Chapter 9 Special ticketing.
LEARNING OUTCOMES At the end of this chapter, the student should be able to: 1. Define prepaid ticket advice and describe the procedure leading up to the issuance of the PTA document. 2. Describe procedures to follow when issuing a refund for a PTA. 3. Complete the miscellaneous charges order (MCO) for deposits and full payments on a variety of services such as tours, car rentals, and cruises. 4. Complete the tour order for full and balance payments of tour packages. 5. Complete a standard airline ticket for Amtrak rail transportation.
* hold limit
* miscellaneous charges
* prepaid ticket advice
* protect code
* tour order
PREPAID TICKET ADVICE (PTA)
The prepaid ticket advice procedure allows travelers to purchase an airline ticket through their local travel agency and to have the ticket issued by the airline to another person in a different location.
Consider a common situation. You, the travel agent, are sitting in your travel agency in Chicago. The phone rings and it is one of your clients, Mr. Browning. His daughter, Judith, is attending college in Los Angeles. He wants her to fly home for a long weekend. Mr. Browning wants to know if he can purchase her ticket through your agency and have the ticket written and issued to Judith at the Los Angeles airport. Yes, he can. This process of purchasing an airline ticket through the local travel agency and having the ticket issued by the airline at the departure airport is called a prepaid ticket.
prepaid ticket advice (PTA) An ARC traffic document that is used to permit issuance of an airline ticket at a location other than the location of payment. The travel agent completes a PTA in lieu of a four-flight passenger ticket.
Prepaid tickets can be issued for both domestic and international travel. Two documents are involved when a prepaid ticket is issued:
1. The airline ticket that is issued by the airline at a location other than the travel agency.
2. The ARC ticket document called the prepaid ticket advice (PTA), which is completed by the travel agency. The travel agency completes a PTA because it has accepted money for airline transportation. Like standard airline tickets, the PTA document is sent to ARC on the weekly sales report.
prepaid ticket advice (PTA)
An ARC traffic document that is used to permit issuance of an airline ticket at a location other than the location of payment. The travel agent completes a PTA in lieu of a four-flight passenger ticket.
Can a prepaid ticket be issued for a local passenger? For example, if an agency is located in the Chicago area, can a client pay for a ticket through this agency but have the ticket issued and picked up at the airport in Chicago? Yes and no. A prepaid ticket can be issued for a local airport if there are fewer than twenty-four hours between the time the agent made the reservation and the scheduled flight departure. If the passenger does not qualify for this twenty-four hour rule, and the travel agency makes the reservation, then the airline ticket must be issued by the travel agency.
Airline Service Charge
When a prepaid ticket is processed, the airline that issues the ticket levies a service charge. The travel agent collects the service charge on behalf of the airline in addition to the applicable airfare from the purchaser.
The amount of prepaid ticket service charge differs from airline to airline. However, service charges range from $50 to $75 per PTA transaction.
Agency Commission on a PTA
The travel agency receives the standard airline commission when transacting a prepaid ticket. In addition to the standard commission earned on the base fare amount, the travel agency receives a commission from the PTA service charge. Because the commission policy on PTA service charges varies from airline to airline, this should be checked in each case. The general policy is 5 percent of the service charge amount. This is then added to the commission earned from the base fare amount.
Follow this procedure when issuing a prepaid ticket.
Step 1: Book flights through standard procedures. Inform the airline that a PTA is being issued. If the reservation was booked through the agency's CRS, the airline retrieves the passenger name record (PNR) in their computer system.
Step 2: Reconfirm the following pricing information with the airline:
* Base fare, US tax, and applicable ZP and XF charges
* Service charge amount
* Commission amount
Step 3: Collect total payment from the purchaser (total fare plus applicable service charge).
Step 4: Complete the PTA document.
Step 5: Recontact the airline's reservation office and have it retrieve the passenger's record. Provide the reservation agent with the PTA ten-digit number plus the check digit (or eleventh digit).
At this point, the airline is now in control of the transaction, and it is completed as follows:
Step 6: The airline automatically transmits the information electronically to the location where the ticket is issued (note: no refund of the PTA service charge is allowed at this point in the event of cancellation).
Step 7: The passenger can pick up the ticket at the airline counter at the appropriate airport. The airline requires identification from the passenger before issuing the prepaid ticket.
* A PTA may be issued for local passengers if the time between the reservation and the scheduled flight is twenty-four hours or less (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and holidays).
* A PTA can be written for multiple passengers as long as they are all traveling together on every segment.
* A PTA must be validated on the carrier issuing the airline ticket to the passenger.
* The service charge is nonrefundable once the travel agency provides the PTA number to the airline.
* A PTA can be issued for any type of fare, and the rules of the fare will apply. For example, if the rules of the fare require purchase within one day of the reservation, the PTA must be called in within that same time period. If the fare is nonrefundable, the travel agent should advise the purchaser that once the PTA is called in, no refund can be issued in the event of cancellation. If the fare is refundable, a refund of the fare portion can be issued, but the service charge portion is not refundable.
* A PTA is refundable only to the purchaser and not the passenger. A PTA is only refundable after the validating carrier has sent an authorization to refund notice (see next section on PTA refunds).
Completing the PTA
The PTA is completed by the travel agency in lieu of the actual airline ticket. The prepaid ticket advice is an ARC accountable form that is validated with airline and agency identification plates. Remember, the PTA must be validated on the carrier that is issuing the ticket to the passenger. For example, you are issuing a prepaid ticket for a round-trip itinerary from Albany to Richmond on Delta Air Lines, returning on US Airways. Because the passenger will be picking up the prepaid ticket in Albany, the PTA must be validated on Delta Air Lines (and not US Airways).
The PTA contains relevant information pertaining to the booking and includes passenger name, purchaser name and address, flight itinerary, fare, and applicable service charge.
Distribution of PTA coupons. The PTA consists of a cover sheet and four coupons (Figure 9-1).
The coupons of the PTA, from front to back, are as follows:
Coupon Distribution Auditor's Attach to control/reservation coupon and send on weekly ARC sales report. Agent's Keep in agency files. Control/reservation Attach to auditor's coupon and send on weekly ARC sales report. Purchaser's receipt Give to purchaser for personal record of transaction.
