The 'Totally Indefensible' Problem With The Beer At These Airports

It's no secret that buying food, drinks, or souvenirs at the airport will cost you much more than at a normal store, but in some situations, travelers have no choice. There are some hacks that can save you money. For instance, Sophie-Claire Hoeller, a travel correspondent forĀ Insider, recommended bringing your own empty water bottle through security, because buying bottled water could cost you double what it would at a normal convenience store.

When it comes to airport food, though, options are limited for what you can bring through security, especially if you don't have extra time for agents to inspect it (via TSA's official website). Unfortunately for our wallets, high airport prices are something we have all become accustomed to. Back in 2010, The LA Times observed that even when someoneĀ heads to McDonald's in the airport in an effort to not break the bank, prices could be at least 10% higher than "street prices."

Even though soaring prices are old news, sometimes the sky really is the limit. When one customer tweeted about the outrageous pricing of beer at LaGuardia, they got the attention of news outlets and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Some customers paid $27 for beer

Sometimes complaining about things on social media can feel like yelling into the void. But this time, the void listened. On July 7, 2021, Cooper Lund tweeted a photo of the beer menu at LaGuardia airport (pictured above), with the caption, "lol at all of this, including the additional 10% 'COVID Recovery Fee' that doesn't go to workers." One Twitter user echoed his sentiment and replied to the tweet: "We paid $60 for a soda, small salad and modelo beer at jfk [sp] a month ago. I was flabbergasted and extremely angry when we got the bill!" A few news outlets like WBZ reached out on Twitter, asking to use the photo. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey responded with an investigation (via a Port Authority press release). Per, the agency's 35-page assessment went public on May 12.

The Office of Inspector General found that the vendor in question "included an erroneously added surcharge on top of an inflated base price." To remedy the "totally indefensible amounts of $23 and $27 for a beer," 25 customers received full refunds. The Aviation Department has also corrected the previously vague definition of "street pricing" in an updated manual that will be "fully enforceable." Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, "In addition to outlining clear, specific, and detailed steps that must be followed to adhere to the street pricing policy, it also redoubles the emphasis on including lower-priced value items at every concessionaire."