Substitute Senate Bill No. 1105

Public Act No. 99-88

An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Surcharges on Travel Agents.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 42-133ff of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No seller may impose a surcharge on a buyer who elects to use any method of payment, including, but not limited to, cash, check, credit card or electronic means, in any sales transaction.

(b) Any seller who accepts or offers to accept a bank credit card bearing a trade name as a means of payment shall accept any bank credit card bearing such trade name presented by a cardholder, notwithstanding the identity of the card issuer. For the purposes of this subsection, "bank credit card" means any credit card issued by a bank, savings bank, savings and loan association or credit union.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any seller from offering a discount to a buyer to induce such buyer to pay by cash, check or similar means rather than by credit card.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any seller from conditioning acceptance of a credit card on a buyer's minimum purchase. Each seller shall disclose any such minimum purchase policy orally or in writing at the point of purchase. For the purposes of this subsection, "at the point of purchase" includes, but is not limited to, at or on a cash register and in an advertisement or menu.

(e) No provider of travel services may impose a surcharge on or reduce the commission paid to a travel agent who acts as an agent for such provider if the buyer uses a credit card to purchase such provider's travel services. A violation of any provision of this subsection shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b. As used in this subsection, "provider of travel services" means a person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of furnishing travel, transportation or vacation services, but does not include a travel agent, and "travel agent" means a person, firm, corporation or other entity that (1) is (A) a duly appointed agent of a common carrier, or (B) a member of a cruise line association and operates exclusively as an agent for cruise lines in the sale of cruise travel products or services, and (2) offers or sells travel, transportation or vacation arrangements as an agent for a provider of travel services, but does not include a common carrier or an employee of a common carrier.

Approved June 3, 1999