eustatius hotelier

"Georges is the most unwelcome visitor we've ever had, sort of like that really distant relative you occasionally have to put up with at the holidays."
--San Juan taxi driver

"I'm too blessed to be stressed."
--St. Thomas resident

Build it & they will land

An investor from Ohio said he might build a hotel next to the DeLand (Fla.) Municipal Airport on International Speedway Boulevard. A spokesman for the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority said, "The location is a good one. It's only 15 minutes from the Daytona International Speedway. Pilots could taxi right up to the hotel and park next to where they're staying. We don't know of any other facility like it in the country." All well and good. But we're not sure DeLand Municipal is a place we'd like to be flying to on, say, Daytona 500 Weekend.


In a press release from El San Juan Hotel and Casino: "Go where the rich go, just don't go at the same time."

Happy returns!

The Republic Industries Automotive Group in Fort Lauderdale marked the birthdays on Nov. 12 of two of its key executives, Karen Beard and Robert Briggs. Beard on that day was elevated to president of Alamo Rent A Car, the first woman to hold such a high position in the car rental field, and Briggs was promoted to the same post at National Car Rental. What else do both have in common? Both have been working their way up in the industry for precisely 18 years. Note to our editor in chief: Insider's birthday comes when the moon is in the seventh house.

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