Newark’s Outrageous Retail Pricing and Jimmy Carter Greets Delta Flyers Onboard

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The Republican leader of the New Jersey state assembly is complaining about retail prices at Newark airport. Passengers are a captive audience, but lowering prices would also mean lower revenue for the Port Authority. Populism of course knows no bounds, you can’t lose grandstanding against airlines and airports, though I doubt this is the most pressing issue for investigation even if it underscores the way that the business of airports is not designed to serve passengers.

    “The prices are outrageous. Bottled water, $4 or $5. TSA takes your water away, and then you have to pay $4 or $5 for bottle water. Sometimes you’re stuck at the airport out there for hours,” Bramnick said.

    …“They have self-checkout and self-serve, and they charge you five times what water should be charged for a customer,” Bramnick said. “I think this is a consumer nightmare.”

    …He said he wants to know why “the vendors can charge that much and why the price is similar between all the stores.”

    …Bramnick said he realized just how high the prices have become when he recently stopped in the airport and picked up cough drops and bottled water for $9.42.

  • Free LAX parking due to lack of enforcement.

  • Star Alliance carrier ANA, which already has some of the best food in the sky, will be introducing new meals, sleepwear and amenities to business and first class.

  • Delta partner Jet Airways is getting a government bailout. Their US$1.2 billion shortfall is being covered by the government taking an equity stake in the carrier (State Bank of India is the lead bank doing a debt-equity swap), while the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (sovereign wealth fund 49% owned by Indian state, also backed by Abu Dhabi ironically enough) will infuse cash for a 19.5% stake. Government interests will be majority owner of the airline.

  • Meanwhile Delta may team up with easyJet and the government of Italy to own Alitalia. Weren’t we supposed to be concerned about government subsidies for airlines, and ‘airlines having to compete with governments?’ I forget.

  • Jimmy Carter greets customers on a Delta flight. Rumor has it Carter picks up Delta 360 passengers and drives them across the tarmac on tight connections (not really).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — I just payed CHF 4.50 for a paper cup of sparkling water at a hockey game in Davos. Talk about overpriced.

  2. “Passengers are a captive audience, but lowering prices would also mean lower revenue for the Port Authority.”

    Why is it a given that prices at Newark airport are completely inelastic?

  3. Miami International Airport doesn’t allow tenants to charge more than what they charge at locations in Miami-Dade County. Built into the lease, and why shopping and eating at MIA is never expensive.

  4. I empty my water bottle before I go through security and I fill it after I go through.

    Someone should tell the state assemblyman.

  5. At some airports such as ORD, there are water bottle refill stations with filters. I appreciate these as they often prevent me from having to worry about overpriced water at the airport. Does EWR have these refill stations?

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