Travel Agent Communications

PED 10/09/2016


Revised IAR Process for Ticketing Restrictions by Carriers

In circumstances where ticketing functionality is restricted by an individual carrier, the global distribution systems (GDSs) are notified and the agency is restricted from issuing paper or electronic transactions on that carrier. Manual transactions entered in Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) are also restricted by that carrier. 
 
Effective September 22, 2016: If a carrier restricts ticketing, the agency will now receive the following message in IAR: “The carrier has disabled your ticketing authority.” These decisions are made solely by the carrier, and ARC is not involved. Any related questions should be directed to the individual carrier. The carrier contact information can be accessed here.
 
The IAR message noted above will also appear if ticketing functionality is restricted by ARC pursuant to the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA).


ARC Automated Refund Enhancement

Since April 2009, Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) has created an ARC Automated Refund when a void is received from a global distribution system (GDS) after the corresponding sales transaction has already been processed and extracted to the carrier. Until now, ARC Automated Refunds were required to be created in the same sales report period ending date (PED) as the original sale. Based on customer requests, IAR has been enhanced to also create an ARC Automated Refund in the following sales report PED when the void is received too late to be added to the same sales report PED as the original sale.
 
For example, when a GDS void is performed late Monday evening Pacific Standard Time against the sale of a ticket issued the previous business day (Friday, Saturday or Sunday), that void may miss the GDS data cutoff window (which varies by GDS). This means the GDS cannot deliver the void message to IAR for processing until the following Tuesday evening for processing Wednesday morning. In most instances, the sales report was already submitted and is too late for ARC to apply the void or to create an automated refund. In these cases, an ARC Automated Refund will now be created in the next open sales report.
 
ARC Automated Refunds are output to the validating carrier with a code identifying the transaction as an ARC created document. In IAR, the refund details screen will display, "ARC Created Document," to indicate the refund was generated by ARC as a result of an unapplied or late void.
 
As a reminder, “dropped” or “unapplied” voids occur due to one or more of the following timing issues:

  1. The local time where an agency is located
  2. The "pseudo city" time zone an agent uses to void a transaction
  3. The local time zone of the GDS data center
  4. The GDS cutoff time for outputting transactions on the daily system provider reporting files (SPRF) are sent to ARC
  5. The receipt of SPRF files by ARC

2016 Quarterly Transaction Fees – Third Quarter

This is a reminder about the agent/CTD transaction fee that is assessed on a quarterly basis. ARC imposed a new tiered quarterly transaction fee structure in 2016. See the chart below outlining this tiered fee structure. Note: Agencies with fewer than 1,000 transactions per quarter will not be assessed transaction fees. A separate debit representing this fee will be drawn against your ARC designated bank account on or after October 20, 2016.
 

 

Number of transactions per quarter

Price per transaction

Tier 1

1,000–2,224,999

.016

Tier 2

2.25 M–5.999 M

.013

Tier 3

6 M or more

.011


Elimination of Paper Airline Tickets on June 1, 2018

Effective June 1, 2018, the printing of airline tickets on Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass (ATB) ticket stock will be inhibited. After this date, all airline tickets reported and settled through the ARC system must be electronic. This change is expected to have minimal impact as today over 99.9 percent of the airline tickets issued through ARC are electronic, and this number is rapidly approaching 100 percent.
 
Please note that this change only applies to paper airline tickets. Travel agents will continue to have the ability to use ATBs for other purposes, including Miscellaneous Charges Orders (MCOs) and passenger receipts. Communication regarding this change will continue to ensure all parties are well-informed and prepared for the June 1, 2018, deadline.


Air Madagascar Now Accepts American Express

Effective with sales issued Monday, October 10, 2016 (PED 10/16/16), Air Madagascar (258/MD) will begin accepting American Express as a form of payment through ARC.


Tip of the Week: What Does the IAR Message “Companion Exchange Document Not Found” Mean?

The Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) error message, “Error - Companion Exchange Document Not Found,” is a common error you will see when a residual value Miscellaneous Charge Order (MCO) is issued to be a part of an exchange that is on a different day or sales report period ending date (PED) than its associated exchange. When you filter the sales report to show only transactions in error, the short description of that error message is called, “Comp Not Found.”

When a new ticket in an exchange has less value than the old nonrefundable ticket document being exchanged and the carrier allows that nonrefundable value to be transferred to an MCO or Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD), that residual-value document must be issued the same day. IAR can only automatically link a residual-value MCO to its exchange when:

  1. The new MCO includes the new exchange document number in the “Issued in  Connection With” field and the words, “Residual” or “Future” are used in the “Type of Service” field.
  2. The new exchange ticket and the MCO are issued on the same day.

When the MCO is not issued on the same day as the new exchange or the linking criteria mentioned above is not met, IAR cannot perform the auto-link. You will need to manually link the MCO to its associated exchange transaction. When the new MCO is issued in a different sales week than the exchange, that MCO cannot be manually linked because the two documents must be in the same sales report PED.