ARC, the airline-owned entity which settles with travel agents on air sales, informed travel agencies that it mistakenly debited or credited their bank accounts on Jan. 14 or 15 -- about a week earlier than the scheduled date, Jan. 20.
ARC told agencies several hours later that Bank of America reversed the erroneous credits and debits, and the reversals would hit agents' banks accounts Jan. 15 or perhaps the next business day.
ARC said it would make good on any necessary reimbursements for overdrafts or other adjustments.
"We accept full responsibility for this occurrence and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our agency community," says ARC President and CEO David Collins. "ARC will reimburse travel agencies for any related charges incurred as a result of our error as we work to rectify the issue."
A spokesman says thousands of agencies received the earlier-than-expected credits or debits and because some agencies are small businesses, they may have experienced overdrafts.
The spokesman didn't reveal the cause of the glitch, but says, "the root cause behind the error has been identified and measures taken to ensure that it does not reoccur."