Move Toward Daily Reporting

Despite a growing suspicion through the years, were you surprised that ARC announced a move to daily reporting through its IAR electronic system? David Stoller, Enterprise Travel, Scottsdale, Ariz. Once again, the airlines find a way to place more expense, without compensation, on the agency co


Despite a growing suspicion through the years, were you surprised that ARC announced a move to daily reporting through its IAR electronic system?

David Stoller, Enterprise Travel, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Once again, the airlines find a way to place more expense, without compensation, on the agency community. ARC is now talking about multiplying my bookkeeping expenses by five times. This would create a nightmare of processing on our part.

ARC’s attempt to eliminate the ability to void tickets has simply placed a ridiculous expense on the salespeople.

William Mault, L & L Travel, Lodi, Calif.

While we understand the need for timely reporting to provide accurate and timely financial information, we do not understand the need to penalize agencies that follow all the rules and report in a timely fashion.

If ARC knows which companies do not follow the current void rules, they should notify those agencies that this will not be tolerated and give them a deadline to clean up their accounting or then take action with those companies. It is possible that the way out of this will be for small agencies to leave the ARC reporting system and work entirely from the Internet, which presents even more challenges for ARC and the agency community.

What will ARC do if agencies leave en masse and find another system more conducive to doing business in the 21st century?

Rees Williams, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Sacramento

No. It’s clear that a principal objective of daily reporting is to remove the ability of travel agents to void tickets issued within the current reporting period. This has been an added value that travel agents could offer clients.

I am convinced that airline statistics can predict the number of voids on any flight, within a small percentage, and that daily reporting will not improve airline management’s ability to manage. Indeed, it may complicate management, as many of the previously voided tickets would be subject to refund processing. It is true that, under the present situation, restricted tickets issued to clients who have to change their travel dates could be voided and tickets for the new date issued without the $100 change fee.

Daily reporting accompanied by daily remittance may improve cash flow for the airlines, but at a significant administrative cost to the travel agency. Agents wonder, “When will daily reporting and remittance begin?” There has been little doubt that this will happen despite assurances to the contrary.

It appears that the real benefit of daily reporting to the airlines is to speed the removal of travel agencies from the distribution network.

David M. de L’Arbre, Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, Santa Barbara

Travel agents have very little sympathy for the mismanagement that has led the airline industry into its current crisis. It is unfortunate that they want to place further blame on us for the quagmire that they find themselves in.

The proposed reporting changes will place an unfair burden on travel agencies to have full-time staff available to fulfill the new requirements. ARC reporting already consumes a disproportionate amount of staff time based upon the revenue earned from the sale of airline tickets. ARC is now forcing agencies to make a bad situation worse in order to help suppliers that have abused us for years.

The airlines are not so much interested in daily transaction data as they are in wiping out a competitive advantage that agencies enjoy regarding the weekly voiding of transactions. I’m not sure which is more irritating what the airlines are doing to the industry or that ARC is acting as their stooge.

>