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Food prices at Vietnam’s largest airport to be slashed after complaints

Three food and beverage sellers inside Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City must diversify their products and lower their prices by Thursday, the authority that manages airport operations has ordered.

Passengers are seen at a restaurant inside Tan Son Nhat Aiport in Ho Chi Minh City in this June 11, 2013 file photo.
Passengers are seen at a restaurant inside Tan Son Nhat Aiport in Ho Chi Minh City in this June 11, 2013 file photo.

Prices of essential products including bottled water, instant noodles and rice at stores inside the country’s largest airport must be cut, Tran Thuy Minh, director of the Southern Airports Authority, said after a meeting with the sellers involved on Monday.

The request came after many customers complained about the exorbitant prices of these products, Minh said.

A 0.5 liter bottle of purified water is available for VND12,000 or even VND29,000 at the terminal, while the normal price is only VND5,000 (US$1 = VND21,175).

A can of 333 beer fetches VND25,000, around threefold the market rate, while sandwiches cost VND67,000 each compared to VND20,000 in the normal market.

The Southern Airports Authority has thus asked that drinking water at Tan Son Nhat airport should be sold for no more than VND20,000 per bottle, while food such as beef noodles and rice must have a ceiling price of VND55,000.

Around this time last year, Sasco, one of the food sellers at the terminal, received a wave of complaints from customers who had to pay triple the usual amount to enjoy what they called ‘the most terrible food’ from the company.

After Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper ran a series of articles about the issue, the company has made some changes in their menu.

But it seems that the lowered prices still fail to satisfy customers one year later, leading to the request from the Southern Airports Authority.

Spanning 800 hectares, Tan Son Nhat is Vietnam’s largest airport in terms of area. It is capable of serving 20 million passengers a year.