Airport Cap: Passengers at JFK can no longer be charged more than 10 per cent ‘street value’ for food and drink. Photo / 123RF
In a groundbreaking move New York’s Port authorities have sided with passengers, putting a cap on the cost of airport food and drink.
Beyond security screening the normal laws of economics cease.
Sure, cigarettes and perfume might be ‘duty free’. However, you’ll find a huge mark-up on food and other necessities.
With $25 glasses of wine and$30 for ‘pitiful’ plate of buttered toast, travelers from Auckland to Dublin have complained of the cost of food while in airport terminals. It’s the same story the world over.
For passengers passing through JFK or Newark’s Liberty airports, there is now a cap on how much luckily vendors can charge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has said that food and drink vendors cannot charge more than 10 per cent above a product’s “street pricing”.
While the report found operating costs and overheads were higher for businesses at the airport, the markup was often far in excess of this.
The investigation was prompted after a traveler complained on social media that one vendor at LaGuardia Terminal C was charging NZ$27 ($40) for a beer.
Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole sided with the consumer.
“Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer,” he said in a release.
The agency investigation found that some prices were erroneously adding surcharges on top of already “inflated base prices”.
The price gouging of drink on the departures side of LaGuardia was pronounced “totally indefensible”.
The chairman said that concessionaire’s business should have a reasonable chance to thrive at New York’s airports, however the research showed costs that were out of control.
“All airport customers and concessionaires should expect tough pro-active enforcement going forward now that these revised standards are in place,” said O’Toole.
From now on, the top 40 items at airports will be checked against “street pricing” every quarter.
It’s a move that many travelers would welcome at other international airports.
Earlier this month Musician Jay-Jay Feeney took to facebook to complain of drinks at Auckland Airport departures.
“Two glasses of wine and two spinach rolls at Auckland Airport. Look how much it cost!!” she posted with a receipt of $74.