Port Authority Bans Overpriced Food and Drinks at NYC Airports

Overpriced Food and Drinks at NYC Airports

Port Authority Bans Overpriced Food and Drinks at NYC Airports

If you have a layover, or get to the airport too early, then chances are you might look for a place to get a bite or have a drink. But airport prices are normally much higher that what you would find just minutes away in the nearest streets. In the New York City area, they got completely out of hand with the price of a beer reaching an all time high of $28 +10% for a Sam Adams Summer Ale.

That tweet back in 2021 sparked an investigating by the Office of Inspector General and Port Authority, the bi-state agency responsible for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty Airport. The investigators found 25 patrons were charged “totally indefensible amounts” for beers that ranged between $23 and $27. All of the overpriced beers were sold in Terminal C at JFK, which is used by Frontier Airlines; Delta Air Lines; and the Delta Shuttle to Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The Port Authority has now released a policy guide for vendors that specifically instructs them on the pricing of their items. According to the 35-page report, concession prices cannot be more than 10% higher than out-of-airport “street prices” of similar products. The new guidance also includes other measures such as random price checks to bolster monitoring and compliance.

“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. “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.” The Port Authority encouraged anyone suspecting price violations to report them on social media and tag the airport.

If you read this site regularly, then you probably know already that you can avoid the cost of food and drinks at the airport completely. You just need to have a card that gives you lounge access. JFK for example has over 20 lounges, with several of those being a part of Priority Pass and a Centurion Lounge that’s open to American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders.


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