Wednesday . June 26 . 2019
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Spotlight on ADMs
Wrisney Tan, Singapore

Wrisney Tan, Singapore  
(1st Jul 2002)

A “technical working group” will be formed this month (July) to address the issue of ticketing errors which has resulted in high Agency Debit Memos (ADMs) recently.

With up to 8,000 tickets issued monthly, Safe2Travel chief executive officer, Mr Cheong Tack Hoong, said his ADM amount was as high as S$5,000 (US$2,796) a month, even though he had imposed strict measures on controllable aspects such as staff diligence.

Mr Cheong said: “We can't afford to go on paying like this...There is a negative impact on profitability.

“If the ADM is S$5,000 every month and if gross profit is only five per cent, this would mean the agent has to make an additional S$100,000 in sales to cover the ADM. The solution is to come up with a system which can accommodate different permutations of fares.”

The slow updating of fares was causing a portion of the mistakes, agents claimed.

The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) ticketing chairman and managing director of P&O Travel, Mr Chung Kek Yoong, said the group would meet the airlines and global distribution systems (GDSs) to minimise the errors.

Agents acknowledged the use of inexperienced staff had contributed to “pure ticketing errors”, and said the increasing range of fares available in the market today was not helping matters.

Mr Chung said: “There are corporate net fares specific to individual clients, agency net fares, a wider range of fares resulting from wider use of booking classes in airline inventory control, plus a whole range of promotional fares that are constantly changing.”

He added: “Many GDSs now distribute fares through their net fares system, and some of them have difficulty updating the fares accurately and on time as the changes have become more complex. Consequently, the agent prices the ticket wrongly and gets the ADM. He then has to go after the GDS and the airline to resolve the billing.

“These errors are costing the agents money and time. Agents need to recognise this and factor in the cost of errors into their pricing structure, or they will go out of business.”

A corporate agent who declined to be named told TTG Asia: “When a carrier was asked to waive some charges as they were high, it told us this was not possible as it had employed an independent auditor who would be paid a percentage of the debit amount it uncovered.”

When contacted, Singapore Airlines Singapore deputy area vice-president, Ms Kim Gim Sim, said: “We are always willing to talk when agents have any problem...we have forums where things are discussed.”

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