[FIGURE 9-1 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 9-2 OMITTED]
Breakdown of the PTA
Figure 9-2 shows the breakdown of a PTA. Instructions on how to complete a standard PTA follow.
1 Validation Areas
Validate the PTA with the appropriate carrier identification, agency identification, and date of issue.
2 Tickets to Be Issued By
Enter airline and city/state location where ticket is being issued.
3 Passenger information
The PTA is valid for one or more passengers traveling together. Enter all passenger names. Also enter the local address and phone contact if known (address and phone are optional entries).
4 Flight Information
Enter for each flight segment (in this sequence): (1) carrier code, (2) flight number, (3) class of service, (4) date, (5) from/to city codes, and (6) status code (OK).
Show the breakdown of segment tax and PFC charges by entering airport code and amount of each.
Enter notation that the PTA is refundable to purchaser only and the service charge is nonrefundable.
6 Tour Code
Enter tour code if fare is purchased with a land tour (rarely completed).
7 Purchaser information
Enter purchaser name, address, and phone number.
8 Fare computation ladder
* Fare: base fare
* U.S. Tax: Enter U.S. transportation tax amount.
* Other Tax: If applicable, enter segment and PFC charges (show total). If combined tax, enter XT followed by total amount.
* Other Funds: If applicable, enter additional funds that are being prepaid for the passenger (such as extra baggage fees and so on); otherwise, leave blank.
* PTA Total: This is the sum of all preceding boxes (Fare + U.S. Tax + Other tax + Other funds).
* Equiv. Amt. Pd.: If applicable, enter converted U.S. currency fare (only for international reservations).
* Svc. Charge: Enter the validating carrier's PTA service charge amount.
* Total: Enter final total, including PTA total and service charge.
9 Comm. Rate
If service charge applies, leave blank (or if commission cannot be expressed as a straight percentage).
10 Form of Payment Entries for form of payment are standard.
11 Currency/Rate of Exch.
If applicable on international reservations, enter the currency of payment and rate of exchange used. Otherwise, leave blank.
12 Exchange boxes
These boxes are applicable only if PTA is written in exchange for another document. Otherwise, leave blank.
13 Commission/Tax value boxes
Enter value of commission, including commission earnings on service charge. Enter total amount of tax (U.S. transportation plus applicable segment and PFC charges).
PTA Completed Example
Figure 9-3 is the completed PTA for passenger Browning.
* Commission value box
The commission of $24.92 was calculated by taking 5 percent of the base fare plus 5 percent of the service charge: $448.37 x 5% = $22.42 $ 50.00 x 5% = $ 2.50 = $24.92 total commission on PTA
* Tax value box
This box shows the total of all tax amounts (U.S. transportation plus applicable segment tax and PFC charges): $33.63 US tax $ 6.00 ZP + $ 3.00 XF = $42.63 total tax
[FIGURE 9-3 OMITTED]
Transmitting Information to Issuing Airline
After receiving payment and completing the PTA document, the travel agent is required to contact the airline that will issue the ticket. At this time, the agent informs the airline that the reservation is a prepaid ticket and payment has been collected for the full amount. This can be done either through the agency's computer reservations system or by telephone.
When transmitting this information by telephone, do the following:
* Contact the issuing airline's reservation office.
* Ask the reservation agent to retrieve the passenger's record (give flight number, date of travel, and passenger name).
* Inform the agent that the booking is a prepaid ticket.
* Provide the airline reservation agent with the PTA number plus the eleventh number called the check digit. The check digit is used for airline accounting purposes. The check digit is printed after the PTA number in the bottom right part of the form:
Give the reservation agent this number: 8519811342, check digit 2.
Once the PTA number and check digit are provided, the airline transmits a message directly to the location where the ticket will be issued (in this example, Los Angeles airport).
CHECK POINT 9-1
For each of the following reservations, complete the PTA. In each case, the validating airline pays 5 percent commission capped at $25 and $50 for one way and round-trip, respectively. The service charge and commission policy on the service charge amount are provided in each example. The commission cap pertains to 5 percent of base fare only; the commission on the service change is then added.
1. Figure 9-4 is the itinerary price display for passenger Dolan. Complete the PTA based on the information that follows.
[FIGURE 9-4 OMITTED]
The airline imposes a $75 PTA service charge. The travel agency earns 5 percent of the service charge (in addition to the earned commission on the base fare amount).
Passenger data: Address: 133 Revere Road Lynn, MA 02166 Phone: 971-555-8900 Purchaser data: Mrs. Mary Dolan 132 Mountain View Road Denver, CO 90055 Phone: 416-555-9044 Form of payment: Check
Complete the PTA:
2. Figure 9-5 is the itinerary price display for passenger Shaw. Complete the PTA based on the information that follows.
[FIGURE 9-5 OMITTED]
The airline imposes a $50 PTA service charge. The travel agency earns 5 percent of the service charge (in addition to the earned commission on the base fare amount).
Passenger data: Address: 175 Mosside Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 20009 Phone: 724-555-9033 Purchaser data: Dr. Thomas Shaw 132 Van Dyke Road Detroit, Michigan 48195 Phone: 248-555-1630 Form of payment: Visa 0000800086767575
Complete the PTA:
3. Figure 9-6 is the itinerary price display for passenger Peterson. Complete the PTA based on the information that follows.
[FIGURE 9-6 OMITTED]
The airline imposes a $60 PTA service charge. The travel agency earns 5 percent of the service charge (in addition to the earned commission on the base fare amount).
Passenger data: Address: 8557 Canal Street Address: New Orleans, LA 70166 Phone: 504-555-8412 Purchaser data: Mr. Andrew Peterson 56 Arlington Boulevard Arlington, Virginia 22209 Phone: 703-555-7183 Form of payment: Check
The procedure for refunding PTAs is different from that used for refunding standard airline tickets issued directly from the travel agency.
Once the PTA number is provided to the airline, the PTA process cannot be voided. The airline is in full control of the PTA transaction. Any change or refund must be authorized by the airline. The agent cannot automatically refund without this authorization. The written authorization is mailed to the travel agency. It can take up to two weeks to receive the authorization document.
Follow these steps when refunding a PTA:
Step 1: Contact the airline and cancel the reservation.
Step 2: Wait for the written authorization from the airline before starting refund procedures. The airline's authorization is an ARC document called an authority to refund prepaid ticket advice. The form is completed by the airline and mailed to the travel agency. The travel agent does not make any entries on this form.
