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Chapter 6: ARC forms and ticketing.

ARC FORMS

After confirming reservations and fares, writing or printing the ticket may be necessary (depending on the ticketing requirements and deadlines). There are two types of ARC Forms: ACCOUNTABLE AND NON-ACCOUNTABLE.

ACCOUNTABLE forms CANNOT be thrown away, NON-ACCOUNTABLE documents CAN.

You can think of accountable documents like completed and signed checks, and you can compare nonaccountable documents to bank deposit slips. The following chart lists some of the major accountable and non-accountable forms/documents.
ACCOUNTABLE: 4 flight manual airline tickets
             ATB--Automated Ticket and Boarding Pass Stock
             PTA--Prepaid Ticket Advice Forms
             MCO--Miscellaneous Charges Orders
             Tour Orders

NON-ACCOUNTABLE: UCCCF--Universal Credit Card Charge Form
                 REN- Refund/Exchange Notice
                 Sales Report Authorization
                 Sales Summary Adjustment
                 AAD--Agent Automated Deduction
                 Revalidation stickers, special fare notices, etc.


The computer reservation systems in agencies record ticketing information and document numbers, and most agencies have back office automation systems to handle accounting and document information. For manually written documents, agencies may use a sign out/log book to record the accountable documents and they may also need the information put into the computer for automated accounting functions.

In addition to the ARC documents and forms, there are forms that are generated by the airlines/ carriers regarding tickets and ticket sales. These include:

* DEBIT MEMO--Advising agency that an incorrect amount was processed and the airline is owed the amount

* CREDIT MEMO--Advising agency that an incorrect amount was processed and the agency is due a credit.

* RECALL COMMISSION STATEMENT--Agency reported incorrect commission.

* AUTHORITY TO REFUND A PREPAID TICKET ADVICE--A form the agency must receive in order to refund a PTA--Prepaid Ticket Advice.

* CARRIER CENTRAL COLLECTION REQUEST--A form for submitting outstanding, uncontested credit request memos through the Central Collection Service.

The ARC Industry Agent's Handbook contains samples of these forms and more information.

ATB STOCK

Manual tickets are rarely used, however it is necessary to know how to complete a manual ticket. When using airlines that are not booked through the CRSs, manual tickets will be used. And, if there is a computer/printer breakdown, manual tickets will be written.

ATB--Automated Ticket/Boarding Pass stock is used by agencies and airlines. Each part is computer generated as individual coupon cards. With Satellite Ticket Printers (STPs), the flight coupons and the passenger receipt are generated at the satellite location, while the auditor's and agent's coupons are generated at the host agency location.

With E (Electronic) tickets, the agencies usually print out auditor's, agent's, passenger receipt, and charge form coupons. The passenger receives an invoice/itinerary form (and the passenger receipt coupon if possible).

Below is a sample ATB with notes for the information it contains:

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These notices are included in standard tickets. You should read this information in order to have an understanding of the "fine print" of airline tickets and the conditions of the contract of carriage.

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These notices are also included in tickets.

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This notice may be included with tickets to inform passengers.

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Here are other ARC Forms use for accounting.

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TAF--Travel Agency Fee Document

Travel agencies who charge service fees to clients can use the TAF--Travel Agency Fee Document provided by ARC. If the client wants to pay the fee with a credit card, the agency must either have a merchant agreement with credit card companies or use the TAF. Agencies that choose to use ARC for processing these fees must sign up for this service.

The ARC Travel Agency Fee Document can be used for the following credit cards:

CA--MasterCard

VI--Visa

DS--Discover

DC--Diners Club

AX--American Express

TP--Universal Air Travel Plan

CB--Carte Blanche

ARC charges 3.5% for processing the service fees. The TAF is only to be used for fees paid by credit card. Agencies should always inform the client if fees are being charged. The TAF can be used for sales of travel products (books, maps, single-use cameras, luggage, etc.), flat fees, charges for airline tickets that are not earning a commission, consulting fees, delivery services, etc. If the agent is not the provider of the service, the TAF can't be used.

USAGE: Validate the TAF with the date and agency identification, and the credit card (if available). If the credit card is not available, write in the credit card number, name on the card, expiration date and effective date (if shown). There is a $500.00 per transaction limit and $10,000 per report limit. If you choose to allow refunds of fees charged on a TAF document, a REN (Refund/Exchange Notice) form must be completed (covered later in this manual). TAF reports are completed separately to the agency's sales reports. Below is a sample of the TAF document.

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PARTS: Auditor's Coupon (sent in report), Agent's Coupon (retained in files), Passenger's Receipt (given to client).

