Flyers are a captive audience. Stuck behind security, choices for restaurants and bars are limited within an airport—and food and drink are priced accordingly. Fortunately, that’s about to change (at least for New York area airports) and it’s all thanks to a viral social media post.
Last year, Tweets showing a menu at a LaGuardia airport bar that listed a standard Sam Adams draft beer for $27.85 (plus a 10 percent “COVID recovery fee”) sparked outrage and complaints about price gouging.
These posts spurred an investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which resulted in new rules from The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Under the new policy, all concession costs at New York area airports must not exceed 10 percent of local, off-airport “street prices.”
“All airport customers should rightly expect that policies which limit the pricing of food and beverages at concessions will be followed and enforced,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole in a public statement. “Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer.”
The new policy will also require concessionaires to “offer low-priced food and beverage options to provide a wider range of value for customers,” which means that flyers will soon see cheaper options for sale around the airport. “In addition to outlining clear, specific and detailed steps that must be followed to adhere to the street pricing policy, it also redoubles the emphasis on including lower-priced value items at every concessionaire,” explained Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.
These rules will apply to all airport concessionaires, including grab & go stores, fast food restaurants, and sit down restaurants.
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