As an ex flight attendant I have traveled to numerous places world wide and the one thing I have always been bothered by was the different taxi rates for the same destination. First of all I do understand how hard a job it is for many of the drivers with their long hours & below average earnings for the most part, but being basically robbed by a doubled fare is not very neighborly, nor does it promote great tourism.
I recently went to Las Vegas & took a cab from the airport to The Wynn Hotel. I asked the airport staff how much the usual fare was to this location ~ I was told between $15 to $20. It was $15 and we happily gave our driver $20. He was courteous & friendly which is always my prerequisite to leaving a good tip.
Upon entering the hotel I met a woman who told me she just paid $30 for the exact same trip. Another person who overheard us in the check in lineup told us her story of her last visit to Vegas where a police car pulled them over in the taxi. He asked the driver why he was taking them the long way instead of the usual & less expensive route. The policeman was livid with the driver & scolded him in front of the 3 taxi guests & made a police report which he sent to the taxi company as well. It is obviously becoming a big problem to have the police intervening. My husband took a cab outside “the strip” area to do some business and asked the cab driver to wait for him while he went in to pick something up. He was literally gone 5 minutes & when he came back outside the driver had left. Because of rush hour & the less populated area, it took my husband an hour to get a cab back to the hotel. And guess what? The cab fares were different again!
My advice to people planning a trip anywhere is to do your homework on travel expenditures. Tell the taxi driver you are aware of the fare to your required destination before you enter the cab. If they argue or disagree with you, wait for the next one. If you need the cab driver to wait for you somewhere, pay them half the money & then the full amount when you reach your destination. (Especially for women who do not want to be stranded in some remote area alone ~ it is always best to have a travel buddy with you.) If you are somewhere you do not speak the language ask the hotel concierge or reception to write out a note in the appropriate language stating the destination & fare. The hotel will know this & can also take note of the cab company & car number. You wouldn’t get on a flight or take a train without knowing the travel fee so apply the same knowledge towards your taxi fares.
I have been very fortunate with most of my travel experiences because I do my due diligence before leaving for my destination. I enjoy my conversations with the cab drivers in all the cities I have visited & they have been very helpful for the most part. If you treat them with respect & not just as “your” driver, they are generally kind & respectful back. Travel safe, be smart & treat everyone how you would like to be treated. That goes for everyone in the travel business…
Susan McCord @ http://www.youtube.com/twobeavers