ADMs: All you need to know

ASATA, in its capacity as the chair of the World Travel Agent Associations Alliance (WTAAA), is working with the ADM Working Group to reduce the overall number of ADMs globally.

What is an ADM?

The Agent Debit Memo (ADM) is the legitimate accounting tool used by airlines to collect adjustments for Standard Traffic Documents issued by Agents. (Reso 850m).

Why can ASATA not get involved in individual ADM issues?

From time to time, ASATA receives enquiries from our Members regarding ADMs and for our assistance. This is not within our jurisdiction and should be resolved between the airline/the BSP process and the agent as per Resolution 820d. If not resolved, either party with mutual consent then approaches the Travel Agency Commissioner.

Resolution 820d, clause: (Agency Commissioner Resolution)

The Travel Agency Commissioner can only deal with cases initiated by Agents or Airlines, not industry partners or Agents Associations. And according to the IATA Resolutions, these should be resolved directly between the Parties.

  1. in the discharge of their duties, the Commissioners shall beimpartial and shall not be subject to the direction or supervision of IATA, any Member, Accredited Agent or association of travel agents, or any of their employees or officers.

Performance of duties:

  1. In the performance of his/her duties the Commissioner is not authorised to counsel, train, coach or in any similar capacity offer guidance to individual agents, travel agencies, travel agency associations, airlines or IATA except as specifically provided under the terms of Resolution 820d.

Why has the ADM Working Group been created?

Agency Debit Memos (ADM), which are resulting from ticketing inefficiencies, are an ongoing source of friction between Agents and Airlines. In 2014 airlines raised 2.6m ADM transactions for a value of USD$615m, incurring an estimated industry cost of USD$150m p.a. to manage the ADM process.

Agents say it is being used by airlines as an abusive revenue stream, while airlines acknowledge the great cost it takes to manage.

This project comprises a set of actions to categorise the ADMs and determine the reasons for the issuance of these Memos. A further goal is to reduce the volume of issuance by analysing the root cause, enhancing controls and conducting training among stakeholders.

What results has the ADM Working Group found?

Considering all the ADMs in 2015, there was one ADM issued for every 323 SCU (Standard Charging Unit), which represents US$1 that needs to be recovered through an ADM for every US$995 issued.

The Root Causes are divided into 8 primary ADM categories, for which the ADM Working Group has conducted an in-depth data analysis and put forward a proposed solution.

  • Booking
  • Commission
  • Tax
  • Credit Card Chargebacks
  • Exchanges
  • Refunds
  • Fees and Charges
  • Miscellaneous

ADM Market Research

The ADM Working Group has conducted global ADM market research and developed a report addressing some of the general and specific aspects that affect airline agents when dealing with ADMs as well as concrete solutions for each of them.

Download the Market Research

Please contact for more information.