Who is the ARC?
ARC stands for Airlines Reporting Corporation. It was founded in 1984 and processes settlements for buyers and sellers of airline tickets. The ARC provides settlement transactions for travel services such as airline tickets. Think of the ARC as the PayPal for airline ticket transactions. Your agency must pursue ARC accreditation before obtaining your ARC number. Travel agency accreditation allows your agency to directly issue airline tickets.
Who should become an ARC agent?
Any agency who wishes to issue airline tickets directly should obtain ARC accreditation. Generally, most large travel agencies seek ARC accreditation to better serve their clients. Your agency should have a high volume of air travel customers due to the cost of applying. Startup agencies can also benefit from the other tools available through the ARC.
What is a Verified Travel Consultant?
A Verified Travel Consultant or VTC is a travel agency who cannot issue airline tickets directly to its customers. However, the VTC designation allows your agency to obtain an ARC number. An ARC number is important as it is widely recognized within the travel industry. The number lets your agency work with ARC’s suppliers and access to the its other helpful tools.
How much does the ARC application cost?
Your cost will depend on which program you decide to pursue with the ARC. The application and annual fees are listed below:
- Accredited ARC Agent – $2,000 initial application fee and a $210 annual fee (Note: your first year’s fee is included in you application fee);
- Verified Travel Consultant – $105 initial application fee and a $195 annual fee.
As you can see, the costs to apply are much different. The VTC route is obviously the less expensive of the two and gives you access to ARC carriers. It does not allow you to directly issue airline tickets to your clients. Additionally, while the initial cost of accreditation is high, the long term benefits may outweigh the cost. Your ability to issue tickets to clients on demand is more efficient and sometimes the difference between winning a large account or losing it.
How do I get accredited with the ARC?
Listed below is a step by step guide to become accredited with the Airlines Reporting Corporation.
- Your first step is to create an online account with the ARC.
- Next you will need to complete the application sections. Some of these will already be finished using the information used when creating your account.
- You must enter your travel agency’s business structure, tax ID number, and business name on file with the IRS.
- Have you decided if your agency will be an e-ticket agency only or will you issue paper plane tickets? You must make this selection under the office classification section of the ARC application.
- Ownership Structure: Each company owner’s name, ownership type, and ownership % must be entered.
- Licenses and Permits: Some states require travel agencies to register for a license. For example, Florida requires a travel agency license before any agency can offer to sell travel to residents in the state. If your business is located in one of these states you must provide a copy of your state license or registration to the ARC.
- You will need to designate someone to be the MyARC administrator. This person will be able to monitor all activity done within the ARC system.
- Document Retrieval Administrator and Security Manager: You need to designate someone as the document retrieval administrator and security manager. These positions allow access to roughly three years of the travel agency’s ticketing data.
- Your agency must designate someone as qualifying person for each agency location. This person can be your ARC specialist or Management Qualifier.
- Bank Account Information: You must provide your agency’s bank account information to the ARC. This information is needed to process deposits and payments to and from the ARC. Additionally, you will need to provide the name and email of each person who has access to your bank account.
- Certification: The applicant must certify he or she is authorized to submit the application and agree to all the ARC’s certifications and agreements.
- All supporting documents and materials will need uploaded to the ARC website. Additionally, you can physically mail the materials. See below for a list of required materials.
- Please click on the “Submit Request” button in MyARC to submit your application and related information to ARC.
What materials do I need to give the ARC?
The Airlines Reporting Corporation needs the following documents to process your application:
- Bank signature card;
- Business license (if required in your state);
- Financial instrument;
- $20,000 ARC Surety Bond; or
- $20,000 irrevocable letter of credit; or
- $20,000 cash deposit;
- W9 or IRS Letter; and
- Memo of agreement.
Most of these forms can be found within the MyARC application website. A copy of your bank signature card can be obtained from your bank. Your business license (if any) can usually be printed from your state’s seller of travel department website.
You can learn more about the financial instrument requirement by visiting our ARC surety bond page.
How long will it take to receive my ARC accreditation?
Your approval time depends on a few factors. These factors include the current workload of ARC application processors, completeness and accuracy of the required information, and method of submitting the required materials. A faster processing time can be accomplished by uploading the required materials to the MyARC website as opposed to mailing physical copies directly to the ARC. Also, it’s important that you submit your application prior to 31 days after it’s started. Applications older than 31 days which have not been submitted are deleted and the process must be started over.
Other helpful ARC information
Airlines Reporting Corporation
3000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3862
Find out what is a surety bond.