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June 8, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Lawmakers to tackle airport prices

STORES at Shanghai's airports have free rein to increase their prices because of a lack of supervision, city lawmakers said yesterday.

Passengers have long complained about overpriced goods at the city's two airports, affecting their standing in polls.

The city's legislation body is revising airport management regulations, with an emphasis on reasonable prices and stronger monitoring.

"While the local airport operator tries hard to keep prices the same as at major downtown business areas, store owners in the airports can still change prices as they wish if there is not enough supervision," according to local lawmakers.

Sun Jianping, director of the city traffic and port administration bureau, said yesterday that passengers had two main complaints: the high price of goods and services, and, at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport - the major hub for domestic flights, an inadequate public transport system.

"These problems dragged down passenger satisfaction rates," said Sun.

The Hongqiao International Airport only ranked 53rd in a recent customer satisfaction survey among 154 airports worldwide.

Downtown outlets

Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which received praise for service management, fared much better, ranked fifth.

A Shanghai Daily investigation found most commodities sold at the Hongqiao airport are about the same price as at outlets in downtown but some beverage prices are higher.

One soft drink sold at an airport store was priced at 6 yuan (93 US cents), while the beverage usually sells at 3.50 yuan in convenience stores.

Milk tea on sale for 7 yuan in an airport coffee house is priced at 5 yuan in the downtown area.

On the other hand, chain restaurant prices were similar to those in the city.

The city airport operator promised to talk with store owners to lower their prices before last year's World Expo, after passengers at the Hongqiao International Airport complained a bowl of noodle cost twice the downtown price.

Food prices dropped slightly as the airport reduced rents to attract more outlets, including chain restaurants.


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