As we usher in a new year, we're thrilled to take a moment to reflect on the incredible strides we've made together in 2023 and share a sneak peek into the exciting developments awaiting you in 2024. ARC is committed to innovation and continuous improvement efforts to create stronger connections with our customers by creating and enhancing products and services that lead to value and customer differentiation.

Your support and feedback have been instrumental in shaping our journey; thank you for your commitment to a successful future – we cannot wait to continue this adventure with you.

A Look Back at 2023: Elevating Your Experience

Some highlights include:

  1. Moved to more modern technologies to build a strong foundation and prepare products for future enhancements. ARC moved seven external applications to more modern technologies, including Carrier Ticket Authority Center (CTAC), ARC Memo Manager (AMM) and AMM API, Agency List File (ALF), Document Retrieval Service (DRS) and ARC Pay Hub.

  1. Enhanced ARC’s settlement products to support distribution changes, improve flexibility, and reduce friction for airlines, agencies, and cardholders. Important enhancements included:

    • New API for ARC Pay, providing a customer-requested alternative for agency payments.

    • Airlines change will bypass ARC’s IAR verification database (VDB), allowing a seamless implementation of NDC.

    • Reduced the need for manual intervention and improving data integrity by processing zero-value transactions with their original form of payment instead of requiring those to be processed as cash form of payment.

    • Expedited error-free exchanges to a daily vs. weekly schedule, improving data reporting and speeding up refunds and charges to cardholders for those exchanges.

    • Expanded the commission percentage to the hundredth decimal, providing greater flexibility for airline and agency up-front commissions.

  1. Supported NDC growth with our ARC Direct Program

    • NDC transaction volume grew from 8% to 18% in 2023, issued by 28 airlines and 932 agencies.

    • ARC onboarded eight airlines to the program: Etihad, Air Dolomiti, Avianca (phase 3), Finnair, SAS, LATAM, LOT Air Polish and Air Canada, with eleven airlines already in the queue for 2024.

    • Established the NDC Advancement Working Group to provide a forum for industry collaboration on issues impacting NDC adoption.

    • Launched our new NDC partner webinar series with Amadeus. Other travel partner webinars are coming in 2024.

What’s in Store for 2024: A Sneak Peek

Throughout 2024, we are committed to developing a series of ARC Direct Connect (NDC) and Settlement product enhancements that continue to move airline retailing forward, help our customers grow and operate more efficiently.

    1. Our NDC enhancements will improve data reporting and reconciliation for agencies and airlines:

      • Airlines can have NDC transactions returned to them when a business edit is triggered. ARC will enhance Direct Connect to display those returned transactions to the agency to improve reconciliations and enhance the airline report to show transactions sent to ARC with a non-ARC agency number.

      • Report the original form of payment sent to ARC, even if ARC does not perform the credit billing or it is a non-ARC form of payment.

      • Eliminate the business edit that requires the refund date to be the same as the current weekly report date.

  1. Accepting more than one form of payment for a single transaction, often referred to as multiple forms of payment or split forms of payment. This enhancement is the most requested from our agency and airline customers and we are excited to make it happen.

  1. Offer a Transaction API for airlines and the travel ecosystem to send transaction data to ARC as an option for sending flat batch files. Not only does this offer a more modern way to send data, but it also provides flexibility to send additional data elements to support NDC and Orders.

  1. As the use of Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMDs) has expanded in the U.S., ARC will update our agency reporting tools, Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR) and Back Office file (BOS) to display and output EMD-specific data elements.

  1. Accelerate the output of settled data to airlines by up to two days to improve their revenue projections.

As we embark on this journey together, we extend our gratitude for your continued trust and collaboration. Your success is also ours, and we cannot wait to see all the incredible changes we’ll achieve together in 2024.

Warm regards,

Shelly Younger
Director, Airline Retailing and Settlement
Airlines Reporting Corporation