Port Authority Will Regulate Airport Food and Drink Prices After Travelers Report $27 Beers
The Port Authority is regulating the pricing standards at three New York City airports after reports of airport restaurants charging $27 for a pint of beer.
A tweet from last summer exposing a pricey beer at LaGuardia Airport resulted in new Port Authority policies on pricing at not only LaGuardia but also at John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport, reports nj.com.
The tweet from July 2021 was posted by Cooper Lund, a traveler passing through LaGuardia Airport. It showed a picture of the drink menu at Biergarten in terminal C. In the image, the beers ranged in price, with the Sam Adams Summer Ale costing more than $27. This complaint prompted an investigation by the Port Authority.
The investigation found that this was not the only traveler who experienced the expensive drink costs. According to a review by the Office of Inspector General, a total of 25 people were asked to pay upwards of $27 for a beer — a price that the Port Authority called "indefensible."
Port Authority officials report that these 25 customers have been contacted and received a refund for their entire check.
The findings prompted a 35-page policy for the Port Authority clarifying that concession costs must reflect local "street prices" with a maximum surcharge of 10%. In addition, the new rules require vendors to offer lower-priced food and beverage options.
Other pricing policies in the Port Authority's new rules require vendors to justify the prices for name-brand business with other store locations (for example, Starbucks at the N.Y.C.-area airports must compare their prices with non-airport Starbucks locations in the surrounding area). Non-name-brand businesses will submit pricing from three similar shops in the region to justify their costs.
In addition to planned and random on-site spot checks by the Port Authority, officials are asking that travelers who suspect cost violations at JFK, LGA or EWR to report them on social media and tag the airport at which it is occurring.