SALES REPORTS

Travel agencies submit each week a report for the value of all ARC documents such as airline tickets, MCOs, PTAs, and Tour Orders. Also included in the reports are any adjustment transactions--debit memos, credit memos, recall commissions, etc.

The weekly report includes all sales from Monday to Sunday and is mailed no later than midnight of the following Tuesday (or Wednesday if Monday or Tuesday is an ARC approved holiday). The agency is responsible for all accounting documents, including voided ones. An internal record keeping system should show each document number in numerical sequence with information on voids. A few airlines require the void coupons of a valid ticket. The handbook lists the carriers involved.

ARC also offers IAR--Interactive Agent Reporting--an electronic reporting system. IAR is accessible to any agency with a CRS and is free to use. IAR electronically processes automated and straight sale documents, adjustment memos, refunds, and exchanges. The daily ticket sales are transmitted from the CRS to IAR nightly so that an agency can review and reconcile the report the following day. IAR will verify each transaction, identify errors, and allow the agency to make corrections prior to the sales report submission deadline of Tuesday midnight. Agencies must first complete an IAR application. Contact ARC for details.

The details of preparing the ARC report manually will be briefly outlined here. The report has three components:

SALES REPORT AUTHORIZATION FORM

CASH TRANSACTIONS--with adding machine tape/computer printout

CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS--with adding machine tape/computer printout

1. Put CASH TRANSACTIONS into numerical sequence, followed by ticket exchanges (including even exchanges), refunds, debit memos, recall commissions, credit memos, etc.

2. Run an adding machine tape of the total sale, refund, or adjustment amount. Subtotal after every fifty items (or if less than fifty items, subtotal between cash sales, exchanges, refunds, and adjustments). Verify the accuracy of the tape and redo the printout if necessary.

3. The total of the printout is then indicated in the CASH boxes of the Sales Report Authorization Form (see next page).

4. Do the same with the CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS and put the end result in the CREDIT CARD boxes of the form.

5. The "AUTHORIZED AMOUNT" is the maximum amount that can be withdrawn from the agency's account. It doesn't reflect the net remittance or commission. The "AUTHORIZED AMOUNT" is calculated by either of the following methods:

(a) The easiest way is to use the cash tape total.

(b) Add the cash and credit card tape totals; then multiply the result by .04 for 4% of the total sales. Subtract this amount from the cash total. The final result is the authorized amount. NOTE: If excessive credit card sales, cash refunds, or other factors cause the final result to be negative, use "0" as the authorized amount.

THE METHOD CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF SALES:

(c) If you have a large negative cash total but a positive credit card sales total, use "0" as the authorized amount.

(d) If you only have credit card sales, use "0" as the authorized amount.

(e) If there's a negative credit card sales total and a positive cash tape total, divide the credit card total by 12 to obtain the amount of commission being returned. Multiply the cash total by 4%. Subtract the 4% from the amount of the cash total and add it to the commission amount being returned (the first calculation). The result is the authorized amount.

(f) If you have a zero credit card total and a positive cash tape, multiply the cash total by 4%. Subtract that amount from the cash total and use the result as the authorized amount.

(g) With a negative credit card total and a zero cash total, divide the credit card total by 12 to obtain the amount of commission being returned. ARC recommends that you add $10.00 to the amount and use the result as the authorized amount.

If there are "NO SALES" during the seven-day period, validate the form and mark the "No Sales" box on the Sales Report Settlement Authorization form.

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Using rubber bands, bundle the credit card sales transactions together with the tape/printout on top and do the same for the cash sales. The report should be submitted to the agency's designated area bank via first class mail with documents in the following order; Sales Report Authorization Form on top of credit card sales bundle on top of cash sales bundle. Join the three items with another rubber band. There are three area banks--Louisville, El Paso, and El Paso East. More information is provided in the ARC Industry Agent's Handbook.

MANUAL TICKETS

Before completing a manual ticket, it must first be imprinted with the date of issue, the agency identification and the airline identification. The imprinter is similar to a machine that was used for imprinting credit card charges (before slide across scanners were introduced).

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With the plates in place and the form placed on top, the "handle" is pushed to imprint the information. On the sample ticket below, arrows show the three areas of information that come through.

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COMPLETED MANUAL TICKET

The PARTS OF A MANUAL TICKET: Auditor's Coupon, Agent's Coupon, Flight Coupons, and Passenger Receipt. (There are also notices--samples previously shown in this chapter), Once a ticket has been completed, the agent carefully detaches the Auditor's and Agent's Coupons, as well as any VOID Coupons.

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Article Details
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Author:Dervaes, Claudine
Publication:Domestic Travel & Ticketing
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:1698
Previous Article:Chapter 5: Reservations.
Next Article:Chapter 7: Ticket examples and exercises.
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