ARC Accredited Agency FAQ's

Travel Agency Participation

ARC Accredited Agency FAQs

Apply Now

What are the benefits of joining ARC?

There are several benefits to Agents including;

  • Obtain an ARC number which communicates to suppliers worldwide that your agency has the authority to book airline tickets, hotels, cruises, and more.
  • The ability to send/receive money direct to/from Airlines (ARC Accredited Agency only).
  • Ability to process travel related service fees (see ARC Pay ).
  • Inclusion in ARC’s Agency List which is shared with Airlines and shows all ARC accredited Travel Agencies.
  • ARC working groups, industry conferences, and more which provide access to Airlines, technology partners, and industry peers while.
  • Access to ARC’s training and support.

What is the difference between IATA and ARC? How are they the same?

  • Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) accredits travel agencies based in the U.S. to easily book airline tickets worldwide on more than 200 airlines. Additionally, ARC provides access to financial solutions, revenue opportunities, and industry expertise to help agencies better manage their relationships with these global air travel suppliers.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides similar services to agencies however; they focus on agencies based outside of the U.S. Additionally, IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps to formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

Who can apply to be an ARC Accredited agent?

  • Any interested travel agent based in the United States, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico may apply to join ARC.


  • What are the agency location requirements?
    • Your agency must be located in and authorized to do business within the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and/or American Samoa. The agency can be located in a commercial office location or based out of your home, as long as you have the licenses required by the jurisdiction in which you are located (California, Florida, Washington have special requirements).
  • Do I need to provide a business license?
    • Each jurisdiction has different requirements. If a business license is required where your agency is located, then you do have to provide a copy of the business license as well as any other licenses required by your jurisdiction (federal, state, or local).
  • What business structure do I need to join ARC?
    • ARC does not require agencies to have a specific business structure to join ARC. The business structure that each agency has depends on their individual circumstances.
  • Do I need to get a Tax ID?
    • A Tax ID number is required if you have employees or your business is a Corporation or Partnership.
  • How do I send the application form in?
  • How long does the application process take?
    • The application process takes approximately 90 days from the receipt of an application. All questions, discrepancies, and/or omissions must be resolved before an application is considered complete.
  • Can the 90 day timeframe be reduced/expedited?
    • There is no formal process to expedite an application. To have the application processed as quickly as possible make sure to have all of the forms filled-out completely and attach all supporting documentation before submission (Page 5 of the ARC Accredited Agent Application includes a checklist for Agents to help them determine when their application is complete; ).
  • Is there another type of Accreditation besides ARC Accredited Agency?
    • Yes, you can apply to become a Verified Travel Consultant and receive the same benefits as a fully accredited agency, except the ability to issue air tickets.
    • There is a $195 nonrefundable application fee for the VTC application is. However, a Financial Instrument is not required.
    • Link to VTC FAQs:


  • How much does it cost to join ARC?
    • Fully Accredited ARC Agency: There is a $2,300 nonrefundable application fee. In addition, the agency must provide a Financial Instrument in a form of a bond, letter of credit or cash deposit in the minimum amount of $20,000.
    • Verified Travel Consultant: There is a $195 nonrefundable application fee for the VTC application. However, a Financial Instrument is not required.
  • • What is a Financial Instrument?
    • o A Financial Instrument serves as a guarantee for the financial transactions issued by the independent agency or a Home Office location with subordinate branches. The Financial Instrument requirement can be met by providing one, or a combination of the following; Bond, Letter of Credit (LOC) or Cash Security Deposit (CSD) totaling $20,000. The Financial Instrument is not required at the time the application is submitted; however, the application will not be considered complete until a Financial Instrument, in the correct form and amount, is received by ARC. After two years of being accredited with ARC, the amount may be reduced to $10,000, unless a higher amount is required by the terms of the ARA (see the Agent Reporting Agreement; ).


  • What are the personnel requirements?
    • Any person that is involved in the day-to-day operations of the agency and has access to monies from services issued on ARC Traffic Documents must be a U.S. citizen or an alien authorized to work in the United States.
    • The agency must have a designated Manager, an ARC Specialist and these must be US citizens or persons authorized to work in the US. These roles may be filled by the same person.
  • What is an ARC Specialist?
  • Why do I need to fill out a Personal History Form (PHF)?
    • The Personal History Form (PHF) is used to verify that individuals associated with your
      Agency meet the necessary requirements to join ARC.
    • The PHF must be submitted for each of the following positions, as they apply to your Agency; Owner, Officer, Director, Partner, Shareholder, Member, LLC Manager, and Agency Manager. ARC needs to ensure that the individual(s) associated with each agency meet the requirements defined in the Agent Reporting Agreement ( We do this through the collection and review of the PHFs.
    • For each PHF, be sure to attach
      1. a copy of a valid state ID or driver’s license and
      2. a copy of valid proof of citizenship and/or authority to work in the U.S. (ex. passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, work permit, etc.).
  • Why do you need personal information for certain employees?
    • ARC needs to ensure that the individual meets the requirements of their specific role or the overall requirements to join ARC as defined in the Agent Reporting Agreement. We do this through the collection and review of the PHF.

What tools/services does ARC offer?

ARC offers a wide range of tools and services. Below are a few examples of ARC tools and services;

  1. Use of our settlement services (IAR and DRS)
  2. You may utilize ARC PAY for credit card processing services
  3. You have access to our Fraud department, webinars and industry insight
  4. Our Customer Care Center (CCC) will be available to assist with any issues or concerns
  5. Accreditation tool to manage your agency information
  6. As well as many other valuable tools, services, and resources.

What type of commission does ARC offer?

Any available commissions are offered directly by the Airlines. Agencies will have to contact the individual Airlines to discuss commission.