If you prefer not to use Uber or Lyft, you may well still take taxis from airports. But before you do, you should know the facts.
Despite Uber and Lyft taking the lead of modern transportation services, travellers still see taxi drivers queueing in line at the airport pickup point. Airport taxi drivers have a very bad rep when it comes to charging, but they have slightly more to offer in terms of safety and professionalism. Taxi drivers are hired by companies, meaning they have been properly vetted so that you’ll feel safe. After all, you are trusting a total stranger behind the wheel.
If you feel a uneasy about ordering a taxi in today’s world, you aren’t the first. While there are plenty of scary Uber stories available on the internet, taxi drivers tend to have a more inscrutable air about them. Here are 9 secrets airport taxi drivers don’t want you to know about them.
Tourists Get Charged More
If you get picked up at an airport by a taxi driver, they may assume that you are a tourist (even if you’re not). Under this assumption, taxi drivers may choose to take the scenic route in order to get the most cash out of their ride. If you’re a tourist and have pre-planned a taxi ride to your first destination, take some time to familiarise yourself with the area. Open up your own Sat Nav on your phone and ensure that the taxi driver is taking the fastest route possible.
They Need A Sat Nav
Despite the fact that taxi drivers know the city they’re working in well, they may well still use a Sat Nav. They won’t have it on show, but they made need to reference it from time to time. They will do this to ensure they are heading to the correct location and also as a way to see just how long they can keep the meter on for.
They Could Refuse Service
The Taxi Bill of Rights gives all drivers the right to refuse service. Airport passengers who immediately give them a bad feeling or are rude, can be asked to exit the vehicle. They can also refuse travel to intoxicated riders who they fear may leave a mess in their cab number near me. Their car needs to always be in workable conditions in order for them to accept passengers. And if you leave vomit in their backseat, that’s going to be hours of cleaning that eats into their earnings.
If you’re thinking about calling the taxi firm to complain about this refusal of service, there’s a strong chance the taxi company will have their driver’s back.
They Keeping Charging for Traffic Delays
Taxi drivers really thrive in overcrowded cities, like London and Birmingham that have a long reputation for traffic delays. There isn’t a great deal they can do about bumper to bumper traffic, so there’s no point in stressing over the climbing meter.
Even if you’ve been sitting in traffic for several hours, your taxi driver will keep the meter on because they are still technically working as your driver. However, what is important is to note is that some taxi drivers will find a way to these streets on purpose, knowing full well that it will result in a high fare.
You May Want to Watch the Meter
On that note, travellers may want to regularly keep track of their taxi driver’s meter. When you are first collected at the airport, be sure to see that the meter starts at 0. Then during your trip, check to ensure that the meter doesn’t spike a large amount. This is a sure fire sign that your taxi driver has modded with the meter to hand you a pricey bill. They could also claim that the meter has “broken” and provide their passengers a hefty bill to suit their needs.
They Can Call the Cops Instantly
Should a taxi driver feel threatened or on edge, they have the ability to contact the cops quickly. Some cabs are fitted with a panic button so that all they need to do is press it in order to get some help. A yellow light will glow from the front, side, and rear of the cab so that passengers cannot see. Some may also use this handy feature if a passenger refuses to pay their fare.
Their Cabs Are Disgusting
While taxi drivers have some degree of responsibility to keep their cars reasonably clean, it is not entirely their duty. Taxicab companies often work to clean their line of cars in bulk, though this is not done on a regular basis.
Because of this, many taxi cabs are really disgusting. It might not be easy to see on the surface level, but there are certainly some long-forgotten messes in the nooks and crannies of the seats!
They Listen in to your Conversation
Most airport taxi drivers are pretty friendly and will try to give a bit of small talk for the trip. However, if you choose to talk on your phone or to another passenger instead, they’re probably listening in on your conversation. Long rides with no one to talk to can be boring, so your conversation is their only source of entertainment. So be sure not to share important information because it most definitely isn’t falling on deaf ears.
You Could Negotiate
This little gem is one that taxi drivers certainly don’t want their passengers to know. Negotiation is a fair tactic that can be used with taxi drivers, though in truth, few fail to agree. The very best way to haggle with a taxi driver to lower their price is by pointing out how many other airport taxi drivers are nearby or consider taking an Uber.