Travel Agent Communications

PED 06/08/2014

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Sichuan Airlines Now Accepts Visa and MasterCard

Effective with sales issued on Monday, April 28, 2014 (PED 050414), Sichuan Airlines (876/3U) started accepting Visa and MasterCard as forms of payment through ARC for Sabre users only. Other GDSs will be able to accept Visa and MasterCard as forms of payment through ARC in the near future.

Boliviana Airlines Now Accepts Visa and MasterCard

Effective with sales issued on Monday, June 9, 2014 (PED 061514), Boliviana Airlines (930/OB) will accept Visa and MasterCard as forms of payment through ARC.

First-Time Passengers or Unsolicited Corporate Accounts Could Be High Risk

Never rely on the credit card approval/authorization code to authenticate the validity of credit cards from unknown customers.

A man continues to contact travel agents stating that he represents a company (for example: talent or engineering company) in need of a travel agent to fulfill requests for airline ticketing, found the contacted agency in the phone book or was referred by one of your customers and wants to purchase an airline ticket. Sometimes the first ticket requested is a benign domestic ticket, e.g., ATL to MIA, or JFK to LAX. These types of tickets are the "straw" purchase. After the straw purchase, the gentlemen may call or email again requesting additional tickets for company employees or family members. These tickets are for international departures—often using more than one credit card.

Once you become suspicious of the number of tickets, credit cards being used and/or the international departures, it may be too late, as you later discover that all the credit cards have been compromised. One travel agency came to that conclusion after it had issued more than $160,000 in compromised credit card tickets; more than $400,000 in compromised credit cards has been attributable to these schemes.

What to consider as high risk:

  • Non-local company approaching you to do international tickets for immediate departure
  • Third-party transactions (caller/emailer/passenger and cardholder are not the same)
  • The company representative has an email account from a free email provider, e.g., yahoo, etc., instead of a company domain
  • International departures (mostly African and South American airports, i.e., ACC, ABJ, LOS, CMN, BOG, LIM, EZE, GRU) and high dollar tickets
  • Use of multiple credit cards

Consider using ARC's Red Flags list to determine the risk before you issue tickets. To find the Red Flags list, click the Best Practice tab on the Fraud Prevention space on My ARC's landing page. Provide a copy of the Red Flags document to each of your frontline staff, including full- and part-time employees and independent contractors.

If you suspect such a scheme, you can contact ARC's fraud prevention team at any time at 855-358-0393 or


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TASF Tip of the Month: Chargeback Notices from ARC

Q: Do I need to respond if I receive a Retrieval Letter from the TASF Department?
A: Yes, if it's a valid charge and a refund is not due to your client. If it is a valid charge, you should also contact your client to explain the charge. Many times the cardholder has simply forgotten about the charge. They will then need to contact their credit card company to withdraw their dispute.

If a refund is due to your customer, all you need to do is process the refund in your next report and then notify the TASF department. We'll contact the credit card company and inform them that you have refunded the charge in order to avoid the dispute from becoming a chargeback.

Tip of the Week: Unable to Find a Previous Tip of the Week?

Did you know that each Tip of the Week published in the weekly Travel Agent Communication (TAC) is stored in the Tip of the Week online library? This archive is useful when you can't find a previous tip or can't remember when that tip was published.

There are three ways you can access the Tip of the Week online library:

  1. From, click on Customer Support, Resources and then select Tip of the Week – Agents. You will see the Tip of the Week list, separated by year. Each tip is listed by PED date and subject. A partial sample is shown below.

    Tip Of The Week

  2. Another way to access the list is from the Travel Agent Communications (TAC) archive on Just click on Customer Support and then Travel Agent Communications. When the list opens, select the PED and that week's Tip of the Week is listed as the last topic of that TAC.
  3. The final way to access the Tip of the Week archive is directly from your My ARC home page. Once you are logged into My ARC, you will see a Tip of the Week block listing the last five Tips of the Week. You can select any of those links or select More to go directly to the full archive.

If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Care Center at 855-816-8003 or We're more than happy to assist you.

ARC Customer Care Center | Tel. (703) 816-8003 | Fax (703) 816-8039 |

ARC Corporate Communications | Tel. (703) 816-8525 | Fax (703) 816-8168 |