Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) has processed more than $1 billion in airline cash refunds to U.S. travel agencies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the period of March 9-July 12, 2020, over $745 million in refunds was paid in cash, with the remainder applied as credit toward agency sales. This represents a 558% increase in cash refund volume compared to the same period in 2019.
When refund volume began to outpace sales volume for travel agencies due to COVID-19, ARC adapted its settlement schedule and processes to ensure timely, complete payment for all refunds processed through ARC.
“In a time of unprecedented refund activity facing the travel community, we had to ensure ARC’s systems could continue to support reliable, timely refund payments for our customers,” said Lauri Reishus, ARC’s executive vice president and COO.
“Airlines and travel agencies rely on ARC’s settlement system for commercial and financial stability,” Reishus continued. “Just as we are committed to delivering payment to airlines for ticket sales, ARC made it a priority to ensure agencies received the full balance of their cash refunds on time and in full, maintaining a constant flow of liquidity between airlines and travel agencies.”
With cash refunds exceeding sales for many airlines, ARC continues to work closely with participating airlines to secure sufficient funding for these transactions. “ARC’s participating airlines have been tremendously supportive of their travel agency partners during this crisis,” said Jeannine Hankinson, ARC’s managing director of operations and customer experience. “The collaboration we have experienced with our customers during this volatile time demonstrates our industry’s resilience. Though airlines and agencies are both struggling, they are committed to maintaining positive business relationships with one another. ARC is proud to help facilitate these relationships.”
Updated information about how airlines are managing refunds can be found on the Airline Refund and Exchange Information page on ARC’s website.
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