NEW YORK (WPIX) — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently announced a number of new measures to rein in pricing at airports after a traveler saw beer being sold at LaGuardia Airport for $28 last year.
Authorities said the Aviation Department has “significantly enhanced” compliance with the fair market pricing policy for goods sold in airport concessionaires. This means that no item should be sold above local “street prices” with a 10% maximum surcharge. The policy also requires vendors to offer lower-priced options.
Revisions to the Concessionaire Street Pricing Standards and Procedures Manual came after the Office of Inspector General received reports of policy violations, including the traveler’s complaint on social media last year regarding the overpriced beer.
Along with his complaint, the traveler shared a photo of the beer menu, which showed beer prices ranging from $13.05 to $27.85 per glass at the LaGuardia restaurant. He also alleged that the restaurant was charging a “10% recovery fee.”
OTG, which operated the restaurant that sold the beer, had overly charged 25 customers, according to the Office of Inspector General. As a corrective measure, all patrons were contacted and were given refunds for the “totally indefensible” prices, the Port Authority said.
The Office of Inspector General further determined that a former version of the pricing policy was too unclear for concessionaires to comply with. Moving forward, the Aviation Department will regularly check the prices of goods being sold.
“All airport customers should rightly expect that policies which limit the pricing of food and beverages at concessions will be followed and enforced,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a statement. “Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer.”
The Aviation Department held an initial round of workshops to explain the new policies to terminal operators and vendor managers.