ARC reports that the updated version of the company’s Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA) will go into effect as scheduled on July 1, 2013. The modernized agreement, which was announced last spring after a collaborative effort involving industry stakeholders, will simplify the process for agencies desiring to join ARC and receive the benefits of participation.
Firms currently covered under the present ARA will be transitioned automatically to the amended agreement if they continue to participate in ARC’s settlement services on July 1, ARC notes.
The ARA is the three-party contract between travel agencies, ARC, and ARC’s participating carriers – and defines the requirements to receive and maintain ARC accreditation and participation.
Initially written in the early 1980s, the agreement had become unwieldy, challenging to navigate, and most important, considerably out of step with all three parties’ current business needs, ARC said. Thus, in 2010, ARC set the goal of creating a more modern agreement with the help of agencies, airlines, and agency trade associations.
Lauri Reishus, ARC’s vice president and chief operating office noted: “This is a significant event for many of our agency and carrier members, whose collaboration with each other and ARC was crucial to achieve this positive result. ARC is pleased to facilitate the process and salutes our members on a job well done.”
Some highlights of the ARA and related processes incited include by ARC include:
• Allowing an agency to retain its ARC number if that agency moves across state lines.
• Allowing multiple ARC numbers within an agency at one physical address to facilitate the agency’s accounting systems.
• The addition of an “Associate Branch Location” classification to allow an agency to add branch offices not fully owned by the home office.
• Auto-authorization for “zero reports” to relieve an agency from manually submitting a no-sales report.
• Reducing the draft/credit window from 10 to five days, noting that 55 percent of agencies will receive a credit faster each month.
• Reduction of the agreement size from 56 to 18 pages; the agreement also is written in easy-to-understand language.
More complete information about the updated ARA and scheduled educational webinars is available at the ARC website using the following links:
http://www.arccorp.com/news/ara/ for the main ARA Page on the ARC website.
http://www.arccorp.com/news/ara/webinars.jsp to see a list of ARA webinars and to register for them.
http://www.arccorp.com/ara/ara.jsp to view a copy of the new ARA.
http://www.arccorp.com/news/ara/iah-additions.jsp to see upcoming updates to the Industry Agents’ Handbook, effective July 1.
Travel agents soon will receive a mailing from Kathi O’Neill, ARC’s vice president and general counsel, with more information and contacts regarding questions about the updated ARA.