October 10, 2008
The Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) announced today that it will discontinue its Payment Express program and the related automated collection of carrier fees and charges for alleged booking violations, inactive segments, GDS opt-outs, etc. ARC has advised ASTA that it will stop accepting new debit memos in the Payment Express program within the next few days and that ARC will not place an agent in general default for failure to pay these debit memos, but will return such cases to the individual airline for action.
ARC expects Memo Manager, its electronic debit memo management tool that was introduced last year, to facilitate the resolution and collection of segment fees and booking charges formerly billed under Payment Express as well as the collection of debits related to the ARC agent Reporting Agreement, such as unreported sales and credit card charge backs. ARC assures ASTA, however, that under the collection function of Memo Manager, the travel agent will initiate the payment. For more information on ARC's Memo Manager product, see Memo Manager.
ASTA adamantly disagreed with ARC's use of Payment Express, and even filed an appeal with the Travel agent Arbiter but he declined jurisdiction. ASTA has consistently urged agents with objections to these claims to present them to the carrier within the required time limits and to inform ARC that it does not have the agent's consent to draft these items from its ARC bank account. ARC has acknowledged the impact of ongoing travel agent feedback in its decision to discontinue Payment Express. For more information, see ARC's Payment Express Announcement.
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