Ward Chartier almost choked on his breakfast croissant he ordered at Oakland International Airport recently.
The reason for his consternation: an item on the bill that he thought he recognized, but hoped he didn’t.
It said, “EmpBen_Srchg” and it came to 12 cents, or about 2 percent of his bill.
“I interpret this to be employee benefit surcharge,” says Chartier, a consultant who lives in San Ramon, Calif. He asked me if I knew anything about the mysterious fee.
I didn’t, so I asked Oakland Airport.
“Sick restaurant surcharges you shouldn’t have to pay — or should you?”