Vada at Rs 15, coffee at Rs 20 at Cochin airport after PMO intervenes
Earlier, the beverages and snacks were priced at Rs 100. The change came about after a not-so happy customer, Shaji Kodankandathil, shot off a letter to the Prime Minister and others to help end the practice of overcharging at airports.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 20:11 IST
Tongue-tickling crispy vada and hot pazhampori (banana fritters) will now be available for Rs 15 each at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) in Kerala, thanks to intervention by the Prime Minister’s office.
Earlier, the beverages and snacks were priced at Rs 100. The change came about after a not-so happy customer, Shaji Kodankandathil, shot off a letter to the Prime Minister and others to help end the practice of overcharging at airports.
“I was travelling to Delhi in April last year. When I ordered a black tea at the airport, I was asked to part with Rs 100 for a tea bag and boiled water in a paper cup. When asked about this, the shop owner told me they were bidding these shops at exorbitant prices so they are forced to fleece,” said Kodankandathil, alawyer, adding he found the explanation quite outrageous.
He said he also found packed snacks with maximum retail price (MRP) tags were also being sold at much higher rates.
“Usually at airports people do come at least two-three hours before their flights. So they are forced to pay up exorbitant prices for foods and snacks. Elderly and Haj pilgrims are the worst affected. Even for the MRP items, they are forced to shell out three to four times higher than the actual price,” he said. On his return, he took up the issue with the Airports Authority of India and Cochin airport but he failed to get a satisfactory reply. Then he shot off a letter to the PM and it was acknowledged immediately.
“I checked the PM’s portal two days back and saw a letter signed by the senior manager of the airport Joseph Peter, regulating the prices of snacks and beverages based on my complaint. The letter said now tea will be priced at Rs 15, coffee Rs 20 and local snacks like vada, parippu vada and pazhampori for Rs 15 each. It also directed that all packed snacks should be sold at MRP,” he said.
When asked about this, the CIAL communications manager PS Jayan said it had reduced prices of beverages and snacks to Rs 30 last year itself and now it will be brought down again. The officer added for good measure that it will be difficult for them to prevail over multinational eating outlets because their rates are universal.
“I want all airports to take a leaf out of CIAL and reduce prices of snacks and foods. In many airports user fee is there (CIAL it is not there). Still they fleece poor passengers and all turn a blind eye towards this. I am happy a beginning has been made,” said Kodankandathil, adding he will continue his fight for fair prices for food items at airports across the country.