Everybody knows things are more expensive in New York City, but $23 to $27 for a single beer at the airport is ridiculous. Even the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is acknowledging that.
Following an investigation by its own inspector general, a chagrined Port Authority – which runs John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark-Liberty International Airport – says it will curb the outrageous prices going forward, according to The City, an influential alternative newspaper that first broke the story about the high-priced brewskis late last year.
The original story found that 25 customers paid between $23 and $27 for an airport beer following a tweet by an airport patron.
“Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer,” said PANYNJ chairperson Kevin O’Toole.
The Port Authority does not set the prices; it contracts out the concessions and, in this case, a company called OTG handled the beer contract. The Port Authority has since revised its guidelines for vendors and pricing.
“It also redoubles the emphasis on including lower-priced value items at every concessionaire,” said Rick Cotton, the Port Authority’s executive director.
OTG said a clerical error led to the inflated beer prices and that it contacted all 25 customers to begin making monetary amends for overpricing the beers.
“As soon as this information was presented to us, we immediately contacted each customer and refunded the entire check of their order in addition to fixing the error on our end,” an OTG representative said in a statement. “The seasonal beer ran through the summer in over 130 restaurants and bars that we operate across the country and this one location is the only place it was keyed in error.”