The Newark Airport Authority has been running a beer shop at the airport for years. The terminal’s old motto was “Come Drink With Us.” Following the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) recent airport security procedures, however, the shop has changed its name to the “Spirit of Newark Airport,” and the newly revamped menu offers “beer, wine, and spirits” to travelers. One of the ticketed beverages, a 16 ounce can of Budweiser, can cost $10.95. That’s more than the cost of a ticket to Newark from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport.
Newark Airport in New Jersey recently became the first major airport in the United States to sell beer. The new facility marks a major step for air travel in the United States. In fact, it’s one of the biggest beer-selling airports in the world. This has led to criticism from the New Jersey governor and some members of Congress.
The US Congress is on a fact-finding mission to Newark Airport to investigate why beer sold at the airport is so expensive, and is considering banning all alcohol sales at the airport. A spokeswoman for the airport says the high price of beer is due to taxes, manufacturing costs and a minimum price, and that the taxes are passed on to the consumer.
Congress Wants to Know Why Newark Airport Beer Is So Expensive.
on August 12, 2023 by Gary Leff
Last week, I reported about OTG, an airport concessions operator in Newark, charging $28 plus tax and tip for beer. This obviously contradicts their leasing agreement to follow the norms of ‘street pricing.’
OTG, which is known for having you buy everything on an iPad, immediately claimed the price was incorrect, rectified it, but still maintained that since it was a large pour, it wasn’t such a terrible bargain after all.
While $28 beers are no longer available at Newark, four members of Congress want to join in the uproar. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) is one of the signatories to the letter, which also includes Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ).
My colleagues and I are asking for a comprehensive inquiry of price gouging at the airports of Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia today. Visitors to our area should not be fooled into paying $27 for a bottle of beer. pic.twitter.com/wOsJk5ks3h
12 August 2023 — Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell)
The group is upset about the $27.95 Sam Adams, as well as the $10.90 french fries and $4 orange juice. They’re also demanding an investigation “pursuant to Article IV, Section 6 of the PANYNJ interstate compact,” which mandates an inspector general to “investigate, where appropriate,” complaints of “fraud, waste, and abuse,” primarily by the Port Authority but also by third parties doing business with it.
According to this view, “abuse” may mean almost anything, and it includes abuse by anybody doing business with the Port Authority, even if it is aimed at others.
The Port Authority has already launched a price audit, so the Inspector General may just wait for it to be finished in any event. To put it another way, these four members of Congress want to be a part of the uproar.
If they really wanted to make a difference, they might demand that consumers who were overcharged be… reimbursed. However, there is no issue about reimbursements in their message. Or, if they really wanted to make a difference, they might start by addressing the many causes of costly, low-quality food offered in airports. Is there anything more sad than ordering at CBGB’s at Newark Airport with an OTG iPad?
- Rent at the airport is often much more than rent elsewhere in the area. Labor expenses are rising as well, whether as a result of the requirement to locate personnel who can pass background checks or as a result of municipal legislation mandating higher minimum salaries (New York airports will be $19 in 2023). Bringing supplies and ingredients inside the airport is extremely expensive, since it necessitates dealing with several merchants and passing through security. That’s the financial side of things.
- Passengers, on the other hand, are a mostly captive audience. The government prohibits people from carrying drinks past the security checkpoint; “no outside beverages” isn’t simply a regulation at the movie theater; it’s the law. And, at many airports, there is no competition among vendors since many of the well-known brands – such as Wendy’s or TGI Friday’s – are really owned by the same management firm, such as OTG or Delaware North, which licenses the trademark. Customers, who are frequently faced with lengthy queues and limited time during connections, don’t have much opportunity to compare shop in the first place.
I have to wonder how this became one of the top ten things any of these four members of Congress had to do on any given day, even though $28 is far too much for a Sam Adams (don’t order one).
More From the Wing’s Perspective
If you’re a frequent traveler to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, you’ve likely noticed the prices for beer at the airport bar are more expensive than downtown. That’s because, in order for the American Beer Institute to certify the beer on the shelves at JFK, the beer must be produced in a brewery at least 70 miles from the airport. So, the price for beer is high because the beer has to travel a long distance—a beverage that’s supposed to be a drinkable commodity.. Read more about number vaccinated in nj and let us know what you think.
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