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