ARC reports that its Board of Directors voted to approve revisions made to the ARC Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA). The ARA is the three-party contract between a travel agency, ARC, and ARC participating carriers, defining the requirements to receive and maintain ARC accreditation.
ARC said the Board endorsed the revised ARA, which will go into effect July 2013, during its semi-annual meeting in Chicago. This effective date will allow all parties sufficient time to upgrade systems and business processes to properly support the changes found in the revised ARA, ARC said.
The Joint Advisory Board for the Agent Reporting Agreement (JAB-ARA), made up of the airlines and travel agency groups involved in developing the revised ARA, approved the revisions last month, ARC notes.
Initially written in the early 1980s, the ARA had become unwieldy and challenging to navigate, and more importantly, it was considerably out of step with all three parties’ current business needs, ARC said.
Beginning in 2011, ARC undertook an extensive customer outreach effort to modernize the agreement, consulting with a diverse group of travel agencies, airlines, and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to better understand what each group needs from the ARA.
“ARC sought to meet the needs of today’s travel agency,” said JAB-ARA representative Barry Richcreek, co-owner of Richcreek Vacation Center. “And as ARC serves such a diverse agency customer base, that cannot be easy. With the revised ARA as an example of ARC’s commitment to its customers, I look to them for more good things to come.”
“We knew from the start that updating the ARA would be a major undertaking, but we felt strongly that it was critical to the airline-agency distribution channel,” said Mike Premo, ARC’s president and CEO. “The ARC Board of Directors’ approval is the high point in the ARA process and a recognition of the many hours of work by everyone involved. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure a seamless kick-off of the new agreement.”
ARC also reports that it has an education program in place to inform the industry about the changes to the ARA. Those interested in learning more about the revisions to the ARA can visit www.arccorp.com/news/ara.
About 16,000 travel agencies and 190 airlines make up the ARC network. In 2011, ARC reports it settled more than $82 billion worth of transactions between travel sellers and airlines.