Restaurants and bars at New York airports are no longer allowed to sell overpriced beverages and food, said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this Tuesday. As The City reported last week, officials found that customers paid “totally indefensible” prices for airport beers. One restaurant was flagged selling a $27 beer at LaGuardia airport. “Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer,” Port Authority chairperson Kevin O’Toole told The City.
Airport concession establishes that products must be charged by the prices charged outside the airport, plus an additional 10% added for a COVID-19 Recovery Fee.
The overpriced beers at La Guardia airport were originally reported by Cooper Lund on Twitter last year, showing that a Samuel Adams Summer Ale was charged $27.85 at LaGuardia airport. In the same post, it is possible to see that other beers were also overpriced such as A New Belgium Fat Tire draft beer – $20.60.
According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which regulates LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports, the decision of changing the rule comes after Port Authority officials found that 25 patrons were overcharging their beers, ranging between $23 and $27 in Terminal C.
The customers were overcharged by OTG, which was flagged for erroneously adding a surcharge on top of what the Port Authority described as “an inflated beer price.” OTG operates restaurants and stores at the three major area airports.
The company, however, said that the error for selling overpriced beer to 25 customers was due to a typographical error.
“As soon as this information was presented to us, we immediately contacted each customer and refunded the entire check of their order in addition to fixing the error on our end,” an OTG spokesperson told the City in a statement. “The seasonal beer ran through the summer in over 130 restaurants and bars that we operate across the country and this one location is the only place it was keyed in error.”
The spokesperson added that OTG has taken “clear and decisive actions to prevent this from happening again.”
From now on, prices at concessions will be routinely monitored to ensure they are aligned with the regional marketplace. “And all airport customers and concessionaires should expect tough pro-active enforcement going forward now that these revised standards are in place,” Kevin O’Toole said.
Travelers who come across examples of overpriced food, beverages and other products sold at New York airports should report them on social media and tag the airport, Port Authority informed.