Traveling to a new airport and city can be as exhausting as it is exciting. After disembarking from a flight the long wait for baggage claim is usually arduous, and even once this quest has been completed most travelers need to find a way to get into the city they are visiting. Though airports offer many options such as shuttle buses, and trains, neither of these options can beat the convenience of a personal taxi. Taxi cab services are usually readily available at any international airport, however, there are a few things to consider before hiring one.
Despite the fact most taxi cab services work for reliable and trustworthy companies, are rampant in many cities across the world. Some of these scams can include:
- Taking “scenic” routes instead of a more affordable direct route
- Overcharging compared to other legitimate taxi cab services
- Switching out small bills for large bills when giving back change
- Stealing or driving away with personal belongings and luggage
Though this list can seem intimidating, with the correct information and fore planning, a traveler should be able to quickly recognize the signs of an airport taxi scam. There are multiple steps that can be taken. The biggest factors to consider are:
Agree upon a fare before entering into the cab
Many taxi drivers may agree on a fare that you understand in local money but they later demand in American Dollars or Euros. Also, some airport scams may consist of not using the meter under the pretense that it is out of service. It is important to clarify the exact amount you will pay for your destination in order to avoid discrepancies at drop off.
Be wary of “gypsy” cabs
Most international airports have information on their websites on the logos and stamps that prove legitimacy for taxi services at their airport. Gypsy cabs often charge much more then certified ones and may also add additional fees to their final fare.
Bring a personal map
Bringing a personal map ensures that you will be able to keep track of your route through the city. In the event that you notice a cab driver took a longer route you can report them to their management or avoid that taxi service in the future.
Keep track of payment and change expected
Know the denominations of change in the city you are visiting and keep small bills on you so to avoid not getting change back. While paying a taxi driver make sure you watch them issue out change carefully to avoid the scam where a taxi driver gives you change for smaller bill then you gave them.
Be aware of aggressive taxi cab drivers
Many taxi cab drivers are aggressive when attempting to be hired by a potential customer. They may lie about other transportations availability or intimidate you into hiring them. In addition be wary of taxi cab drivers trying to persuade you into staying at different hotels as your best interests are not always on their minds.
Travelers must remember that these precautions are only advised due to the small group of taxi drivers that take advantage of the less informed customer. Overall, taxi cab drivers are helpful and useful resources when coming to a new city and should be tipped and treated respectfully. Another option for you is to hire an airport car service in advance of your trip.