A young man behind a bar pours a draft beer.
A traveler at LaGuardia Airport posted a photo of a $27.85 Sam Adams beer at a Biergarten restaurant.
Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images
  • A LaGuardia Airport flyer shared a photo of a $27.85 Sam Adams ale on sale at a Biergarten eatery.
  • OTG Management, which owns restaurants at the airport, said it would audit its prices.
  • OTG said the price was incorrect – and amended it to the real price of $18.15.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A major airport retailer is reviewing all its prices after a customer shared a photo of a $27.85 beer being sold at LaGuardia airport.

A traveler tweeted a photo on July 7 of a drinks menu at one of the airport's restaurants, showing a sky-high price for Sam Adams Summer Ale.

The City reported Tuesday that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has asked OTG Management – which owns eateries at LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports – to audit menu prices.

An OTG spokesman said the company "took this initiative on its own." The price was a simple "mistake," it said.

Cooper Lund, the traveler, told The City that he had spotted the drink while visiting an OTG-owned Biergarten before his flight to Minnesota.

"It's just Sam Adams Summer Ale – that's insane!" Lund said, per The City.

OTG said in a tweet later that day that the ale was priced incorrectly, and that all other listed prices were for 23-ounce drinks. The company offered to pay for Lund's beers the next time he visited one of its locations, per the tweet.

A 23-ounce drink is equivalent to about 0.7 liters.

"This is a situation where someone simply input the wrong prices," Michael Marchese, an OTG spokesperson, told Insider in an emailed statement. "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."

Marchese also told The City that beer's price was "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," Marchese added, per The City.

The corrected price brings the ale more in line with other 23-ounce drinks on the Biergarten's menu: The restaurant priced a New Belgium Fat Tire Draught at $20.60, and listed a Sam Adams Boston Lager Draught for $18.15, per Lund's photo.

Read more: Lost business class travel is pummeling big airlines. Industry leaders predict when it might return – and how it could change.

The LaGuardia Biergarten also said on its menu that it had added a 10% "COVID-19 recovery charge" to items.

In comparison, Sam Adams Seasonal beer costs $7 at the Westside Tavern bar, and a Sam Adams Octoberfest costs $8 at Lasagna restaurant, which are both located in New York City's Chelsea district.

The Port Authority said that airport businesses could increase their prices up to 10% more than "street pricing" at a June 2020 virtual board meeting, according to retail news site TRBusiness.com.

A Port Authority spokesperson told Forbes at the time that its aviation department would implement the new pricing rules during summer that year.

The price hike approval came after the agency voted in 2018 to raise the minimum wage for thousands of airport staff to $19-an-hour by 2023, and was designed to help retailers offset this extra cost, Forbes reported.

"The Port Authority is committed to enforcing that all terminal operators and concessionaires adhere to cost parity policies throughout our airports," a Port Authority spokesperson told The City in a statement.

"We know this market is expensive enough already, so we're committed to everything we can do to ensure reasonable prices for our customers."

The Port Authority did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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