ARC Marks First Major Processing of EMDs for Ancillary Fees
By James Shillinglaw
August 16, 2012 11:07 PM
The Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) reported that since July 31, 2012, it has processed 2,087 Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) transactions to purchase Preferred Seats on American Airlines. All of these EMDs were processed based on transactions though Priceline.com using American’s direct connect to its internal reservations system. Travel agencies and corporate travel managers have been challenged by airlines’ implementation of ancillary fees because they could not be paid for through the traditional settlement system until now.
EMDs allow travel agency (both traditional or online) customers to pay for an airline’s ancillary products at the same time their flight tickets are purchased. The EMDs were purchased by Priceline.com customers for American’s Preferred Seats and sold through the airline’s direct connect technology provider, Farelogix.
“In pioneering the first significant EMD implementation in the U.S., the collaboration of these companies is noteworthy,” said Mike Premo, ARC’s president and CEO. “It illustrates how travel agencies can provide better customer service while using their sales and marketing expertise to promote an air carrier’s ancillary products. … ARC looks forward to others adopting the EMDs and enjoying the benefits of expanding their sales reach to the thousands of ARC-accredited travel agencies.”
ARC has been EMD-ready since 2010 in order to accommodate airlines ancillary charges within a single transaction and link them to multiple legs of an airline ticket. These ancillary charges could include seat upgrades, baggage fees and more. American Airlines on July 30 said that Priceline.com was the first major online travel agency to sell the airline’s Preferred Seats, a product available to travel agencies through American’s direct connection to its host reservations system. Preferred Seats are seats near the front of the main cabin and are available for purchase when booking a flight, up until the airport check-in cutoff time, beginning at $4 per flight.