$27 beers prompt New York airports to crack down on food and bar prices

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An investigation by the transportation authority, which oversees three New York-area airports, has confirmed that customers have paid up to $27 for a beer at LaGuardia Airport in the past year, which has led the organization to announce stricter measures to protect consumers.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a press release Thursday that it is tightening the “street pricing” policy that keeps concession prices comparable to prices outside of airports. The revised policy also caps surcharges at 10%. The authority regulates LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

After investigating a traveler complaint Posted on social media in July, the Airport Authority’s Office of Inspector General reported that concession operator OTG had violated its policy. The OIG found that 25 customers were charged “totally indefensible amounts” of $23 or $27, depending on the size of the beer, in LaGuardia’s Terminal C.

The beer that prompted the audit was a 23-ounce Sam Adams Summer Ale that cost $27.85, The City reported. The review found that some beer prices included “a mistakenly 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 vendor contacted customers and refunded their checks. The OIG also determined that some parts of the previous version of the policy were not specific enough and needed revisions for clarity to be successfully applied. The agency released a revised 35-page guide for providers.

“All airport customers should rightly expect that policies that limit concession food and beverage pricing will be followed and enforced,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O said. ‘Toole, in the release. “No one should have to pay such an exorbitant sum for a beer. The new Department of Aviation compliance and enforcement measures announced today make it clear that all prices at concessions will be regularly monitored to ensure that they are aligned with the regional market.

The new guidelines include step-by-step instructions on how to price products based on comparable averages across the region, as well as other measures – such as random price checks by the Port Authority – to strengthen oversight. and compliance.

“This road pricing policy evolution represents months of rigorous work by the Department of Aviation with the assistance of the Inspector General to put in place the procedures necessary for its success,” said the Director of the Port Authority’s operation, Huntley Lawrence, in the release. “Ultimately, this success ensures two objectives: that airport customers are not overcharged for the goods they purchase; and that concessionaires have a reasonable chance of thriving even if they face higher operating costs than off-airport businesses.

The bi-state agency encouraged anyone suspecting price violations to report them on social media and tag the airport.

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