Travel Agent Communications

PED 12/27/2015

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ARC Holiday Information

ARC's offices will be closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016, in observance of Christmas and New Year's Day.

Holiday Sales Report Submission
Weekly sales reports for PED 12/20/15 must be authorized by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 22, and weekly sales reports for PED 12/27/15 must be authorized by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 29.

Holiday Ticket Modification/Voiding Schedule
The GDS void/IAR reconciliation dates for tickets issued on Thursday, December 24 will be extended until Monday, December 28, and the GDS void/IAR reconciliation dates for tickets issued on Thursday, December 31 will be extended until Monday, January 4.

Emergency Document Orders During Christmas
The RR Donnelley warehouse will be closed on Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25. Orders placed after 3:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 23 for next-day delivery will be processed on Monday, December 28 to be delivered on Tuesday, December 29, and second-day deliveries will be processed on Monday, December 28 for delivery on Wednesday, December 30.

Emergency Document Orders Prior to New Year's Day
The RR Donnelley warehouse will be closed Thursday, December 31 and Friday, January 1. Orders placed after 3:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 30 for next-day delivery will be processed on Monday, January 4 to be delivered on Tuesday, January 5, and second-day deliveries will be processed on Monday, January 4 for delivery on Wednesday, January 6.

Draft Dates during Christmas and New Year's Day Closure
Given that the U.S. federal banking institutions will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25 and New Year's Day, January 1, ARC's weekly draft for PED's 12/20/15 and 12/27/15 will take place on Monday, December 28 and Monday, January 4.

ARC wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year.


Don't Let Criminals Spoil the Holidays – Be Alert!

Fraudsters are unusually active during this long holiday week. With two major holidays, employees wanting to take time off to be with family and friends, and all the preparation that goes into this season, take time to be aware of different types of ploys used by criminals to obtain information, use compromised credit cards or attack your computer!

PHISHING EMAILS:

Phishing emails instruct the reader to click on the link(s) to confirm your credentials or to check on your client's booking. In this ploy, the links lead to a replica of your GDS login screen. You may believe it is real, but it is not! Never enter your GDS login ID or password through an email. Other types of phishing emails may include attachments or links, which contain malware, or it is disguised as an email from your boss asking you to help pay a vendor and wire funds. Always verify email requests to wire funds with your boss before sending any wire transfer and do not open attachments or click on links without verifying the legitimacy of the sender.

NEW OR UNKNOWN CUSTOMERS:

New or unknown customers may contact your agency or independent contractors to get last minute tickets right before the holidays. These customers may have great explanations as to why they have to travel at the last minute (i.e., medical emergency or funeral) and you may be lulled into providing the service. Another ploy is when the unknown customer purchases a regular domestic ticket departing one week or more in advance and then shortly thereafter wants a ticket for someone else, now traveling the same day or the next day in or out of an international airport. High risk transactions include: unknown customers, last minute request for ticket(s), same day/next day departures, high risk itineraries (i.e., especially ACC, LOS, ABJ, CMN, BOG and SDQ) and the cardholder is not traveling (third party transaction).

PRE-TEXT CALLS:

Persons may call your agency pretending to be from an industry partner (i.e., an airline, GDS, ARC, tour operator, etc.) asking you to confirm some private information about your agency. Never give out your IATA/ARC agency number, bank account number, etc. to anyone who calls on the phone.

What should you do now and through the holiday week:

  • Carefully monitor your booking and ticketing in your GDS from today through New Year's weekend. If you find unauthorized stolen tickets or bookings, immediately attempt to void them through the GDS and contact your GDS for further instructions. Immediately change the password of the employee or IC whose credentials were used to issue the tickets.
  • If you find unauthorized/stolen tickets/bookings, contact ARC's Fraud Prevention team for additional important information at fifp@arccorp.com or (855) 358-0393.
  • If you receive requests for last minute tickets (domestic or international), carefully weigh the risk of accepting those credit cards. You may consider asking the caller to come to the agency with the credit card and their ID before you issue any tickets.
  • Educate everyone on the current ploys used by criminals.

Examples of current schemes and other valuable information can be found in ARC's Fraud Prevention Archives at arccorp.com; click Support and then Fraud Prevention.

Please circulate this fraud alert to everyone associated with your agency, VTC or CTD!


2016 ARC Annual Agent Fees

The 2016 annual agent location fee of $206 will be collected for each of your office locations via electronic draft from your designated bank account on January 21, 2016. It will appear on your bank statement as "ARC Core Participation Fee." A separate draft of $206 will be issued for each active branch agency and Satellite Ticket Printer (STP) location of record as of January 8, 2016. For consolidated drafting agents, only one draft will be assessed for all of your ARC approved locations.

Additionally, ARC will be imposing a new tiered quarterly transaction fee structure. See the chart below outlining this tiered fee structure. Note, agencies with less than 1,000 transactions per quarter will not be assessed transaction fees.

  Number of transactions per quarter Price per transaction
Tier 1 1,000 - 2,224.999M .016
Tier 2 2.25 - 5.999M .013
Tier 3 6M or more .011

2015 Quarterly Transaction Fees – 4th Quarter

This is a reminder about the agent/CTD transaction fee that is assessed on a quarterly basis. In 2015, the quarterly fee is set at $0.017 per transaction. An agency reporting an aggregate of less than 1,000 transactions per quarter will not be assessed a transaction fee. The maximum number of transactions for which an agency can be charged in a quarter is 2.25 million transactions (per entity). A separate debit representing this fee will be drawn against your ARC designated bank account on or after January 21, 2016. Only one draft will be issued for consolidated drafting agents.


New Paper Sales Summary Report Fee for 2016

For agents receiving their Agent Sales Summary report in paper format, the 2016 fee for this service will be $61 per month.


ARC Specialist Continuing Education Course Requirement

Reminder, all agents with a valid ARC Specialist certification as of December 31, 2014, must now complete one Continuing Education (CE) course each year by the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2015) to maintain their certification. The CE requirement replaces the renewal process of re-taking the ARC Specialist examination every four years.

In addition, the CE requirement replaces the expiration date on your current certificate. The expiration date is no longer applicable. For example, if your certificate’s expiration date is in 2017, the date is no longer pertinent. You must now complete one CE course by December 31, 2015 to maintain your certification, regardless of the expiration date of your certificate.

If you received your certification in 2015, the annual CE requirement will begin for you on January 1, 2016.

Continuing Education courses can be accessed from the ARC online training site using your existing account credentials (your account from the old online training site or one that was created for you by ARC). It is important that you do not create a new online training account. If you do, you will not be able to access the CE courses.

If you do not remember your account information, use the Forget Your Username link on the Login page to retrieve your username. Once your username has been retrieved, use the Forget Your Password link to reset your password.

To access ARC Online Training, visit arconlinetraining.com.

If you have any questions or need help retrieving your account, please send an email to ARCSpecialist@arccorp.com.


Tip of the Week: Credit Card Acceptance Risk Management Best Practices

Have you ever wondered how your agency can manage the risk of accepting credit cards as a form of payment? To obtain information about how to reduce the risk of fraud related credit card chargebacks and debit memos, please visit the ARC Fraud Prevention website by logging into My ARC or review Section 6.0 of the Industry Agents' Handbook to review Credit Card Acceptance Risk Management Best Practices and Frequently Asked Questions. If you suspect fraud, please contact the ARC Fraud Prevention team at (703) 816-8137.