ARC Publishes New Debit Memo Reason Codes and Definitions

2016 News Releases

ARC Publishes New Debit Memo Reason Codes and Definitions

ARLINGTON, Va. – March 29, 2016 - Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) announced today that it has published standard reason code definitions developed by the company-sponsored Debit Memo Working Group (DMWG). ARC has begun categorizing existing debit memos based on the new standard reason codes for six carriers that issue the majority of memos. Additional carriers will be added throughout the remainder of 2016 and 2017.

"Aligning the carriers on debit memo categorization will help us better understand and analyze why debit memos are issued so we can allocate the necessary resources to reduce their frequency," stated Teresa Young, Expedia's senior manager of global airline debit memos. "This is a significant milestone for the industry and another great example of how the DMWG, with ARC's leadership and guidance, has accelerated positive changes for the industry."

Nine primary debit memo categories were created by the DMWG: commissions, credit card chargeback, fares, taxes, refunds, exchanges, fees, booking and miscellaneous. Currently every carrier uses their own reason codes for debit memos, making it difficult to properly categorize memos and ultimately identify root causes of debit memo issuance. Establishing standard reason codes will provide carriers and agencies more detailed reasons behind each memo so that further steps can be developed to reduce their frequency.

"In late 2014, the DMWG determined that carriers, agents and GDSs needed to speak the same debit memo language in order to identify why they were issued," explained Shelly Younger, manager of settlement services at ARC. "Working group members have invested an incredible amount of time and resources to achieve this goal within one year. ARC truly appreciates the group's hard work and dedication to achieving this ambitious goal."

Debit Memo standard reason codes and definitions can be found here. The debit memo categorization is integrated in ARC's Memo Analyzer product and is expected to be available in ARC Memo Manager in 2017. ARC will continue to make necessary adjustments to the reason codes and categories as feedback from carriers and the DMWG is received and evaluated.


An industry leader in air travel distribution and intelligence, ARC settled $94.8 billion in ticket transactions in 2018 between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 295 million passenger trips. ARC provides flexible distribution solutions, innovative technology and access to the world’s most comprehensive air ticket transaction data, helping the global air travel community connect, grow and thrive. For more information, please visit