New York officials ban airports from charging up to $28 for a beer — a price tag they described as 'totally indefensible'
- Officials launched an investigation after a viral tweet showed a Sam Adams beer cost around $28.
- An audit found that 25 diners were charged between $23 and $27 for a beer at OTG-run eateries.
The audit follows a viral tweet posted last summer.
An audit by the Port Authority Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found 25 customers were charged "indefensible" amounts between $23 and $27 for a seasonal beer at LaGuardia airport.
The audit was instigated by a tweet in July 2021, when Cooper Lund showed a list of beers that included a Samuel Adams Summer Ale Drought priced at $27.85. The beers were subject to a 10% "COVID-19 Recovery Charge" that didn't go to employees.
—Cooper Lund (@cooperlund) July 7, 2021
At the time, The City reported that the Port Authority had asked OTG management, which owns eateries in LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports, to audit its menu prices including the $28 Sam Adams, which the company said was a mistake in a follow-up tweet.
The OTG and OIG didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment made outside normal working hours.
At the time, an OTG spokesperson told The City the prices on the beer at LaGuardia and fries at Newark were "incorrectly posted" and "quickly corrected" — to $18.15.
"Because of these posted-pricing hiccups, our in-house menu teams have been diligently working to ensure pricing across all restaurants are, in fact, rendering correctly," the spokesperson added at the time.
The new policy will cap beers in New York airports at local, off-airport "street prices," plus a 10% concession.
"Nobody should have to fork over such an exorbitant amount for a beer," Kevin O'Toole, Port Authority board chairman, said in a statement.
He added: "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."
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