What is ARC, IATA, and CLIA? what’s the difference? What it does and what type of agents would benefit most from it.
CLIA Number – is issued by the Cruise Lines International Association. It’s a way for vendors to identify you as a travel agent. It serves the same purpose as the ARC or IATA number, it’s just issued by another organization and has different barriers to entry and costs associated with it. CLIA agencies without ARC accreditation cannot issue airline tickets since CLIA numbers were designed specifically for cruise-focused travel agencies. You can always go under an umbrella organization like a host agency, you don’t need to get your own CLIA number if you’re working with a host agency. You can use their identification number and won’t incur the costs associated with obtaining your own CLIA number. While CLIA is accepted nearly everywhere, it’s NOT accepted by the airlines. If you are not issuing airline tickets, CLIA is a practical option.
CLIA vs. ARC/IATA Number – If you’re ticketing air-only reservation, ARC and IATA are must-haves.
ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) – gives out these ARC numbers to accredited agencies, which allows travel agencies to issue airline tickets. The use of an ARC number extends from a hotel to a cruise ship booking not only air tickets for travel agencies. For a home-based travel agent or a storefront agency that only books leisure travel (no air), having your own ARC number is too much.
IATA – International Air Transport Association Network (IATAN) use extensive data resource to connect the suppliers to the U.S. travel distribution network. IATAN ID card holders get promotional benefits and concessionary incentives from suppliers (participating members) who identify the agent with an IATA/IATAN number as a valid associate, in addition to approving travel agents for the sale of travel tickets. IATA certifies a referral agent or an affiliate travel agent to find clients for the hosting travel agency’s business needs as well.