April 15, 2020
ASTA commends new actions announced today by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) in light of the unprecedented challenges faced by the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. ARC not taking action on debit memos that involve flights canceled by an airline or government, or debit memos that are related to a passenger compensation dispute - either resulting from COVID-19 - is exceptional. By not holding travel agencies liable for the payment of such memos, nor taking action against agencies that could affect their accreditation status for failure to do so, is a strong testament to the value and trust placed in the travel agency community by ARC and its owner airlines.
In addition, ARC’s extension of its Ticket Resolution Services (TRS) compensatory fee grace period from 15 days to 45 days, provides a longer window for travel agencies and airlines to more easily resolve open debit memos during this challenging time. This coupled with the suspension of the ARC Pay chargeback fee will also be of value to agencies using their service fee processing service.
ASTA appreciates the proactive steps ARC has taken beneficial to ASTA members and also appreciates the detailed update provided to senior ASTA leadership in advance of today’s action.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.