Memorial Day Authorization Deadline Change & Planned IAR Outage
ARC will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2020, in observance of Memorial Day. To ensure no delays to settlement, the sales report authorization/submission deadline for Period Ending Date (PED) 05/24/20 will be 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. This extension provides travel agencies with additional time to process their sales reports after the Memorial Day holiday,
Immediately following the 5 p.m. deadline, the IAR system will be unavailable from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Any sales report authorization for PED 05/24/20 performed after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, will be considered a late submission. Any errors will be moved to the following PED and your cash disbursement may be impacted.
Please note: The holiday void/modify window extension remains unchanged. Documents issued Friday, May 22, 2020, through Sunday, May 24, 2020, may be voided/modified until Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
Reducing the Memorial Day holiday sales reporting authorization deadline by seven hours will allow ARC’s settlement operations to continue to run as smoothly and reliably as possible, while at the same time ensure cash disbursements are delivered as scheduled on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
For planning purposes, please note that ARC plans to follow this same procedure for the sales period before Labor Day (PED 09/06/20). ARC’s 2020 Holiday Schedule can be accessed here.
We appreciate your understanding. As the air travel industry stabilizes, we expect to return to our normal operating procedures.
Important Reminders and Resources 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. In response, ARC has been in close contact with agencies, airlines and credit card brands to develop resources and strategies to address the needs of our partners.
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 www2.arccorp.com/refunds 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): 39 months
- Delta Air Lines (DL/006): 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.
In addition, Mastercard and Visa have published guidance to help merchants manage disputes and chargebacks through COVID-19, which are now available on ARC’s website:
Please review the updated blog post, as well as the FAQs, clarifying 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. The FAQs also include information about:
- Managing commission-related debit memos
- How to use the “COVID19” agency reason code
- Agency liability around debit memos
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-816-8003.
Upcoming My ARC Extended System Outage
My ARC will be unavailable on Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m. Eastern Time to perform a security update. You will not be able to access My ARC, including any of its tools or products, during this extended outage.
ARC realizes that any system outage is an inconvenience to you, and we apologize for the impact this may have on your work with ARC tools and products. This advance notice intends to provide you with adequate time to make any necessary schedule adjustments. The Sunday date was selected to minimize the impact to My ARC users, considering Sunday is the day of the week with the lowest amount of user activity.
Your understanding and patience are appreciated as we ensure ARC systems are maintained and updated. Please share this information with others in your organization that may be impacted by this scheduled outage.
Tip of the Week: Updating Your DRS Password
Document Retrieval Service (DRS) passwords are required to be changed every 90 days to maintain compliance with PCI and industry standards. When changing your password, you may get a message indicating that the new password you have entered is invalid. To avoid getting this message, please review the DRS password guidelines below:
- Must be 7-8 characters in length
- Must contain at least one lower case letter, one upper case letter, one number and one special character of one of the following: ! @ # $ % ^ *
- Passwords are case sensitive
- The new password must be different from the last 4 passwords used