Every time you set foot in a new city, there is one though that is constantly plaguing your mind: How do I know that the airport taxis aren’t ripping me off? While we all suspect the meters blipping and the chauffeurs quoting numbers that distinctly sound incorrect, there are some ways you can avoid being taken for a ride. Executive Traveller finds out.
Find out the local charges
With Google being everyone’s best friend these days, it doesn’t take much to run a search to figure out what the locals are paying for their rides. With just a few clicks you can find out the average rates the cabs charge the locals. WikiTravel, Twitter and Couchsurfing are also great places to know your numbers.
Once you reach the airport, make sure that you ask the officials about the recent cab-rates.
Know your route
It is best to know your route thoroughly before you actually get in the cab. Studying a map beforehand might actually help you identify the shortest possible route to your destination.
In the world of smartphones, just a swipe of your finger is enough download the map of the chosen route. With GPS getting lost is perhaps a thing of the past.
It is best to agree on a price before getting in the cab if the cab does not have a meter. But however, all legitimate cabs are supposed to have a meter, so if you see the driver not switching it on, give him a gentle but firm reminder to do so.
However, it is commonly known that meters can be manipulated so if your meter is running suspiciously fast, stop the cab and find yourself a new one immediately.
Lastly, in some cities, opting for a meter might not be a good idea as you might end up paying for more. In such situations rely on the information the airport officials give you. They are almost always reliable.
Check for hidden costs
Taking advantage of the fact that you are new to the city, some drivers might just charge you for the luggage you carry at the end of the journey even after you have decided on a price. Others might charge for extra passengers or even the number of stops you made on your way. So it is best to check these little things out before you give your cab the green signal.
Never settle for less
If you are feeling uncomfortable in your cab for any reason, do not hesitate to get off and find a new one. When you take a cab from the airport, it is important that you feel comfortable in it. So if the attitude of your chauffer seems unnerving, do not spare a thought about coming across as impolite and switch cabs.
It is always a great idea to make friends with locals during the flight. Not only will you get to know more about the city, you can request them to help you find a cab. Who knows, you might just end up sharing a cab with them and learning more about the city.
Book a Cab
If you are unsure of the route, costs and even relying on locals, it is best to arrange for a private pick up. Not only will you feel special seeing the hand-held sign that spells out your name, you can actually do away with the whole process of bargaining with your potential rides.
However, before you book a private pick-up, make sure that you know the rates and you are not being ripped off.