Thai airports defend expensive food
After the controversy over pricey water bottles at Don Mueang Airport was ignited by Japanese media earlier this month, the Thai ombudsman today has completed the inspection of food prices at the two Bangkok’s airport and concluded that, yes, they’re expensive.
Thai ombudsman Pol. Gen. Wittawat Ratchatanan led the press in reading the menus at Don Mueang yesterday and Suvarnabhumi today. He found that many restaurants don’t follow their contracts. At Don Mueang, operators cannot set their prices higher than 20 percent more than the prices at local department stores. For Suvarnabhumi, the prices may not exceed 25 percent.
One dish that caught Gen. Wittawat’s eyes was the pad thai at the S&P chain restaurant, sold for THB235, while we usually find pad thai for well under THB200 at the mall, according to TNN.
Airports of Thailand (AOT) said in a statement this afternoon that the pad thai is more expensive because it’s extra.
“The restaurant informed us that the pad thai contains a freshwater prawn that weighs 100 grams. The dish is a special menu item created for the branch inside the international terminal at Don Mueang Airport, which mostly caters to foreign passengers.”
“This pad thai is different from a regular pad thai with regular-sized prawns.”
The statement ends with another mention of their staff food court down in the parking lot.
Gen. Wittawat has asked AOT to enforce their contracts strictly. He will also discuss with them and the Ministry of Commerce a long-term solution for the overpriced airport food, which may involve the prices of future rents, contracts, and punishments for operators who don’t follow the rules.
We have another solution. Maybe it’s time to build another food court — one inside the terminal — so AOT can include that in their future statement.