An investigation by the Transportation Authority, which oversees three New York-area airports, confirmed that customers paid as much as $27 for a beer at LaGuardia Airport last year.
This has prompted the organization to announce stricter measures to protect consumers.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a press release that it is tightening its “street pricing” policy, which keeps concession prices comparable to prices outside of airports.
The revised policy also limits surcharges to 10 pieces.
The agency regulates LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
After investigating a complaint from travelers posted on social media in July, the airport authority’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that concession operator OTG had violated its policies, The Washington Post reports.
The OIG found that 25 patrons in LaGuardia’s Terminal C were charged “completely unsustainable amounts” of $23 or $27, depending on beer size.
The beer that prompted the scrutiny was a 23-ounce (680 ml) Sam Adams Summer Ale that cost $27.85 (€26.73), The City reported.
The review found that some beer prices included “an erroneously added surcharge on top of an inflated base price”. OTG also operates airport concessions in cities such as DC, Chicago, Philadelphia and Houston.
The OIG said the seller contacted customers and refunded their checks.
The OIG also found that some parts of the earlier version of the policy were not specific enough and that it needed to be revised in order to provide clarity and be successfully enforced. The agency has published a revised 35-page guide for providers.
“All airport customers should have a right to expect that policies limiting the price of food and beverages at concessions are followed and enforced,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in the press release.
“No one should have to shell out such an exorbitant amount for a beer. The Air Department’s new compliance and enforcement measures announced today make it clear that all concession prices are routinely monitored to ensure they are in line with the regional market.”
The new guidelines include detailed instructions on how to price products based on comparable regional averages, as well as other measures – such as B. Random price audits by the Port Authority – to strengthen monitoring and compliance.
“This development of street pricing policy represents months of rigorous work by the Air Department, with support from the Inspector General, to put in place the procedures necessary for successful completion,” said Huntley Lawrence, the Port Authority’s chief operating officer, in the press release.
“Ultimately, this success ensures two goals: that airport customers are not overcharged for the goods they purchase; and that concessionaires have a reasonable chance of succeeding even if they face higher operating costs than off-airport companies.”
The bi-state agency encouraged anyone who suspected fare violations to report it on social media and flag the airport.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/26-beers-push-us-airports-to-crack-down-on-concessions-prices-41657140.html €26 beers are urging US airports to crack down on concession prices