On February 3, Senator Humberto de la Calle sound alarm bells when referring. high costs of products sold at the airport El Dorado is west of Bogotá.
But the senator isn’t the only one complaining about the high cost of airport stuff. This status is shared by other travelers, both nationally and internationally, on social networks.abuse”.
EL TIEMPO toured the air terminal to verify the situation that El Dorado users experience every day. Juan Felipe Sanchez a frequent traveler commented: There should be a regulation regarding the prices of the products. those sold at the terminal.
“It is obvious that prices are higher on almost all products and I think it is not fair that the Colombian pocket is perhaps affected by this. lack of regulation”, adds Sanchez.
But he understands the price is high because “There’s no denying that with this much traffic, it has to be expensive to support every store and the normal price of a product may not be enough for them,” he says. outside.
Daniela Parra, who travels frequently within the country, says the flight delay is understandable, but the value of the products is not high. “HE overflow Not in one store, but in all stores. They charged me over 25,000 pesos for a packet of fries, an empanada, and a bottle of soda.”
Daniel Hurtado was surprised when he decided to drink aromatic water in a cafeteria while waiting for the plane, and they charged him 8,000 pesos.
Sergio Aparicio, commercial manager of International Airport OperationsOpen), stated that they could not set prices for businesses. i remembered this The prices of the products are the sole responsibility of each organization.
The Opaín official commented on the measures taken when they became aware of cases like the one involving the senator.
“The first point to note is that the vast majority of airports in the world are regulated in dollars. that means If the price of the currency rises, so do the products.; Likewise, if the price goes down, they go down too.”
However, when the prices are too high, they cannot stipulate any price as an airport because “As a consortium, we do not have the right to”, mentions the manager.
The second step that the administrator sets is to verify the area of the store where the product is sold, and then yes, confirm the price of the product.
“If the value of the product is unusual, you talk to the manager of the place, listen to the reasons for the price, and determine the action to take,” adds Aparicio.
The official also explained that there are three levels on which the journey of passengers is divided, both those entering the airport and those arriving. At these levels, he adds, There is a diverse commercial offer that allows people to choose a wide variety of products according to their tastes, needs and budgets.
To understand the so-called three levels, it should be taken into account that in the first there is access to 53 water dispensers, where thermos or bottles can be refilled free of charge.
The second is access to vending machines. In them, the average cost of water is between 4,000 and 5,000 Colombian pesos. It depends on the user’s area, whether national or international.
The third level is for those who want to buy with a service; that is, sitting at a table, being taken care of, being offered a glass of ice, among others. A bottle can cost between 6,000 and 10,000 pesos at these restaurants.
It should be noted that at the beginning of 2023 a citizen commented on social networks such as De la Calle that they received 135,000 pesos from him for two turkey sandwiches and two cans of soda at an establishment.
EL TIEMPO visited the establishment and confirmed that it is a restaurant run by internationally respected chefs, which means that prices are in line with those required by the franchise in restaurants worldwide.
“Two hamburgers with fries on a plastic plate at El Dorado airport are worth 156,000, while one believes 30,000 pandebonos are abuse!” Buenaventura wrote long ago while commenting on his case on social networks.
As Aparicio explains, commercial establishments in El Dorado, especially those located in the international region, sell the experience of the place as well as selling a well-crafted product recognized by top chefs. “Being mindful, keeping an eye on the table, checking that everything is okay, sharing reviews from top tasters are some of them.”
Another reason Opaín adds about prices is that the cost of running the airport is much higher than the thousands of stores scattered across the city.
A fact perhaps few know, according to Aparicio, is that the opening hours in El Dorado are different from the rest of the city. at the air terminal There is a 20 hour shift and each work team has more staff. “This can be increased regardless of the region. For example, a restaurant in a public place (before going to the rooms) allows citizens to sit, order and taste food, only with the desire that they have to board the plane,” the manager notes.
However, after the transition entrance, the same franchises offer travelers more elaborate menus with items ready in just a few minutes. For the same reason, he says, “more hands are needed in every store to take care of every incoming passenger and to meet their needs as quickly as possible.”
Despite the explanations made by the airport operator in the case of cost overruns, different passengers are not satisfied with what the airport operator considers as a “lack of action”. Industry and Trade Inspectorate and from Opain.
Upon complaints, people cited a user on the social network, via Twitter, claiming to the Inspectorate that “as a public agency, consumers should protect their rights”.
Pointing out that the determination of product prices is the sole responsibility of each organization, this body said, “Article 88 of the Constitution recognizes free competition as a collective right.”
He also reminds that people are free to choose where to consume products, warning that the schedules of staff, who often work long hours, affect prices.
“As they hire others to meet the days, they have to pay for overtime, Sunday, holidays and night hours, which increases wages,” said an official, who chose not to be named.
Having to travel frequently to Bogotá, Ignacio Mantilla reassures: “Price abuse at El Dorado airport prevents Colombians from taking the country’s delicacies abroad.” and he reports that a bag of chocolate cakes at the capital’s airport cost him 50,000 pesos, while the same product costs between 13,000 and 14,000 pesos in a neighborhood store.
However, there are also travelers who are clear that El Dorado is not the right place to dine with the family. or just a water. Of course, users who prefer to carry something in their backpacks or pockets to consume before entering the waiting rooms are of course not missing.
In any case, the trade manager get upset He says that he advises domestic and foreign passengers to take into account that they may experience flight delays when they go to the airport and they may have to consume during those hours.
-When people perceive that the price of a product or service offered by a commercial enterprise is higher than normal, they can file a complaint with the airport staff.
In these cases, passengers must leave all information about the business they purchased from and provide evidence where the value received can be verified. However, the analysis process can begin and determine what happened and whether there is room for any judgment against the organization.
-The airport operator reminds the citizens that each of the stores in the national and international regions has its own. letter with prices in Colombian pesos and dollars at the entranceIn accordance with the Undersecretariat of Industry and Trade.
NICOLAS MACÍAS ROJAS