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London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

London
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London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

I live about 25 minutes from Heathrow and was told the fare was £140 when I got into the cab at 11:00 at night on a Wednesday evening.

I found this offensive, to be honest. But what choice did I have.

Spoke with a friend who lives in Binfield ( 20 minutes if you take route through Windsor ) and he was in the same situ when he flew back from ibza and was forces to pay £130.

major cities I've been to in the last couple years seem to charge less then 1/2 of this for these types of journeys from Airports.

*Local cab companies charge £40 for these same journeys.

I read another blog on this site where dozens of people came out to vehemently defend Black Cabs (perhaps they were all cabbies)

but

What gives? Is this Rip-off Brittain in full force?

Essex
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41. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

You did in fact have a negotiation with the driver, albeit a brief one!

He said 'this is my fare to go there'

You said no - did you say 'I will pay £X' though??

He said 'thats my offer' it was up to you to take it or leave it.

You left it

You had a choice and you made it.

You were not FORCED to pay anything.

You could have asked another driver, did you????

London
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42. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

ok. ok. many good points made. but trust me. I had just come back from a great trip albeit with a little faff at the end in New York.

I wasn't looking for an argument, nor an altercation with this guy... I just wanted to get home and certainly felt like I was being ripped off by an opportunist. TFL verified this today when they told me the set fare is advised at £90. Not £140

BLACK CABS = GREAT!! in London. Zero apprehensions hopping into a cab in London.

But they Turn into different animals when they get outside the M25.

They have a monopoly at Heathrow and rip people off, The more people can find these articles on the Internet.. the Better.

but this is just my opinion.

LON-SIN
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for Singapore
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43. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

I think the jist is it is not made clear on arrival at Heathrow or by the taxi rank advising people that taxi only run on the meter in the Greater London area, and then anywhere else is like to to be disproportionately expensive.

Heathrow should let (charge) local cab firms to place prominet phones in arrival where people can be put straight through to a cab firm, to give passengers greater/easier choice about how they make their journey from the airport.

Essex
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44. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

The thing is that there is no set fare for Black Taxis outside London. There may be an 'advised' fare, but if you read all the other links I have made, it is clear that any individual driver can charge what HE/SHE sees fit outside of the Greater London Area.

They do not have to accept you as a 'fare', and yes, basically they can do what they like.

Black Cabs are a luxury, either 'inside' or 'outside' London, always have been, always will be.

According to the information I also linked you to on the Heathrow website, you can go to the information desk and they will provide you with contact details for local taxi (minicab) firms.

You can then pick one, 'phone them and see how much they would charge to come and collect you.

Still, for the future you now know that it is perhaps wise to contact the Bracknell minicab firms. You have time to research now, look for one that has a good 'airport' rate and find out how much their day rate differs from their night rate.

London
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45. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

Hiring private mini cabs has always been a contentious issue. BAA do not want to upset the black cab drivers too much;

independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-blac…

Edited: 31 July 2012, 14:58
Essex
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46. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

heathrowairport.com/transport-and-directions…

Nottingham, United...
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47. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

Sorry but you don't get my sympathy vote.

Surely anyone living 25 minutes from Heathrow would know not to get a cab running on a meter. That goes for a lot of people living in other parts of the UK too I would expect also.

As other posters have said you did have several other alternatives available to you. Somewhat ridiculous to my mind that you didn't think of them. Maybe you have learned from this experience and be more organised next time when you are on your travels.

London
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48. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

Thanks for the Heads up on Oslo and Iceland! :)

lord knows I can get hot under the collar when it comes to high cab fares ;)

* I think there should be a Mini-Cab phone as well. Whenever there is a monopoly, the potential for disproportional prices is always likely.

but alas... I'm sure someone is getting a nice fee, likely BAA, for the continuation of the status qua

Hitchin, United...
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49. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

I do have some sympathy with you to an extent because the cab drivers at Heathrow are a different breed to the city centre drivers. I have two cabbie friends who work the West End and they both tell me that even within their trade the airport loiterers are seen as a blight on the reputation of the rest of the industry. I won't repeat the exact words as they're not for a family website but the words "mafia" and "racket" feature heavily. His words, not mine.

Some drivers look to do three runs a day and then clock off. It's no wonder the drivers will wait happily in the enormous queues to get that lucrative work.

I've regularly negotiated with cabbies (I live a long way out of town and the fare on the meter to get home is about £45-48), West End drivers are usually happy to switch off the meter to do it for a set £40, especially if it's on their way home. But I think the airport drivers just *really* like money, I'm not sure you can negotiate as easily.

I certainly think you got a bad / greedy driver. But as I say, lesson learned for the future, ring "Bracknell Cars" or whoever as you come off the plane and get them to come and pick you up. I'd guess that private hire companies would snap your hand off for a run like that, they'll likely do it for around £50.

UK
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50. Re: London Black Cabs from Heathrow- Fares amount to Black-Mail?

They have a monopoly at Heathrow and rip people off, The more people can find these articles on the Internet.. the Better. but this is just my opinion.

====

Believe it or not I *nearly* agree with you, in that they may *attempt* to charge very highly, so someone who is ill-prepared, a tourist who has done no research for example, may end up paying far too much. A local knows whats reasonable and can negotiate towards that figure, or take alternative measures such as a pre-arranged minicab or phone home!

But they don't have a "monopoly" at Heathrow. If they did, I couldn't take local taxis to and from my home to Heathrow could I? Nor could people prebook minicab firms to take them there and back, nor could I give lifts to people there or get picked up in the same way.