Electronic Miscellaneous Document

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)


The Universal Solution To Handling Optional Airline Services And Ancillary Fees

An Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) is an electronic non-flight document that may be issued and used for the collection and settlement of optional services offered by an airline. These services are also referred to as ancillary services and include such options as preferred seating, baggage, and deposits. Eventually EMDs will replace the remaining traditional paper Miscellaneous Charges Order (MCO) document.

Each EMD has its own number, and you may need multiple EMDs per ticket if you have more than one ancillary service - a checked bag and seat assignment, for example. When a flight coupon of an electronic ticket is used, all EMD coupons associated with that ET coupon will be considered used.

Once an agent issues an EMD, the transaction will come from the GDS into IAR in the same way as an e-ticket - even sharing the same screens. Currently agents cannot manually enter an EMD into IAR; however, this functionality is planned for the future.

ARC send EDIFACT messages for EMD void, refund and cancel refund requests performed in IAR. Please see the Airline Ticket Matrix to track participating airlines' EMD EDIFACT messaging capability.

ARC encourages all agents to attempt the void, refund or cancel refund of any e-ticket (ET) or EMD in their global distribution system (GDS) and to utilize the IAR solution for exception transactions.

EMD transactions will be output to credit card companies with the same data fields that exist today for an e-ticket. EMDs are output on the IAR BOS (Back Office System) file in the same format used for e-tickets but will also include the single character Reason for Issuance Code. In the future, changes are planned to include the additional EMD data elements on the IAR BOS file.

Just like an e-ticket, EMDs are subject to the rules of the issuing airline for that particular service - for example, whether the EMD is refundable or not.


There are two types of EMDs:

Stand-alone EMD (EMDS)

  • Used independent of an e-ticket for services such as ground transportation, deposits and residual value.

Associated EMD (EMDA)

  • Linked to an electronic ticket (ET) at the coupon level.
  • Multiple EMDAs can exist for a single ticket
  • An EMDA coupon is considered used once its associated flight coupon is used.
  • Baggage or seat upgrades are more likely to be issued on an EMDA, but whether a service is issued on an EMDA or EMDS depends on the individual airline.


EMDs are further categorized by codes determined by the type of service and the airline. An individual EMD must be issued with one Reason for Issuance Code (RFIC), a single character code which defines the document. Each EMD coupon must have a Reason for Issuance Subcode (RFIS), a three character code further defining actual coupon usage.

Individual coupons on a single EMD may have different RFIS codes, as long as the code belong to the same RFIC group:




Air Transportation


Surface Transportation/Non Air Services




Financial Impact


Airport Services




In-flight Services


Reserved for future ATPCO use


Individual Airline Use

Reason for Issuance Subcodes (RFIS) are maintained by ATPCO to facilitate consistency and maintain distribution to airlines and travel agencies. For a complete list of these codes, also known as 'Optional Services industry subcodes', you may download the list from ATPCO.