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US$28 beer at New York’s LaGuardia airport sparks fierce debate

Social media users have been pointing out what they see as exorbitant prices at outlets in New York airports, leading to a fierce debate online and a “full audit” of the outlets’ pricing. 

Airport pricing debate
Credit: Twitter/ Cooper Lund

Travelling can be a stressful experience at the best of times; but during the coronavirus pandemic, it has undoubtedly taken on another layer of anxiety.

However, for those looking to relax with a pint before their flight at several New York airports, the price of a brew has seemingly become another unexpected bone of contention.

And the issue was thrown into sharp relief when traveller Cooper Lund tweeted an image purporting to show a Sam Adams beer priced at $28 in a Biergarten outlet at LaGuardia airport.

“Lol at all of this, including the additional 10 per cent ‘Covid Recovery Fee’ that doesn’t go to workers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Commenters were quick to express their dismay at the prices. “That’s for two Sam Summers, right?” one Twitter user wrote, while another added, “That’s insane. Good luck staying in business”.

In a statement provided to The Independent, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said:

“We know this market is expensive enough already, so we’re committed to everything we can do to ensure reasonable pricing for our customers. At our request, OTG is conducting a full audit of their pricing, and we will be working with all of our terminal operators and concession partners to review pricing across restaurants and airports to ensure customers are being treated fairly.”

In actual fact, OTG Management, the company who operate the outlets in three New York airports, saw the tweet and responded, saying that the price had been incorrectly listed.

“Yikes. GOOD CATCH! That Sam Summer **price is incorrect** and has been updated. + note all other listed prices are for 23oz pours.” They wrote.

“We very much appreciate you spotting. DM us next time you’re passing through – on us.”

Food and drink prices may have increased in New York after a bill passed allowing businesses to employ a “Covid-19 recovery charge” of 10% – the aim being for hospitality venues to recover some of the revenue they lost during pandemic closures.

However, not everyone is on board with the surcharge.

“The beer price is bad enough but when I start travelling again, I guarantee I won’t be doing business with any place charging a “Covid-19 recovery charge”. Inflicting an economic penalty upon others who for the most part suffered the same pandemic is immoral in my opinion.” One commenter wrote underneath Cooper’s initial tweet.

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