Step 3: After the agency receives the written authorization from the airline, complete the refund/exchange notice (REN) to process the refund.
Remember: The service charge is not refundable.
PTA refund example. For this completed example, we will use the first PTA example in this chapter. Remember the PTA we did for Judith Browning? Take a look at it now (Figure 9-3). Let's pretend that the client canceled the PTA before departure. The first thing you would do is contact the airline that was issuing the PTA (American Airlines in the example) and cancel the reservation. The second thing you do is to wait for written authorization from American Airlines.
Written authorization from the issuing airline to refund a PTA is called an authority to refund prepaid ticket advice. Figure 9-7 is the completed authorization from American Airlines. As you can see, all pertinent information concerning this reservation is reported on this form. Notice that the refund amount of the total fare is $491. The service charge of $50 was not refunded but was kept by the airline.
[FIGURE 9-7 OMITTED]
The authority to refund prepaid ticket advice form consists of two coupons. The area bank copy is attached to the REN coupon and sent on the weekly ARC sales report. The agent's copy of the authorization is kept in the agency's files. Figure 9-8 is the completed REN for this PTA:
[FIGURE 9-8 OMITTED]
CHECK POINT 9-2
1. Turn to the first PTA exercise in this chapter for passenger Dolan. This PTA was canceled. Figure 9-9 is the authority to refund the PTA.
[FIGURE 9-9 OMITTED]
Complete the REN:
2. Turn to the second PTA exercise in this chapter for passenger Shaw. This PTA was canceled. Figure 9-10 is the authority to refund the PTA.
[FIGURE 9-10 OMITTED]
Complete the REN:
MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES ORDER (MCO)
miscellaneous charges order (MCO) An ARC traffic document that is used for a variety of functions, including deposits and final payments for land packages, car rentals, hotel accommodations, and cruises.
The miscellaneous charges order (MCO) is an ARC accountable ticket document designed to record down payments and full payments for a wide variety of air and land services.
The MCO is used only after prior approval from the airline that either (1) provides the transportation or service or (2) accepts payment for the transportation or service through standard ARC weekly sales report channels.
The MCO is used for a variety of services that include deposits or full payments for the following:
* Airline transportation
* Tour packages
* Car rentals
* Air/sea cruises
* Hotel accommodations
Because the MCO has so many functions, instructions on how to complete this document for a particular service are normally provided for the travel agent by the airline or service operator.
Distribution of the MCO Coupons
The MCO consists of a cover sheet and four coupons. Like standard airline tickets, it is validated with the appropriate airline and agency identification. Figure 9-11 shows the coupons of the MCO.
[FIGURE 9-11 OMITTED]
The coupons of the MCO, from front to back, are as follows:
Coupon Distribution Auditor's Send on weekly ARC sales report. Agent's Keep in agency files. Exchange Give to passenger for exchange of service or send to airline or supplier as per carrier's instructions. Passenger's Give to passenger for personal record of transaction.
Breakdown of the MCO
Figure 9-12 shows the breakdown of a miscellaneous charges order. Instructions on how to complete a standard MCO follow. (Examples are adequate to demonstrate the basic principles of completing an MCO, but they do not cover every possibility.)
[FIGURE 9-12 OMITTED]
1 Validation areas
Validate with proper airline and agency identification and date of issue.
2 Name of Passenger
Enter name of passenger in standard ticketing format. The MCO can cover more than one passenger. When space does not permit, enter the name of the head of family or group, followed by "For (enter number) passengers." Other names can be added in the Remarks box if space allows.
3 Tour No.
If applicable, when issued for a tour package, enter tour code or identification number. Otherwise, leave blank.
4 Type of Service
Enter type of service or purpose for which the MCO is issued. When issued for a tour, enter the tour name. This box can never be left blank.
5 Amount in Letters
Enter value of MCO by using block letters (same format used on a personal check).
This box is used only if payment is in currency other than U.S. dollars. Otherwise, leave blank.
7 Amount in Figures
Enter the dollar and cents value of the MCO (equivalent to the amount shown in the Amount in Letters box).
Enter name and location of airline or operator that honors the MCO exchange coupon.
9 Reservation Data
Enter the reservation data, if applicable, such as dates of service, class, status, and so on.
When necessary, enter additional relevant information.
Enter any applicable endorsements/restrictions of travel concerning refunds.
12 Issued in Exchange For
If the MCO is issued in exchange for another ticket document, enter the original ticket's form and serial number. Otherwise, leave blank.
13 Original Issue
If the MCO is issued in exchange for another ticket document, enter the city code, date of issue, and agency number from the original ticket. Otherwise, leave blank.
14 Computation ladder
* Rate of Exchange: If currency other than U.S. currency is used, enter currency code and exchange rate used. Otherwise, leave blank.
* Equivalent Amount Paid: If currency other than U.S. currency is used, enter amount paid. Otherwise, leave blank.
* Fare/Other: Enter value of MCO (without tax).
* U.S. Tax: If applicable, enter transportation tax. Otherwise, leave blank.
* Other Tax: If applicable, enter additional government tax. Otherwise, leave blank.
* Total: Enter total value, including applicable tax.
15 Commission Rate
Enter commission percentage amount. If commission cannot be expressed with a straight percentage, leave blank.
16 Issued in Conjunction With
Enter the form/serial number of any ticket document issued in conjunction with the MCO. Otherwise, leave blank.
17 Form of Payment
Enter form of payment: check, cash, or credit card and account number.
18 Commission/Tax value boxes
The standard travel agency commission for tours is 10 percent. Enter either the percentage or dollar/cents value of commission and tax. If no tax applies, enter "0" (zero) in the tax box.
The MCO is used frequently to transmit deposits or full payments for tour packages. It can be used when the form of payment is by check, cash, or credit card. Many airlines and companies that operate tours will require a down payment or deposit. This is especially true if the tour reservation is made far in advance of the departure date.
Sometimes the travel agency can simply remit the deposit amount by sending an agency check to the service operator. However, if the passenger wants to pay the deposit (or final payment) by credit or charge card, and if this is acceptable to the airline or service operator, the MCO may be the only way to transmit the payment.
The travel agency receives commission for selling tour packages and other land services such as cruises, car rentals, and hotels. The standard commission is 10 percent for these types of services. However, higher commissions can be earned on certain products to increase sales.
