Not much time for travel news in February, given that its fleeting
28 days include a couple of presidents' birthdays and the
ever-popular Waitangi Day in New Zealand.
Nevertheless, a review of the month's newsy nuggets, divided
between hits and misses, includes:
Miss: The U.S. sinks to third place in
international tourism arrivals in 1998, supplanted by Spain, and is
now two spots behind France, the leader.
Hit: Agents bounce the smallest number of sales
drafts to ARC since 1984.
Miss: Canadian Airlines becomes the first
carrier in Canada to add a surcharge to its tickets.
Hit:Holland America Line's Peter McHugh tells
Travel Weekly that his company does not have "any plans" to change
its commission structure.
Miss:The president's proposed federal budget
includes new or higher user fees on air and cruise passengers.
Hit: BA retains 10% pay on economy class
bookings for agencies that it considers "distributors."
Miss:BA cuts base commissions on first class,
business class and Concorde tickets.
Hit:Prospective new entrant New Air Corp. files
for slots at Kennedy Airport.
Miss:Allied Pilots Association members engage
in a sickout, effectively crippling American Airlines.
Hit: U.S. Circuit Court Judge Joe Kendall finds
the pilots' group and two of its leaders in contempt of court,
effectively crippling the sickout.
Miss:American Express opts out of a bulk-fare
experiment in which it bought seats in advance on Continental's
code-share partner Virgin Atlantic.
Hit:Cunard says it will invest $38 million in
its three largest ships, including an $18 million refit of the
Queen Elizabeth 2.
Miss: A total of 291 traditional, full-service
agencies shut down in January, a record for any month since ARC
began tracking the statistic in 1994.