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.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI