An ARC surety bond (or cash deposit) is a requirement to become an Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) accredited agent. The ARC enables U.S. travel agencies to consolidate the management of their relationships with global air travel suppliers and gives agencies the ability to easily ticket flights worldwide on more than 200 airlines. According to the ARC, 60% of all airline tickets sold in the United States are sold through ARC accredited agents.
The bond is to protect the ARC from any financial damages as a result of not paying the fares collected on behalf of the airlines to the ARC. If the ARC makes a claim on the surety bond, the claim will be researched by the surety. The bond principal (you) will have the opportunity to rectify the claim. If the surety company pays out the claim, you must pay them back. As the bond principal, you will be required to sign an indemnity agreement. This agreement specifies that the principal will hold the surety harmless in the event of a loss. In most cases, a personal guarantee will be required by the surety.
If you aren’t interested in ticketing through ARC, but want the other benefits of participation, apply to become an ARC Verified Travel Consultant (VTC). You’ll be able to brand yourself as a travel agent, receive an agency ID and be included on ARC’s Agency List, recognized by industry suppliers. There is no ARC surety bond requirement for this option.
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