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 the U.S. Department of Justice press release here.

“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 that Simeu was active to harvest GDS login credentials from unsuspecting travel agents. These emails were often constructed to appear as if they were sent from a legitimate GDS, airline, or travel supplier, and they would implore agents to click on a link within the email and input their GDS login credentials. Unfortunately, this act compromised the agents’ credentials, which allowed Simeu to gain remote access to the GDS at a later date and issue tickets to his own customers.

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

Now is a good time for all staff to review internet best practices to ensure that they are wary of emails requesting their GDS login credentials. The ARC recorded webinar, "You Have What Cybercriminals Want – Data Protection and Pitfalls" and a phishing email resource have been provided below to help you better understand the cyber risks encountered within our community.

Tips to Help Identify Possible Phishing Emails
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ARC Recorded Webinar: You Have What Cybercriminals Want – Data Protection and Pitfalls
Watch Now

As always, please report all fraud incidents, attempts or suspicious emails to ARC Risk Management at or 855-358-0393.

Boliviana de Aviación Now Accepts American Express

Effective with sales issued on Monday, December 3, 2018 (PED 12/09/18), Boliviana de Aviación (930/OB) will begin accepting American Express as a form of payment through ARC.

Reminder: New Alpha Code for Diners Club International

Effective PED 12/09/18, the credit card alpha code used to identify Diners Club International will be converted from DS to DC. While Diners Club International is owned by Discover Financial, it is a separate company. As a result, there is a need to identify the transactions using the unique alpha code along with the numeric code (3600). Agents will begin to see the new code used in Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) and in the IAR Back Office System (BOS) files on Tuesday, December 4.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact the Credit Card Services team at

2019 ARC Agent Annual Fees and Tiered Quarterly Transaction Fees

In preparation for 2019, please note that the ARC Agent Annual Fee of $225 per location will be drafted from your account on January 24, 2019, along with the 2018 fourth quarter transaction fee billing.

Additionally, the 2019 Tiered Quarterly Transaction Fees are listed below, with a quarterly transaction floor of 1000 and no ceiling. The first quarter transaction fee billing will be drafted on April 25, 2019.

Number of transactions
per quarter

Price per transaction

Tier 1

1,000 – 2,224,999


Tier 2

2.225 M – 5.999 M


Tier 3

6 M or more


ARC Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass Usage Fee to Increase

Effective January 2, 2019, the ARC Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass (ATB) usage fee will increase to $69 per box of 1,000 coupons, up from $54 in 2018. This increase is a direct result of the dramatic decrease in ATB stock usage, which in turn caused a proportional increase in the cost of printing new ATB quantities.

The current document handling fee will remain $8.13 for ATB ticketing products and $7.50 for all other non-ticketing products.

The drop in ATB usage is attributed to the June 1, 2018, elimination of paper airline tickets and the resulting removal of all print requirements for electronic tickets (ETs) and Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMDs). Electronic documents do not require printed coupons which made their associated accounting support documents obsolete. These ET/EMD support documents included the charge form, auditor coupon, agent coupon and passenger receipt.

It’s important to note that the only document still requiring the use of ATB stock is the automated Miscellaneous Charges Order (Auto MCO). The Auto MCO is the last remaining ARC paper document, and its exchange value coupon and passenger receipt must continue to be printed on paper ATB stock per industry resolution.

Tip of the Week: Sales Report Storage and Retention Requirements

For each authorized Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) Sales Report, the sales report confirmation number must be retained for at least two years from the date in which the weekly sales report was due to be submitted to ARC.

ARC strongly suggests that this confirmation information is retained as proof of sales report authorization.

  • You may choose to print the Authorize Submit Confirmation screen.
  • You may choose to save an electronic copy of the LS-Financial Summary page, which shows the authorized sales report(s) and their associated detail.
  • A truncated confirmation number is also included on the electronic sales report copy, stored in the Internet Sales Summary (ISS) tool. This number is truncated by dropping the first six-digits, which reflect the PED date.

Ticketing data including refunds, exchanges and other transactional data within the sales report are accessible online via the ARC Document Retrieval Service (DRS) for up to 39 months.

  • If desired, agent coupons may be printed on non-accountable stock or stored in an optical format.
  • Agent coupon facsimiles are also accessible online via DRS for up to 39 months.
  • Note: Other entities (i.e., governmental or tax authorities, etc.) may require documents and records to be maintained for longer periods of time.

Storage requirements for additional document types, such as Type A Certificates, can be found in Section 5 of the Industry Agents’ Handbook .

For more IAR resources, please visit ARC’s Self-Paced Training Knowledge Center.