Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport has imposed ceiling prices on certain food and beverage products at its terminal as part of measures to prevent unreasonable price hikes.

The move was made following passenger complaints about overcharging on many commodities on sale, the airport's deputy director Nguyen Huy Duong told Vietnam News Agency.

The price caps were applied on food services in three areas early this month. These are the public area, the domestic isolation area, and the international isolation area.

For example, a 500ml- bottle of pure water cannot now be sold for more than 15,000 VND (0.7 USD) in the public area, 20,000 VND (0.95 USD) in the domestic isolation area and 40,000 VND (2 USD) in the international isolation area.

Those businesses caught overcharging on three or more occasions will have their business licences revoked, Duong said.

At present, there are 10 businesses licensed to provide basic services for passengers, including tax-free commodities, souvenirs and food and beverage products.

"These businesses are required to guarantee food quality and place price caps on certain products," he said. Some candied products on sale are often found to be well past their use-by date, tough and inedible.

"Several businesses have already increased prices higher than allowed, affecting the airport's prestige and service quality," he said.

Nguyen Thuy Linh, who recently went to Myanmar on a business trip, said she had paid 30,000 VND (1.4 USD) for a bottle of water.

"A bottle costs 5,000 VND (0.23 USD) at supermarkets in the city," she said. "It is clear that it is costly for businesses to hire a store at the airport, but overcharging is not the way to do business," Linh added.

Duong said that to handle the problem, the airport now requires businesses to give receipts to passengers so that there is evidence when passengers make complaints.

The airport has also opened three hotlines for passengers to contact authorities on issues related to food services.

These include the number for the terminal police (04.38843241), the Northern Airport Corp (01689 166 566), and the Northern Airport Authority (04.38840114).-VNA