Delta is the second airline to use the Airlines Reporting Corporation's (ARC) powers to automatically draft carrier imposed fees from travel agents' ARC checking account, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has advised. Effective June 1, 2008, Delta announced plans to audit all GDS bookings for booking policy violations and use ARC Payment Express to collect all associated penalties.
ASTA said agents will be charged $3.50 per inactive and passive segment violation and $50 per booking for duplicate, fraudulent, fictitious and speculative records. In addition Delta will charge $50 per booking for invalid name changes and churning. Delta's policy, as found on Delta.com, states that your "continued booking of Delta air transportation" in agents GDS on or after June 1, 2008 constitutes agents "acceptance and agreement" to the new terms and condition.
ASTA said agents should review Delta's Booking Policy, which includes a list of frequently asked questions, as found online. Questions concerning Delta's Booking Policy should be sent to Delta at [email protected]. ASTA said agents should include ASTA, [email protected], as a carbon copy.
If you receive a bill from ARC or Delta, you should follow the instructions as provided on the invoice and request additional documentation if needed. You should dispute all unwarranted charges within the time-frame provided. Failure to do so may result in the funds being withdrawn directly from your ARC account.
United Airlines began using ARC to collect agency booking violations in late 2007. ASTA believes that ARC lacks authority to withdraw funds on behalf of individual airlines under "unilaterally imposed" contacts from an agents' ARC account, which was created for the sole purpose of settling the agent's ARC report. ASTA is examining options to resolve the issue as the Travel Agent Arbiter has refused to take this case. The Arbiter cited the lack of jurisdiction over the airline-agent contract. Visit www.asta.org