Viral Post About $27 Airport Beer Spurs Big Changes

NYC transportation authority is cracking down on food, drink prices at area airports after complaint
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2022 8:07 AM CDT
Viral Post About $27 Airport Beer Spurs Big Changes
How much would you pay for some suds while waiting for your flight?   (Getty Images/aapsky)

Almost $28 for a 23-ounce glass of Sam Adams summer ale? If that seems pricey, you're not the only one who thinks so. But that's how much it was on the menu at an eatery in New York City's LaGuardia Airport when Cooper Lund was waiting for a flight to Minnesota last July, reported the City news site at the time. Lund tweeted, "lol at all of this, including the additional 10% 'COVID Recovery Fee' that doesn't go to workers" as he reviewed the price list, showing a photo of the roster of beers that ranged from a $13 Michelob Ultra to the aforementioned Sam Adams. Now, thanks to Lund's complaint, the city is coming after such high prices on food and drink at the area's three biggest airports.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced "comprehensive new measures" around the issue, mandating that concessions sold at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport can't exceed "local, off-airport 'street prices,'" plus a maximum surcharge of 10%, reports the Washington Post. After Lund's tweet, the Office of Inspector General for the transportation authority started looking deeper and found more than two dozen customers were charged "totally indefensible amounts"—either $23 or $27, thanks to "an erroneously added surcharge on top of an inflated base price"—for their own brews by concessions operator OTG, which also runs airport eateries in Houston, Chicago, Philly, and DC.

Those patrons have reportedly received refunds, and the Port Authority has put out a revised 35-page guide for its vendors. "Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer," Port Authority chief Kevin O’Toole says in a release, which notes that vendors are also now being required to offer "lower-priced food and beverage options to provide a wider range of value for customers." If you're wondering, by the way, Lund didn't end up springing for that $27 Sam Adams: He paid $11 for a 12-ounce glass of another beer, an "underwhelming" Heineken, reported the City at the time. (More airports stories.)

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