New York Airports' Food and Alcohol Is About to Get Cheaper After $27 Beer Goes Viral

·2 min read

New York is cracking down on exorbitant airport food and alcohol prices after reports of $27 beers went viral on social media.

Going forward, all concession prices cannot exceed more than 10% of "local, off-airport 'street prices,'" according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The new policy will also require airports to sell "lower-priced food and beverage options to provide a wider range of value for customers."

The updated pricing rules follow a report by the Office of Inspector General last year that examined social media posts complaining about "totally indefensible" prices for beer at LaGuardia Airport's Terminal C, which ranged from $23 to $27. The drinks were so pricey due to an "erroneously added surcharge on top of an inflated base price."

Following those complaints, the Inspector General found a total of 25 customers had been charged the outrageous prices. Each has since been refunded.

"All airport customers should rightly expect that policies which limit the pricing of food and beverages at concessions will be followed and enforced," Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole said in a statement. "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.

Beer at airport
Beer at airport

Kathryn Donohew Photography/Getty Images

"And all airport customers and concessionaires should expect tough pro-active enforcement going forward now that these revised standards are in place," he added.

Airport concession prices will now be determined by looking at several factors, including similar types of retailers and products based on portion size, preparation, and more as well as brand and quality. Additionally, airport concessionaires will have to submit a full inventory of all products each year to the Port Authority for review and approval.

Regardless of prices, there are still a few foods travelers should probably avoid at airports, like potentially not-so-fresh salad bars and super salty foods like French fries and pretzels that could cause swelling at 35,000 feet.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.