PM orders check of high food and drink prices at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports

Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered relevant agencies to check prices of food and drink at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports following complaints from passengers that the prices are very expensive.

Passengers' complaints about the exorbitant prices for food and drink at the two airports was first reported in the www.thaich.net , a Japanese-language portal website about Thai travel and lifestyle.

On Jan 8, a Bangkok-based Japanese businessman Akihiro Koki Tomikawa, also complained of high price of bottle water at Suvarnabhumi airport which was marked up to 40 baht.

Mr Tomikawa, whose Facebook page has over 60,000 followers, also complained of taxi overcharging foreign passengers at Suvarnabhumi.

I would like to stress that if these problems are left unsolved, all sides will be affected. If tourist number drops, nobody will earn. I wish that the Thai people take the issue seriously, he wrote.

Deputy government spokesman Col Athisit Chainuwat said Gen Prayut had ordered concerned agencies to inspect business operators at the two airports during the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday (Jan 9).

He said the prime minister would like to know if the prices for food and drink at the airports are high as claimed by passengers. If yes, authorities must find out the cause of the high price and make sure that the food and drink prices are reasonable.

Col Athisit said the prime minister would like authorities to take care of the issue and warned operators that they should not take advantage of the passengers by selling food and drink at high prices.

After the inspection, the prime minister wanted authorities to explain the matter to the public to prevent the problem from escalating and tarnishing the country's image.

According to an inspection by Thai PBS reporters, food and drink items sold at the two airports are more expensive than at stores outside the airports. For example, a 600-cc bottled water was sold at 15 baht, against 7 baht on the street.

For fast food stalls at the airports, it was 250-300 for a set of fast food, while coffee will be 10-20 baht higher from coffee shops outside the airports.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)