The agency claims the commission amount against the value of the MCO. If the MCO is issued for a deposit, the agency claims the commission percentage against the deposit value of the MCO; if the MCO is issued for final payment, the agency claims the commission percentage against the final payment value of the MCO.
Tour Resources and Costs
Because MCOs are issued frequently for deposit or final payments on tours, we will use this type of service as an example. Travel agents use a variety of resources to research tour packages and prices. Most major airlines have a tour division. This means that they offer tours and vacation packages to destinations on their routes. Many airlines print their own tour manuals and brochures to advertise their tour products.
Figure 9-13 is an excerpt from a brochure featuring vacation packages in Bermuda. The tour operator is called Sunny Island Tours. Here are key points when reading and interpreting tour information and costs:
* Name of tour: A tour will have a name that is used for marketing purposes. The name of the tour in our example is "Bermuda Holiday."
* Tour number: Each tour is identified with a tour number. The tour number is used on documentation and tickets. The tour number in our example is AA9667BDA.
* Tour rates: Prices for tours are printed per person (unless otherwise noted).
* Meal plans: Some tours include specific meals at the hotel selected. The meal plan codes and plans are as follows:
EP = European plan (no meals included in tour cost)
BP = Bermuda plan (full breakfast daily)
CP = Continental plan (light breakfast daily)
MAP = Modified American plan (two meals per day)
AP = American plan (three meals per day)
* Determining the cost of a tour: You calculate the price of a tour package by noting several factors, including the following:
1. Hotel selected
2. Type/class of accommodation (standard, deluxe, and so on)
3. Time period or dates of travel
4. Meal plan purchased
5. Number of nights
* Here's an example. Your clients, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, have selected the four-night package called "Bermuda Holiday." They will arrive in Bermuda on November 10 and depart four nights later on November 14. They are confirmed at the Elbow Beach Hotel.
* First, determine the total cost of this tour package by doing the following:
1. Find the hotel selected on the chart.
2. Find the correct time period of their stay (from November 1 to April 10
3. Find the number of nights column (four nights).
After you find the hotel selected, the time period, and the number of nights, what is the price, per person, for this Bermuda tour package? Right, it is $483 per person. Because the Elbow Beach offers this package based on EP, no meals are included.
When you booked this land package, the tour operator, Sunny Island Tours, requested a deposit in the amount of $100 per person to secure the reservation. Your clients want to pay with their American Express card (account number 0000 123456789). The tour operator permits you to issue an MCO to transmit the deposit payment for these clients.
You have booked these clients on American Airlines round-trip to Bermuda. Figure 9-14 is the completed MCO for this deposit payment.
* Airline validation: Validate the MCO with the airline that is providing air transportation.
* Name of passenger: For multiple passengers do either of the following: (1) enter one name only followed by the number of passengers in the party or (2) enter both passenger names by writing surname (last name) first, first name, and title. Separate each first name with a slash.
* Commission rate: The standard 10 percent commission is taken from the deposit amount. The commission value is $20 ($200x10%).
[FIGURE 9-14 OMITTED]
CHECK POINT 9- 3
Just for practice, complete the following MCO for these same clients, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, for the balance or final payment for their tour to Bermuda.
The form of payment is MasterCard. The account number is 1224 6779 0022 789.
When you complete an MCO for a final payment, many of the same boxes are completed in the same way (e.g., passenger name, tour number, "to" box, and reservation data).
Following are some differences:
* In the Type of Service box enter "Final Payment for Land Tour--Bermuda Holiday." * To calculate the final payment on the MCO, do the following:
$483.00 per person for the total package $483.00 = $966.00 total price - $200.00 deposit paid = $766.00 balance payment due/MCO value
How much commission will the agency claim on the MCO for the balance payment? Right, $76.60 ($766 x 10%).
Complete the MCO for the final payment:
CHECK POINT 9-4
Complete the MCO for each of the following reservations:
1. You are issuing a full payment MCO for your clients, Mr. Thomas Redding and Mrs. Susan Redding (they booked late and there is no time to send a deposit; the tour operator is requiring full payment immediately). They are traveling on the Bermuda Holiday package (refer to Figure 9-13 on page 327).
They have selected the Ariel Sands Beach Club. They will be arriving on May 20 and departing five nights later on May 25. They are flying on Delta Air Lines. They are confirmed in a deluxe room on the meal plan that includes two meals per day. They will be paying by check.
Complete the MCO:
2. Your clients, Mr. Thomas Babson, Mrs. Susan Babson, and their daughter Diane (seventeen years of age), are purchasing the "Caesar's Palace Roman Holiday" package shown in Figure 9-15.
They will be sharing a deluxe room (triple occupancy rate). They are arriving on February 10 and departing February 17 (total seven nights). The tour operator is United Airlines Vacations (they are also flying on United Airlines). A deposit in the amount of $150 per person is required. They will pay for the deposit with their Diners Club card: 0000 3445 66788 90223. The tour operator pays a standard commission of 10 percent on the package.
[FIGURE 9-15 OMITTED]
Complete an MCO for the deposit:
3. It is now time to send the balance payment for the Babson family (as shown in example 2). They will pay the balance on their American Express card: 7889 9877 1010010.
Complete an MCO for the balance payment for these clients:
MCO for Other Services
In addition to tours, the MCO can be used to prepay a car rental if the client does not have a credit card. However, most car rental companies require that the client have a credit card, so you must check with the car rental company for verification that using an MCO for payment is allowed. Other uses of the MCO include payments for sightseeing tours, cruises, and accommodations.
If an MCO is required for any of these services, the operator or service company will usually provide instructions regarding MCO preparation.
The following exercises represent typical situations in which an MCO is used to transmit payment.
CHECK POINT 9-5
1. Your client is Mr. Samuel Goodwin. He is renting a car with Budget Car Rental at the Miami Airport on July 12. He will drop it off at the same location two days later on July 14. The daily rate is $56 plus 15 cents per mile. He does not have a credit card. Budget requires an MCO for the full daily rate for both days plus a prepayment for a total of 100 miles.
He is renting a standard-size car, which is category C.
