Beverage prices across airports in New York and New Jersey are set to face a cap in the wake of a viral tweet about extortionate beer prices. Whilst most travelers around the world have resigned themselves to the fact that the prices of food and drinks on the other side of security at airports are higher than they’d face on the street, travelers heading to airports in the New York region will no longer face such discriminatory prices – and travelers around the country will be hoping that similar changes are made at their local airports.
With travel prices now reaching new highs in the US, the welcome change could save travelers heading out of New York a fair amount of money. Here’s a look at the tweet that sparked the NY airport pricing revolution, the process that led to the changes coming into effect and what exactly is set to change at airports across the region.
Airport Beverage Cap – Information For Travelers
Last July, during the height of the pandemic, a traveler posted a picture of a menu from New York’s LaGuardia Airport that showed the price of a Sam Adams beer on sale for a staggering $27.85 - an expensive beer even by airport standards. The tweet went viral, and what started out as an innocent post on social media ended up prompting an audit of the way that establishments in the region’s airports price their products.
A spokesperson for OTG – the company owns several of the stores in LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports – stated that the beer in question was just labeled incorrectly, but by then the damage had already been done, with more than twenty unfortunate travelers paying the exorbitant price. Just a few days later, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey asked the company to audit their menu prices – and now, almost a year on, the Port Authority has taken matters into their own hands.
During the week, the Port Authority issued a new 35-page policy regarding pricing at three airports in the region – JFK, Newark and LaGuardia – and it is set to save travelers quite a few dollars. In short, the policy now prevents retailers at these airports from significantly overcharging travelers, with prices now having to reflect those of non-airport “street prices” – with a maximum surcharge of 10 percent.
The policy also states that vendors must offer lower priced food and beverage options in order to provide a wider range of value to travelers passing through the airports. With travelers unable to bring drinks through security, the price of drinks and snacks can really add up – particularly for families at airports – and so the policy is bound to be welcomed by travelers, particularly as every other aspect of travel is going up in price.
Speaking about the change, Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said:
“All airport customers should rightly expect that policies which limit the pricing of food and beverages at concessions will be followed and enforced. Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer.”
“The Aviation Department’s new compliance and enforcement measures announced today make it crystal clear that all prices at concessions will be routinely monitored to ensure they are aligned with the regional marketplace. And all airport customers and concessionaires should expect tough pro-active enforcement going forward now that these revised standards are in place.”
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