Managing COVID-19-Related Debit Memos and Chargebacks

Last week, ARC made an announcement that it will not take any action on debit memos that:

  • Involve a flight canceled by an airline or government entity as a result of COVID-19
  • Are related to a passenger compensation dispute resulting from COVID-19

ARC has updated its blog post and FAQs to provide additional information regarding this announcement, including a clarification that, while ARC itself will not take action on certain COVID-19-related debit memos, airlines may still issue and independently enforce all types of agency debit memos.

Please review the updated blog post, as well as the FAQs, which include additional information about:

  • Managing commission-related debit memos
  • How to use the “COVID19” agency reason code
  • Agency liability around debit memos

View Blog Post

2020 Quarterly Transaction Fees – First Quarter

This is a reminder about the agent/CTD transaction fee that is assessed on a quarterly basis. See the chart below outlining this tiered fee structure. Please note that agencies with fewer than 1,000 transactions per quarter will not be assessed transaction fees. A separate debit representing this fee will be drawn against your ARC designated bank account on or after April 23, 2020. Only one draft will be issued for consolidated drafting agents.

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


Air Italy Remains Active Airline Participant in ARC

Please note that Air Italy (IG/191) will remain an active airline participant in ARC. Travel agents may continue to report transactions, sales and refunds, for IG/1919 in their IAR report. For more information about Air Italy, please see their website.

Important Reminders for Travel Agencies

As the global travel community adapts to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARC recognizes the enormous pressures facing our industry and customers. This is an unprecedented time and is transforming our marketplace.

This is a reminder of the changes currently in effect for ARC-accredited agencies, as well as the resources ARC has made available.

  • Settlement Schedule Change: ARC’s draft and disbursement day has changed from Friday, five days after the sales week closes, to the following Wednesday, 10 days after the sales week closes. This change went into effect for PED 03/29/20 and will repeat weekly until further notice. A visual representation of the changes outlined above can be found here, and a list of FAQs about this process is available here.
  • Airline Refund Information: Some airlines have informed ARC that they are inhibiting refunds in the GDSs. Additionally, some airlines that were previously managing refunds directly have now reinstated refunds in the GDSs. As ARC receives this information from airlines, it will update its Airline Refund and Exchange Information page as a resource for agencies. This list includes applicable contact information where available.
  • IAR Error Messages: ARC has added a new error message within IAR that reads, "ERROR – DO NOT VOID – Transaction temporarily restricted by carrier – visit for more info." If your agency sees this error associated with any transactions, ARC asks that the agency not attempt to void these transactions. When these errors do occur, they will roll over to the next PED, or ARC’s Customer Care Center will contact impacted agencies if additional steps are required.
  • Ticket Validity: ARC has implemented an enhancement that allows airlines the option of extending the period of time available for agents to process exchanges and refunds settled through ARC beyond the current standard of 13 months from ticketing date of issue. The options now available, in addition to 13 months, are 18, 24, 30 or 39 months from the ticketing date of issue. When an airline chooses to enable one of these options, the selected extended ticket validity becomes effective in IAR for all ARC-accredited agencies. The following airlines have opted to extend the ticket validity period:
    • Air Canada (AC/014): 24 months
    • American Airlines (AA/001): 24 months
    • Delta Air Lines (AA/001): 24 months
    • Intercaribbean Airways (JY/653): 30 months
    • Virgin Australia (VA/795): 24 months
  • Weekly Sales Reports: Effective immediately, ARC is unable to extend the sales report deadline for any travel agency. Because our industry is undergoing so much volatility, ARC seeks to keep as many aspects of settlement as consistent as possible. To ensure accuracy and minimal agency re-work, ARC recommends that agencies review their sales reports on Tuesday prior to finalizing, and that agencies also refrain from submitting their sales reports early.

ARC will continue to provide updates to the travel agency community as relevant changes occur. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to ARC’s Customer Care Center at or 703-816-8003.

Tip of the Week: How to Link your Document Retrieval Service (DRS) and My ARC Accounts

For a true single login experience, you have the option to link your Document Retrieval Service (DRS) account with your My ARC account. This eliminates the need of having separate usernames and passwords to remember. With this option, active DRS accounts may be linked or unlinked from any active My ARC account. A "Link/Unlink" header displayed at the top of the DRS page allows you to link or unlink your accounts.

Once linked, you can select "Document Retrieval System" from your My ARC tool list and immediately launch DRS. Please note, DRS Administration is not currently part of the link/unlink feature.

To get directions with screenshots on how to link your DRS and My ARC accounts, as well as other DRS FAQs, click here.