Once again I have to report that a taxi driver at Lisbon Airport last Saturday night tried the "forgot to switch on meter" scam.
My wife arrived on a flight from Italy at about 22:00 and although she is wise to such things, after a long days travel, she did not notice that the taxi driver who was taking her too the VIP Zurch Hotel at Entrecampos had not switched on the metre.
En route, she noticed the meter was not ticking and asked him how much he was going to charge her!
"Euro 25.00, says he!"
My wife speaks Portuguese very well, although with a Anglo-Brazilian-Rio-Carioca accent! The taxi driver thought he had picked up an innocent Brazilian Tourist!!!! Unfortunately, for him, my wife knew the approximate cost of the ride and had, fortunately, in her bag, a receipt for €7.50 for a similar trip from the Airport to the VIP Zurch a couple of weeks previously.
There then ensued a rather strong "fish market" conversation, in Portuguese, at the end of which the taxi driver received €11:00 as it was late on Saturday night.
When she told me later, I said she should have gone into the hotel and told the reception to call the police. She said the receptionist on duty said exactly the same.
So, if you are flying into Lisbon Airport and are going to use a taxi to get to your destination:
1) Go to the Lisbon Tourism desk (Straight in front of the exit from the baggage hall) and ask them how much a taxi should cost to your destination.
1) Make sure the meter is ticking before your leave the stand! If he doesn't switch it on, call one of the PSP officers who are usually hanging around the taxi stand and tell them.
2) If you only find out, en route, the meter is not working, as soon as you arrive at your destination call the receptionist and tell them. They may well call the police.
Lisbon Airport taxis drivers are hurting because of the recent opening of the metro to the Airport. However, forewarned is forearmed and the more we nip this in the bud now the better!