Prague airport: the biggest ripoff of all

At the Prague airport this morning, I was reminded–yet again–that you really shouldn’t ever get there hungry or thirsty. I have to believe that Prague must have one of the largest gaps between what you pay for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat downtown versus at the airport.

I am perfectly willing to pay a premium price for a drink at the airport, but 110Kc ($6) for a latte if you can get one for 40Kc ($2) downtown seems a bit too much. I don’t think I have ever paid more for coffee in New York, London or any other “expensive” city. A pint of beer, normally about $1-2 in the city, will cost you about $6-7 (see complaints here). What’s worse – the service is terrible…and the food? Don’t get me started about the food. In November, before my cheap, late-night flight to Athens, my friend and I got a cheeseburger for, gulp, $16 (incidentally, we paid only double that for our ticket to Athens) and couldn’t even eat the thing. It tasted like rubber. It probably was rubber.

People say it is the lack of competition and ultra high rents that make it so expensive. The recently-opened McDonald’s does great business there, because–comparing to the rest of it–it serves good, affordable food. Is this a strange world we live in or what?