Avoiding Airport Taxi Scams

Foreign airports can be daunting, especially when you don’t speak the language. I have got some tips to make it as simple as possible, and avoid some common scams in the process.

  1. Research. Find out where to get the taxi from in advance. You don’t want to wander around looking vulnerable.
  2. If there are crowds of Taxis outside the airport shouting for business, they may not be official. Find the official taxi stand or office and get one from there. It may cost more, but it’s safe. We failed to follow this advice once and ended up paying six times the usual price. It could have easily been much worse.
  3. Know the price. Most hostels / hotels will tell you how much a taxi will cost from the airport. Allow for some variation for meter taxis and tolls, but it helps to have a guide price. For places without meter taxis get a price up front, but don’t pay until you get to your destination.
  4. If you book and pay for a taxi in advance from a hotel, make sure you get a receipt / voucher. In Vietnam a driver tried to demand more money even though we had paid in advance. Remember they have your luggage held hostage in the boot of their car.
  5. Don’t flash your cash about. Some countries are poor, so don’t show them your wallet full of cash. Most people are decent, but you never know. Keep some different notes in different pockets, then you can pull out just the amount you need, without waving loads of notes about.

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Dan Dilloway

When I'm not recovering data for Dataquest, I'm usually either riding my bike, writing blog posts or DIYing.