ARLINGTON, Va., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ARC announced today 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. Those entities 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.
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. Thus, in 2010, ARC set the goal of creating a more modern agreement with the help of agencies, airlines, and agency trade associations.
"The ARC Team members who have worked hard for over two years to update the ARA and ready the new systems to support it are truly excited and proud to see it commence next month," said Lauri Reishus, ARC's vice president and chief operating officer. "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 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:
-Click HERE for the main ARA Page on the ARC website.
-Click HERE to see a list of ARA webinars and to register for them.
-Click HERE to view a copy of the new ARA.
-Click HERE 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.
ARC powers the U.S.-based travel network with premier business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools, and powerful data analytics. Nearly 14,000 travel agencies and 190 airlines use ARC's settlement services, which in 2012 totaled more than $84 billion. As the industry's gold standard of accreditation, ARC allows participating agencies and carriers to focus on what's important – increasing their revenue. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Va. For more information, visit www.arccorp.com.
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