REGRETS, I have a few. And one of them is the description I gave in these pages two years ago of a monthly publication that specialised in cheap flights. 'The best source of fares,' I wrote, 'is Dann's Digest, which is to air travel what Glass's Guide is to the motor trade.' I do not know who Dann was, nor how his digest began, but at the time it was a comprehensive listing of discount tickets to everywhere, an Aarhus-to-Zurich guide to bucket shops. My commendation proved to be the kiss of death - issues became increasingly sporadic, and several readers wrote to complain of losing money on subscriptions to the magazine, which was based in Sussex.

Last year a piece of junk mail arrived, advertising something called The Airfares Guide. A familiar quote, 'The best source of fares', attributed to the Independent, was used to describe the magazine, whose address was in Chichester. The idea was similar, but this was only quarterly and half the size of Dann's. Since this was a different publication, surely the quote must have been from another source?

'No, it's yours', said the publisher, Richard Butler, when I called him. He gave a contorted explanation about how The Airfares Guide was related to Dann's Digest, and said that someone from the Independent (he couldn't say who) agreed that his company could use the quote. I asked him to desist.

Still the junk mail keeps coming, making me feel like a misquoted theatre critic. The latest 'best source of fares' emanates from a P O Box in Southampton. And the latest dispatch is an invoice, addressed to me at The Independent, for a subscription I never took out. Whoever you are, please stop persecuting me and misleading the public.

These days air fares are so fluid there is no substitute for phone- bashing: get on to the agencies that advertise in these pages and select the best deal. The best source of fares, says the Independent, is the Independent. And you can quote me on that.

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