The exchange coupon of the MCO is given to Mr. Goodwin to hand-carry on his trip. It is proof that he has paid (through his travel agency) the agreed cost. The MCO exchange coupon will be surrendered at Budget Car Rental when he picks up his car at the airport. Budget has given you the following instructions to follow when completing the MCO. Follow these instructions and complete the MCO.
a. Validate the MCO with the airline on which he is traveling. His flight is on Continental Airlines 005.
b. Calculate the full value of the MCO: two-day rental charge of $56 per day, plus a total of 100 miles at 15 cents per mile.
c. Issue the MCO to the car rental company and location of car hire.
d. For reservation data, enter the type of car, date of pickup and drop-off, and daily rate/mileage charge.
e. The travel agency receives 12 percent commission on the value of the MCO.
2. Your clients, John and Patricia Hayward, are booked on the following air/sea package from their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. They are flying between Atlanta and Miami on Delta Air Lines number 8778.
* Cruise company: Royal Caribbean International
* Name of ship: Voyager of the Seas
* Departure: Miami, Florida, on December 9 for a seven-day cruise
* Cabin: Cabin number 8110, category 10
* Rate: $1625 per person, including round-trip air transportation and port charges
* Deposit required: $200 per person
* Travel agency receives 15 percent commission on the value of the MCO.
The Haywards are paying the deposit by credit card: American Express 0000768536214. The cardholder is John Hayward. The cruise company is requesting an MCO to cover the total deposit amount. The MCO exchange coupon is mailed directly to the operator, Royal Caribbean International, in Miami, Florida.
tour order An ARC traffic document that is used only to process deposits or final payments for land tour packages or air/sea packages.
Like the miscellaneous charges order, the tour order is an accountable ARC ticket document designed to record deposits or full payments for advertised air tours. The tour order is used to process any of the following transactions: air and land packages, air and sea packages, land-only packages, and rail packages.
Unlike the MCO, which has a variety of uses, the tour order is used strictly for tour, cruise, or rail packages.
Like the MCO, the tour order is used only after prior approval from the carrier or operator of the tour.
Distribution of the Tour Order Coupons
The tour order consists of a cover sheet and seven coupons. Like the MCO document, it is validated with the appropriate airline and agency identification (Figure 9-16).
[FIGURE 9-16 OMITTED]
The coupons of the tour order, from front to back, are as follows:
Coupon Distribution Auditor's Send on weekly ARC sales report. Agent's Keep in agency files. Service coupons Passenger hand-carries or agency mails (total of four) to tour operator for tour documents. Service coupon 1 If applicable, transfer or car rental service. Service coupon 2 If applicable, hotel accommodation. Service coupon 3 If applicable, transfer or sightseeing company. Service coupon 4 If applicable, transfer or sightseeing company. Passenger's Give to passenger as personal record of transaction.
In most cases, the tour order serves as actual tour documentation that is hand-carried by the passenger. The tour order consists of four service coupons. Each coupon represents a particular service that is prepaid on the tour. Each applicable coupon is then surrendered at the destination in return for the designated service or feature stated on the coupon.
In other situations, the service coupons are made out to the name of the tour operator and mailed directly to its reservation office. Upon receipt of the mailed service coupons, the tour operator then mails the tour documents to the travel agency to give to the client.
Instructions are provided to the travel agent when issuing a tour order, and the procedure usually depends on the airline or tour operator.
Breakdown of the Tour Order
Figure 9-17 shows the breakdown of a tour order. Instructions on how to complete a standard tour order follow.
1 Validation areas
Validate with same airline ID plate used to issue passenger(s) air ticket(s), agency identification, and date of issue.
2 Bill To
Enter name of tour operator.
3 Tour Name
Enter the name of the tour.
[FIGURE 9-17 OMITTED]
4 Tour Code
Enter the tour code as shown in the tour brochure/reference.
5 Passenger Name
Enter passenger's last name and first name or initial. If multiple passengers, enter head of family or group.
6 Party Of Enter total number in party.
7 Service coupon 1
If applicable, enter name of airport transfer company or car rental company and name of city where service will commence.
8 Service coupon 2
If applicable, enter name of tour operator or hotel and name of city where tour commences.
9 Service coupon 3
If applicable, enter name and location of airport transfer company or additional services as provided in the tour.
10 Service coupon 4
If applicable, enter name and location of airport transfer company or additional services as provided in the tour.
11 Value boxes per coupon
Enter value of services rendered only when required by specific ticketing instructions. Otherwise, leave blank.
12 Tour Features
List all features and services prepaid on tour.
13 Hotel Details
Check appropriate type of accommodation on tour.
14 Number of Nights
Enter number of nights on tour.
15 In Date/Out Date
Enter date and month for arrival and departure from tour.
16 Arrival Flight/Date Enter two-letter airline code, flight number, and arrival date on tour.
17 Departure Flight/Date Enter two-letter airline code, flight number, and departure date from tour.
18 Computation ladder
* Total Tour Cost: Enter total cost for all passengers in party.
* Less Deposit: If applicable, enter amount of deposit, and insert MCO number in Form of Payment box (see item 20). If deposit was not sent, enter zero.
* Final Payment: Enter total value of tour (less deposit when applicable).
* Equiv. Amt. Paid: Enter amount paid in foreign currency if payment is made with other than U.S. dollars. Otherwise, leave blank.
19 Comm. Rate Enter commission percentage rate.
20 Form of Payment
Enter form of payment used to purchase tour (e.g. cash, check, credit-card number). Also enter deposit MCO number, if applicable.
21 Air Ticket Number(s)
Enter form/serial number(s) of airline tickets issued in conjunction with tour, if applicable.
22 Issued in Exchange For Enter appropriate number only when issued in exchange for another tour order or MCO. Otherwise, leave blank.
23 Date and Place of Orig. Issue Show date and place of original issue of tour order or MCO (used only when tour order is issued in exchange for another tour order or MCO). Otherwise, leave blank.
24 Commission value box
Enter either the percentage or dollar/cents value of commission.
25 Tax value box
Enter "0" (zero).
Tour Order Example
Your client, Mr. Robert Parks, is traveling with his wife, Janet Parks, to Key West, Florida. Figure 9-18 is the five-day, four-night package they are purchasing.
One week after you made this booking, you completed an MCO for the total deposit of $200 ($100 per person). The MCO number was 8032662117, and it was validated on Delta Air Lines.
The tour operator pays 10 percent commission on the full value of the tour package.
