How much would you pay for a cold beer in a depressing airport? Twenty, twenty-five bucks, perhaps? If that seems steep, you’re not alone—PEOPLE reports that one LaGuardia Airport traveler went viral after sharing a photo of airport bar prices, including a Samuel Adams Summer Ale running for $27.85.
“Lol at all of this, including the additional 10 percent ‘Covid Recovery Fee’ that doesn’t go to workers,” Cooper Lund tweeted earlier this month, posting a photo of the menu at LaGuardia’s in-airport Biergarten. The recovery fee Lund mentioned is explained at the bottom of the menu, which reads: “Covid-19 Recovery Charge: 10% of items ordered added to the bill. (Per PEOPLE, the COVID-19 Recovery Charge was implemented in late 2020 in New York City to support restaurant profit margins. However, the city’s website states that restaurants won’t be able to tack on the recovery charge starting on August 17 of this year.)
In response to the tweet, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced plans to audit the prices from OTG Management, the company that handles food and beverages at New York airports. “We know this market is expensive enough already, so we’re committed to everything we can do to ensure reasonable pricing for our customers,” a Port Authority spokesperson told PEOPLE. “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.”
Interestingly, OTG reportedly told PEOPLE that the issue was a case of incorrect pricing. “Once we learned of it, we immediately took action to correct and began proactively auditing our entire system to ensure there were no other mistakes,” the company said. “OTG took this initiative on its own.” Yeah, okay, OTG.