BEING a travel consultant, tour operator or managing a Travel Agency business is a great career that gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of people and provide various travel solutions such as Airlines Tickets, Hotel Accommodations, Travel Health Insurance, Car Rentals etc. But at the same time it can be frustrating and unprofitable business if care is not taken to address the problem of ADM-Agency Debit Memo.

ADM, according to IATA, is a notice sent, normally by an airline to a travel agent, requiring the recipient to pay a sum of money to the sender as a result of the abuse of ticketing rules or not fully complied with the ticketing rules by the recipient.

I must say that the rate at which ADM is incurred by Travel Agents has increased progressively since the introduction of airlines’ electronic ticketing (e-ticket) by IATA. And in this economic recession, it is important that Travel Agents should avoid ADMs with everything they have.

But the question is how do we avoid ADM? Is it really possible to avoid ADM? Of course it is possible if you.


Like every other business challenge, it would be difficult to avoid ADMs if your team or ticketing personnel do not have in-depth knowledge of the product they are selling, know the ticketing rules given by the airlines. As a reminder, ADMs can be incurred through one or all of the following under listed reasons as stipulated by the airlines;

  1. Immediate re-issue/revalidation
  2. Reissue / Change Fee Not Collected

iii. Fuel Surcharge Error

  1. Deal Number is missing/ invalid/expired
  2. Re-booking/Reissue not completed at the same time
  3. Incorrect reporting of a Change Fee,

vii. Commission Error

viii. Incorrect ADC / Reissue / Change Fee Collected

  1. Cancellation Fee Applies
  2. ADC / Reissue / Change Fee Not Collected
  3. Reissues / Changes Not Permitted

xii. Reservation and Ticketing Not Made within Specified Time (ticket time limit)

xiii. Fare states “refunds not permitted”

xiv. Incorrect Additional Collection & Reissue / Change Not Collected

  1. Incorrect Value Refunded

The fact that you are a retired Airline staff now working as a travel agent or that you have already known all the ticketing rules of all airlines since year 2010 would not save you from incurring ADMs this is because airline changes fares rules almost every six months or less than that.

Therefore it is important that you constantly;

  1. Make personal effort to update yourself with the airlines’ trends and gain in-depth knowledge of the product you are selling,
  2. Read and understand the fare rules in your GDS before issuing the ticket,

iii. When in doubt; get in touch with your colleague, team head or airline’s account officer before making any changes on a booking and

  1. Be a team player, you can sign up on airlines’ newsletter; follow them on their and pages


This is very important both for your walk-in customer and corporate client; if you want to avoid ADM, then you must make sure that your customer is consented to the rules of the ticket before issuance. This can be done via email or text. For me, I preferred Email or WhatsApp message so that it can be retrieved at any point in time when the need arises.

Solomon Asuquo is Travel Consultant/Content Writer




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