Figure 9-19 is the itinerary price display for these clients. Take some time out now to complete the airline ticket for Mr. Parks. The only additional entry you would make on the ticket is to enter the tour number (EYW01) in the tour code box.
[FIGURE 9-18 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 9-19 OMITTED]
Complete this ticket for Mr. Parks (form of payment is check):
[FIGURE 9-20 OMITTED]
Figure 9-20 is the completed tour order for the balance payment on the land tour. The value of this tour order equals the total cost minus the deposit that was sent:
$620 total tour cost for two ($310 per person) - $200 deposit sent on MCO #8032662117 = $420 balance payment value on tour order
* Air Ticket Number(s): Both ticket numbers are entered in this box.
* Final Payment: The value of the tour order is $420 (total minus deposit sent).
* Commission value: The commission value is based on the value of the tour order or $42 ($420 x?10%). Remember, when you issued the MCO for the deposit payment, you claimed 10 percent commission on the MCO value or $20. What was the total commission earned on this entire booking? Right, $62.
* Form of Payment: First enter the form of payment used for the tour order. Remember, if an MCO was used to pay for an initial deposit, enter the MCO number in this box.
CHECK POINT 9- 6
1. Your clients, a family of three adults (Edward and Judy Plummer plus their son, David), are purchasing the fiveday, four-night tennis and spa package at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, Arizona (Figure 9-21). They will be sharing a room on the package.
Because there is no time to send a deposit, the tour operator is requesting full payment. Because the clients are paying for their package on their credit card (AX 1334100947756), you are to complete a tour order. The agency earns a standard 10 percent commission on the package.
They are arriving into Tucson on January 22 on American Airlines flight 445. They are departing on January 26 on American Airlines flight 5504.
[FIGURE 9-21 OMITTED]
Complete the following tour order:
2. Mr. and Mrs. Roger Swanson and their two children are traveling to Walt Disney World on the package shown in Figure 9-22. All four will share a room (quad occupancy).
They are staying at the Contemporary Resort on the seven-day, six-night package. You booked the package for them several months before and sent a deposit in the amount of $150 per person (the deposit was transmitted by MCO #8032662117). The tour operator is requesting a tour order to transmit final payment. The commission equals 10 percent.
These clients are arriving in Orlando, Florida on Continental flight 1902 on August 20 and departing on Continental flight 6605 on August 26.
They are paying the tour order by Visa: 0000 123456789.
[FIGURE 9-22 OMITTED]
Complete the tour order for the balance payment
Procedures for Amtrak reservations and ticketing are closely related to those of airline transportation because Amtrak is also a member of ARC. What does this mean to a travel agent? Amtrak tickets are generated on the same ARC automated and manual ticket stock that is used for air transportation.
Amtrak tickets are also included on the weekly ARC sales report along with airline tickets, PTAs, MCOs, and tour orders.
When Amtrak began operation in 1971, it inherited a fleet of old and "much-in-need-of-repair" rail equipment from private railroads. Amtrak immediately started building new cars and refurbishing the old. Over the years Amtrak has expanded to what it is today-a national rail system that operates over 24,000 miles of travel with more than 200 trains daily. All trains are equipped with electric lighting, heating, and cooling systems.
Today, Amtrak operates six general types of rail services and equipment:
1. Amfleet: These trains operate throughout the United States on short- to medium-distance routes.
2. Heritage--Heritage trains operate throughout the East and Midwest regions on medium- to long-distance routes. Most Heritage trains offer sleeper cars and full-dining service.
3. Turboliner: These trains operate within New York state only on short-distance routes.
4. Superliner: These trains operate on all routes west of Chicago. Superliner fleet cars contain double-level passenger seating with sleepers and full-dining and lounge services.
5. Acela: This high-speed rail service operates in the Northeast corridor between Boston-New York-Washington. Speeds reach 150 miles per hour using the latest rail technology.
6. Auto Train: This scheduled train operates between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida, each day. It provides both passenger seating and dining and entertainment cars in addition to enclosed carriers at the end of the train to transport passengers' cars, vans, and motorcycles.
Rail Services and Accommodations
Traveling by rail has some things in common with air travel: baggage requirements, boarding procedures, first-class and coach cabins, reserved seats, and meals.
On most trains there are three types of seats or classes of service: coach, custom, and club. Coach class is the standard class of service on Amtrak. Seating is usually two-by-two with a walking aisle in the middle. Custom class is equivalent to business class on airplanes, and club class is the first-class equivalent. Passengers are charged higher rail fares when traveling in custom or club, and both types of seats require advance reservation. Both custom and club passengers receive at-your-seat meal service.
Unlike airlines, Amtrak offers various types of sleeping accommodations on its medium- to long-distance train service. Passengers must pay an accommodation charge for all types of sleeping units, which include roomette (for one adult), single slumbercoach (for one adult), double slumbercoach (for two adults), and bedrooms of various sizes and occupancies.
When passengers reserve any type of sleeping accommodation, they are not permitted to occupy a coach or deluxe seat during the day. All accommodations provide seating during the day and convertible or pull-down beds for sleeping at night.
Seating and Accommodations Codes
Each type of seating and accommodation has an assigned code for reservations and ticketing purposes. Following is a partial list of some of the most frequently used ticketing codes. When completing Amtrak tickets, these codes are entered in the Class box. Refer to this list for all exercises in this section.
Code Description Seats C Reserved, standard coach seats on all trains U Unreserved coach trains K Custom seats ("business" class seating) P Club or parlor seats (first-class seating) Sleeping Accommodations R Roomette (lower bed for one adult) L Single slumbercoach (lower bed for one adult) O Double slumbercoach (upper and lower for two adults) B Bedroom (upper and lower for two adults) F Family bedroom (on Superliners, two uppers and two lowers for two adults and two children)
Unreserved versus Reserved Trains
Some trains are on nonreserved basis. That means that there is no assigned seating. On many short-distance routes, this is the case. Passengers can prepay and be issued a ticket but will not be assigned a specific seat. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. During busy holiday or school vacation periods, some trains may have more passengers than available seats. In that case passengers are required to stand until a seat becomes available.
In many cases a reservation is required. Advance reservations are always required under these circumstances:
1. Equipment identified as "reserved trains." If identified as such, all seats (including coach seats) must be reserved in advance. This is usually the case in medium- and long-distance train service.
