Beijing's Capital Airport has slashed the cost of more than 70 products after coming under heavy criticism for its exorbitant food and beverage prices, which rival those of Hong Kong's five-star hotels. Soft drinks, fast food and souvenirs are among the items that will be immediately reduced in price. High prices are common at airports around the world as retailers try to cash in on a captive market. But patrons of the airport have complained of paying up to five times as much as elsewhere in Beijing. For example, a can of Coke has a price tag of 33 yuan (HK$31). A Coke will now cost only three yuan, a reduction of more than 90 per cent. Mainland media have reported that passengers will now be able to buy a meal at the airport for as little as 15 yuan. One passenger said: 'I have never considered buying anything at the airport since things here are just unbelievably overpriced.' She said she had paid 10 yuan for an ice cream that cost two yuan in town. A spokesman for Beijing airport's retail operations said the number of complaints had prompted the decision to lower prices to the supermarket levels. A stream of complaints about prices at the airport prompted a government order two years ago to regulate retailers' operations. The order required the Capital Airport to clearly and honestly list prices in restaurants and to lower prices by introducing more competition. In response, the airport did not renew the leases of most restaurants and shops when their contracts expired last year, and took control of the operations itself. An airport official said: 'We hope this will help to efficiently manage the prices of goods inside the airport.' He said the prices shops and restaurants charged would depend where in the airport they were. 'Charges should be a little bit higher in stores in the international boarding area than those in the domestic area, since we've got different customers and the way we buy goods for them is also different,' the official said. He said outside operators may be invited to open shops and restaurants to compete with the airport-owned outlets.