TMC Investment Priorities

Technology, service, content, data and automation are all key areas of focus for travel management companies (TMCs). But how are TMCs prioritizing their investments in each of those areas?

ARC is proud to sponsor this research report from The Beat, which surveyed 30 travel management companies to better understand where corporate travel agencies are investing in their businesses. From contact centers to mobile tools, TMCs are pursuing a wide range of opportunities to enhance the business travel experience.

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Fraud Alert: GDS Hacker Released from U.S. Prison

A GDS hacker, Eric Donys Simeu, was recently released from federal custody after serving time for crimes outlined in this U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Now is a good time for all agency staff to review fraud prevention and security best practices and to ensure they are wary of emails requesting GDS login credentials. This ARC on-demand webinar by Rich Licato, ARC’s chief information services officer, provides information to raise awareness of phishing emails as well as other cyber risks encountered within our community. For more details on phishing scams in particular, this article contains helpful tips and resources.

A portion of the aforementioned press release outlines Simeu’s impact on the travel industry. “Eric Simeu was responsible for a series of “phishing campaigns” which targeted customers of Global Distribution System (“GDS”) companies from approximately July 2011 to September 2014. The GDS companies impacted by Simeu’s criminal conduct included Travelport, which maintains a major presence in Atlanta, and Sabre, which is headquartered in Southlake, Texas.”

ARC witnessed phishing email campaigns during the years Simeu was active. These campaigns aimed to harvest GDS login credentials from unsuspecting travel agents. These emails are often constructed to appear as if they were sent from a GDS, airline or travel supplier, but were in fact sent by criminals. The phishing emails implored the agent to click on a link within the email and input their GDS login credentials. Unfortunately, this act compromised those credentials to criminals, which allowed them to gain remote access to the GDS at a later date and issue tickets for their own customers.

ARC has been advised by the GDSs that they do not send emails requesting travel agents to log into their GDS from a link embedded into an email. As a general rule, always be wary of emails that request confidential information (GDS credentials, bank information, etc.) through an embedded link in that email.

As always, please report all fraud incidents, attempts or suspicious emails to ARC’s risk management team at or 855-358-0393.

Making It Easier to Communicate with You

ARC has recently made some changes to make it easier for you to provide specific contact information for your agency, which will allow for more effective communication between ARC, airlines and your agency. Now, your agency has the ability to identify primary contacts for manager, operations, debit memos, chargebacks and industry communications.

Learn More

2019 Will Be the Year of Ultra-Personalized Travel

This article by Mia Taylor, published by TravelPulse, outlines findings from the annual Virtuoso Luxe Report, which found that, globally, “client requests illustrate a desire for a deeper level of personalization and one-of-a-kind experiences.”

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Notice of Changes to the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA)

Following ARC’s consultation with travel agency representatives, ARC’s board of directors has approved a number of updates to the Agent Reporting Agreement (ARA), including the following. These updates, which will take effect February 1, 2019, reflect changes in agency roles and contacts, as well as ARC’s product offerings, and they better align with ARC’s current operations.

Agency Roles and Contacts
To better address the need for effective and timely communications between your agency, ARC, and the Carriers, ARC is updating the types of agency contacts required, including email addresses.

Manager Role and Contact Requirements
The term “Manager” will replace “Management Qualifier.” However, the requirements for the role have not changed, and the Manager will still be the agency employee responsible for the operation of the agency location(s). Each agent will be required to designate at least one Manager and provide and maintain up-to-date contact information for the individual(s).

The Manager will be responsible for receiving correspondence from ARC and the Carriers relating to the Agent’s contractual relationship with them. This includes, for example, notices concerning changes to the ARA, financial instruments and other items related to agency status (ARA Sections, 15.6, 15.6.1, 15.6.2, 15.8.1, 15.9), Industry Agents’ Handbook Section A.4). Additionally, the operational email requirement is removed and replaced with the Manager contact (ARA Sections, 15.6, and 39.23).

Other Contacts – Roles and Requirements
Each Agent will also be required to provide and maintain up-to-date contact information for the following roles (ARA Sections –, and 15.6, 15.6.1, 15.6.2, 15.8.1, 15.9):

  • Owner or Officer Contact
  • Operational Contact
  • Debit Memo Contact
  • Chargeback Contact

With these simplified agency contact categories, ARC and participating carriers will be able to more effectively reach your agency with important updates.

ARC Specialist Requirement
Currently, each agent accredited after 1999 is required to have a designated ARC Specialist who has passed the ARC Specialist examination. However, as of February 1, 2019, current agencies will no longer be required to designate and maintain an individual ARC Specialist, and ARA section will be updated to reflect this change.

Although the examination is no longer required for current agencies, you are strongly encouraged to continue your participation in ARC’s continuing educational training courses, certification programs, webinars and other learning programs. As the travel industry evolves, ARC offers a variety of valuable, interactive training options to keep agencies informed and engaged. Information about ARC’s agency training is available here.

Elimination of Satellite Ticket Printer (STP) as a Location Classification
In 2010, because of the decrease in use of paper tickets and diminished need for remote delivery, ARC stopped accrediting new Satellite Ticket Printer (STP) locations. In the interest of further streamlining ARC’s classification system, all current STP locations will be identified as Branches in ARC’s systems. The locations may continue to operate in their usual manner under the Branch designation. As a result, references to “Satellite Ticket Printer” will be removed from the ARA and Industry Agents’ Handbook (IAH).

Elimination of Reference to Obsolete Traffic Documents
ARC is updating Section B of the IAH to eliminate references to the following obsolete traffic documents:

  • Pre-paid ticket advice (PTA)
  • 4-flight manual tickets

To review the ARA changes in more detail, click here.

These changes will take effect on February 1, 2019. Please note that, in accordance with Section 5 of the ARA, your continued participation with ARC after February 1, 2019, serves as your acceptance of the amendments.

If you have any questions, please contact ARC’s Customer Care Center at 855-816-8003 or

Achieving Better Business Results: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors

Business travel has long been managed by focusing on cost savings. This study challenges the wisdom of that approach. Instead, senior management should prioritize trip success rates and road warrior retention.

Sponsored by ARC, Delta Air Lines, FlightGlobal and tClara, this report examines insights from 742 U.S.-based road warriors on the topics of trip success, attrition and retention, their desire to travel, and what burns them out. Findings reveal the negative impact of cost-focused travel policies; the keys to reducing road warrior attrition risk; the importance of traveler sleep, health and safety; and the benefits of better-quality travel.

Road warriors, those who spent at least 35 nights away from home and took at least four trips by airplane in the last 12 months, say there is a 24 percent chance that they will voluntarily leave their employer in the next two years. The two top-rated ways to reduce this attrition risk are to allow business class seating on flights longer than six hours and to use less of the road warrior’s personal time for travel. An alarming 48 percent of road warriors say they hope to travel much less in two years. They view more comfortable travel and more rewards and recognition from airlines and hotels as the two most important factors for their willingness to keep traveling as much as they do now.

Senior executives can use these findings to significantly reshape their corporate travel program’s strategic priorities. Doing so should lead to more successful trips and better road warrior retention and wellness.

To learn more, click the button below to download the study.

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Showcasing the Work of ARC's Debit Memo Working Group

At TravelConnect 2018, ARC’s Paige Blunt joined Debit Memo Working Group members Hope Harper, manager of revenue recovery for Delta Air Lines, and Shannon Keever, debit memo analyst and reconciler for Altour, to host a breakout session on debit memo best practices.