2. Any type of accommodation (on all trains).
3. Any type of first-class seating: club or custom.
4. Special trains such as Acela (high-speed system).
Like airline cities and airports, all Amtrak stations have three-letter codes for reservations and ticketing. Many Amtrak station codes are the same as their airline counterparts; some are different.
For example, New York City provides two train stations. Each station has a unique three-letter assigned code: NYP for Penn Station and NYG for Grand Central Station.
It is not necessary to memorize these codes. Following is a partial list for your reference:
ALB-Albany, New York
FTL-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
LAX-Los Angeles, California
NOL-New Orleans, Louisiana
NYG-New York, NY (Grand Central)
NYP-New York, NY (Penn Station)
RGH-Raleigh, North Carolina
SFO-San Francisco, California
STL-St. Louis, Missouri
Making Amtrak Reservations
Travel agents can book rail segments either through the computer reservations system or by telephone. Placing a rail reservation is similar to placing an airline reservation.
Following is a general guide to follow when booking Amtrak reservations by telephone:
Step 1: Identify yourself and provide the name and location of your agency.
Step 2: Provide the Amtrak reservation agent the following information:
* Origin and destination cities
* Departure date
* Departing time or train number (if known)
* Number of passengers
* Type of accommodation(s) required
Step 3: The Amtrak reservation agent provides the following information:
hold limit That date by which time an Amtrak ticket must be purchased by the passenger and issued by the agency in order to confirm an Amtrak reservation.
* Hold limit (ticketing date): All Amtrak reserved space is assigned a hold limit or option date, by which time the ticket must be purchased and issued by the travel agency. Hold limits are established according to the date the reservation was made in advance of the departure date. For example, if a reservation is made one to three weeks prior to departure, the ticket must be issued at least five days prior to departure.
* Reservation number: This number is assigned to each passenger reservation booked. It identifies the passenger record in Amtrak's computer. The travel agent provides the reservation number to Amtrak to retrieve the passenger booking that was made previously. The reservation number is also entered on the Amtrak ticket for reference.
* Verification of all train numbers and times.
protect code A code that secures a reservation and prevents cancellation of the space.
After you receive payment and have issued the Amtrak ticket, you must contact Amtrak reservations and provide the ticket number(s). When you give the ticket number( s), the reservation agent will assign a protect code to the passenger's record. This protect code secures the reservation and prevents cancellation of the space. The protect code is also written on the Amtrak ticket for reference.
Remember, if you do not provide the Amtrak ticket number on or before the hold limit date, Amtrak will cancel the reservation automatically.
General Ticketing Guidelines
Amtrak ticketing is similar to airline ticketing; however, there are special entries and codes that are unique to Amtrak transportation.
Here are some basic facts to remember when completing Amtrak tickets:
* Amtrak's carrier code is A3. This code is used when making reservations and is entered in the Carrier box on the ticket.
* All Amtrak tickets earn a standard 10 percent agency commission.
* No transportation or government taxes are collected on Amtrak tickets. All tax entries on the ticket are "0."
* All passengers traveling together as one party are written on one ticket.
* All fares on the Amtrak ticket's fare ladder are separated into two categories: RF (total rail fare for all passengers on ticket) and AC (separate accommodation or deluxe seat charge, if applicable).
* Amtrak tickets are validated just like airline tickets. The three parts of a validated Amtrak ticket are agency identification plate, Amtrak identification plate (looks just like an airline plate), and date of issue.
* The three-digit code that is imprinted on the Amtrak identification plate (and which appears in the lower right section of the ticket) is 554.
Breakdown of the Amtrak Ticket
1 Validation areas
* Date of issue
* Agency identification
* Amtrak identification
2 Booking Reference
Enter the reservation number preceded with AM. Also enter the protect code preceded with PC.
Enter the three-letter station codes of origin and destination cities.
For special fare tickets, write routing in station codes and fare type code. Otherwise, leave blank.
Name of Passenger
For multiple passengers, enter last name/first initial or name followed by number in party.
6 Conjunction Ticket(s)
This is the standard entry for a conjunction ticket, if applicable.
7 Issued in Exchange For
If applicable, enter original ticket number for exchange.
8 Coupons Not Valid
These are standard entries to show any minimum- and/or maximum-stay restrictions on a discounted fare.
9 Original Issue
If applicable, enter original ticket data for exchange transactions.
10 Ticket Designator
Write number of passengers for each passenger fare type: F = Full adult, H = Child discount. If pricing only full adult fares, leave blank.
11 Tour Code
If applicable, enter tour number.
12 X/O column
These are standard entries. Enter "X" in front of stations where stopover is not allowed. Enter "O" in front of stations where stopover is allowed.
13 From/To column
Write full city names on routing.
14 Carrier Enter A3 for Amtrak.
* Flight: Enter train number.
* Class: Enter seat or accommodation code (e.g., C, U, R, L, O, B, F).
Enter date of departure.
Enter time of departure.
19 Fare Basis
See examples for unreserved service, reserved seats, and sleeping accommodations.
20 From/To List cities on routing, by station code.
In first box, enter RF (followed by total rail fare amount). In second box (if applicable), enter AC followed by the accommodation charge. Otherwise, leave blank.
22 Fare Calculation
Next to RF, enter the total rail fare for all passengers covered on ticket. If applicable, next to AC enter the total accommodation charge.
23 Comm. Rate Enter -10-.
Enter total rail fare and accommodation charges.
25 Form of Payment.
These are standard entries. Enter type of payment: cash, check, or credit card (include credit-card code and account number).
Enter total fare and applicable accommodation charge.
Enter selling fare (same amount that appears in "Selling Fare" box.
29 Commission Value
30 Tax Value
Ticketing Unreserved Coach
Figure 9-23 is an example of a completed Amtrak ticket. The clients, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Baker, are traveling from New Haven to Washington. Because the train is unreserved and they are traveling in standard coach, no advance reservation is necessary.
[FIGURE 9-23 OMITTED]
* Booking Reference: Because no reservation is made, this box is blank.
* Fare ladder: The rail fare for each passenger is $120. The total for both passengers, or $240, is entered opposite RF. Because there is no accommodation, no entry is made below.
* Coupon entries: Make entries only in the following boxes: Carrier (A3); Status (OK); and Fare Basis (2 COACH). Enter "Unreserved" across other boxes in this section.
CHECK POINT 9-7
Complete the Amtrak ticket for the following passengers.
A party of three adults, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Swanson and their daughter Susan, are traveling round-trip: BostonNew York, Penn Station-Boston. The train is unreserved coach. The rail fare is $135 round-trip per person. The form of payment is check.
Complete the Amtrak ticket:
Ticketing Reserved Seats (coach, custom, club)
Figure 9-24 is an example of a completed Amtrak ticket for reserved seating. The clients, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Adams, are traveling on a reserved train round-trip from Rochester to Chicago. You reserved train number 49 from Rochester to Chicago. They are departing on October 3 at 8:20 A.M. You reserved train number 48 on the return. They are returning on October 9 at 6:25 P.M. They are paying for standard coach seats.
The round-trip rail fare is $102.00 per person. When you made the booking, Amtrak provided the following: Reservation number is 16203; the protect code is PCH13B. The form of payment is by credit card.
* Booking Reference: Enter the reservation number and protect code, each preceded by AM and PC, respectively.
* Coupon boxes: Flight--train number; Class--C for coach seat; Date--date of departure; Time--time of departure; Status--OK; Fare Basis--number in party and type of seat reserved.
[FIGURE 9-24 OMITTED]
CHECK POINT 9-8
Complete the Amtrak ticket for the following passengers.
Your clients, Mr. and Mrs. T. Hayes and Mildred Hayes are traveling one way from Seattle to San Francisco. You have reserved the following for them:
* Train number 11
* Three coach seats
* Departure date and time are November 21 at 10:40 A.M.
* Rail fare per person is $122.
The reservation number is 123443; the protect code is D13L.
The form of payment is CA 000061239834512.
Ticketing with Accommodations
On medium- to long-distance trains, sleeping cars and accommodations are available. Passengers who reserve any type of accommodation (e.g., roomette, slumbercoach, and bedroom) must pay both the published rail fare and an accommodation charge.
It is important to note that when you look up Amtrak prices either on the agency computer or in printed tariffs, rail fares are always published per person and accommodations are always published per accommodation.
Here's an example. Two passengers are traveling one way from Atlanta to Dallas on a reserved train. The published rail fare is $280 per person. They are reserving a bedroom on the train. The published accommodation charge is $310 for the bedroom. To calculate the total cost on this ticket, you would figure it this way:
$280.00 rail fare for first passenger $280.00 rail fare for second passenger $310.00 accommodation charge for both passengers $870.00 total ticket price
When any type of sleeping accommodation is reserved, the passenger receives a specific accommodation assignment. The assignment consists of two parts: the accommodation number or letter and the car number. For example, a bedroom accommodation assignment is B/1334. This means that the passenger is assigned to bedroom B in car number 1334.
Figure 9-25 is a completed round-trip Amtrak ticket between New York and Orlando, Florida, for Mr. and Mrs. David Dawson. Their reservation is as follows:
* New York-Orlando, departing August 22 at 1:00 P.M. Train number 87 with bedroom C/3446 (bedroom C in car number 3446).
* Orlando-New York, departing August 30 at 2:00 P.M. Train number 98 with bedroom H/1224 (bedroom H in car 1224).
[FIGURE 9-25 OMITTED]
The reservation number is 631442; the protect code is T32L. Rail fare = $284 round trip per passenger, or $568 for two. Bedroom accommodation charge = $312 one way, or $624 round-trip. The form of payment is check.
* Fare ladder: On the first line, enter RF and the total rail fare for all passengers. On the next line enter AC (for accommodation charge) and the total accommodation charge.
* Fare Basis box: Enter the accommodation assignment or the accommodation letter or number followed by the car number and separate with a slash (e.g., C/3446).
* Class box: Enter the accommodation code (e.g., B = Bedroom).
CHECK POINT 9-9
Complete the Amtrak ticket for the following passengers.
Your clients, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Smithers are traveling round-trip between Raleigh and Fort Lauderdale. You have reserved the following for them:
* Raleigh to Fort Lauderdale, train number 22, October 30, departure 7:30 A.M. They are confirmed in bedroom G, car number 8866.
* Fort Lauderdale to Raleigh, train number 41, November 8, departure 1:30 P.M. They are confirmed in bedroom L, car number 1124.
* Round-trip rail fare is $216 per person.
* Round-trip bedroom charge is $420.
The reservation number is 788145; the protect code is S61T.
The form of payment is check.
Complete the Amtrak ticket for these passengers:
FIGURE 9-13 Example of a tour package cost chart Bermuda Holiday Sunny Island Tours Dates Meal 3 nights 4 nights 5 nights Plan Ariel Sands Beach Club DELUXE May 1 - 0ct 31 BP 630 827 1024 MAP 735 967 1199 Nov 1 - Mar 31, 2000 BP 444 579 714 MAP 549 719 889 Aunt Nea's Inn at Hillcrest ROH May 1-31 BP 215 360 445 Jun 1-30 BP 317 416 515 Jul 1 - Oct 31 BP 279 364 449 Nov 1 - Jan 31, 2000 BP 218 284 350 Feb 1-29 BP 185 240 295 Mar 1-31 BP 218 284 350 Elbow Beach Hotel STANDARD May 1 - Oct 31 EP 558 731 904 Nov 1 - Apr 10, 2000 EP 372 483 594 Dates Meal 7 nights 10 Extra Plan nights nights Ariel Sands Beach Club DELUXE May 1 - Oct 31 BP 1418 2009 197 MAP 1663 2359 232 Nov 1 - Mar 31, 2000 BP 984 1389 135 MAP 1229 1739 170 Aunt Nea's Inn at Hillcrest ROH May 1-31 BP 615 870 85 Jun 1-30 BP 713 1010 99 Jul 1 - Oct 31 BP 619 874 85 Nov 1 - Jan 31, 2000 BP 482 680 66 Feb 1-29 BP 405 570 55 Mar 1-31 BP 482 680 66 Elbow Beach Hotel STANDARD May 1 - Oct 31 EP 1250 1769 173 Nov 1 - Apr 10, 2000 EP 816 1149 111
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|Publication:||A Practical Guide to Fares and Ticketing, 3rd ed.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||Chapter 8 Ticket exchanges.|
|Next Article:||Chapter 9 Test.|