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Airport "taxi" scam

Sawtell, Australia
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96 posts
81 reviews
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Airport "taxi" scam

I should have known better but before I left the airport in Bangkok I was approached by a young lady asking if I needed a taxi. I had pre purchased taxis in KL and Phnon Phen so thought it was appropriate. She ushered me to the counter where I gave details of hotels etc and she askd for 1100 Baht. I thought this was dear but it was not until I reached the car that I found that it was a limosine service. The return trip in a taxi was 400 Baht. A trap for the unwary

Bangkok, Thailand
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15,864 posts
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1. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

Unfortunately it happens. Our FAQS (Top Questions) on the right about airport transportation do warn travellers not to use taxi touts, and advise how to safely use the metered taxis and trains. Not much use of course if you were not able to read it in advance..

Antipodes
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9,919 posts
119 reviews
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2. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

It's not a scam when you get exactly what you paid for.

Indeed though, a trap for the uninitiated.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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29,259 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

Sorry it happened to you, but you'll learn for next time.

Fyi - 1,200 baht is the going rate for a limo service if you pre-book it with the hotel. So in that respect your "scam" was limited.

The annoying thing is that these limo touts are allowed to operate airside (in the baggage hall before customs). And they do offer "taxi". I'm glad to say I did my bit back in December when I saw a couple being talked into a limo service, and talked them out of it.

Edited: 02 November 2011, 05:20
Bangkok, Thailand
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15,864 posts
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4. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

The touts in the baggage hall are usually the 'sales' people from AOT limo service operated by the airport authority. They are reliable and legit, although their tactics are questionable.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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29,259 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

^^^ Got it! There's people doing that at Heathrow now for the Heathrow Express train, which is 3-6x more than the tube, and can take you nowhere near the hotel. (Did my bit there last time too)

Harbin, China
Destination Expert
for Kanchanaburi
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21,112 posts
41 reviews
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6. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

Last time I arrived in Bangkok 1 or 2 people approached me about a taxi. My advice is ignore these people and head toward the taxi rank. Even better, take the train into the city and then a Skytrain. Of course, this is a good option if your hotel is located near the Skytrain and your luggage is not too heavy.

Dublin
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803 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

Thankfully I read the warnings on T/A prior to travelling, It was amazing the amount of people who were concerned about how I was getting to my hotel LOL !!

we continued to walk to door 3 ( I think it was) passing by the Thai tourist board we were approached by a lovely young lady who asked which hotel we were staying in and offered to get us a "Free" map, she then introduced us to her Boss, who offered a Limo with A/C etc into the city for 800 baht, I thanked her but told her that just down the next escalator I could get a taxi for half that, she wasn't best pleased.

But I can see how easy it is for people to be stung in this way.

Oh !!! for what its worth they are even better at this scam in Phuket airport, even going as far as dressing up in national costumes...........

Edited: 02 November 2011, 13:48
Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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17,459 posts
34 reviews
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8. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

It's not really a scam. 800-1200 baht actually is the going rate for a car or "limo" service and usually includes tolls. Some people knowingly choose it because they have a lot of luggage or equipment that won't fit into a public taxi. Or because they've had negative experiences with Bangkok taxi drivers and just don't want to deal with it. Or they're business people who can offset the cost, so why not?

But I agree that it's deceptive for newcomers for the limo girls to call it a "taxi" or to imply there's no other way of getting downtown.

By the way, the young ladies who do this job work only on commission and make something like 50 baht for a successful deal. The good ones can net 1000 baht a day, which is pretty decent by Thai standards, and have steady clients who call them from abroad on their mobile phones to book cars. So the business is not illegitimate.

notts
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112 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

how is that a scam? you opted for the limo service and yes, the lady may approach you even when you are at baggage reclaim, but this is not a scam, you should have located the taxi rank where you would have indeed paid 400 bht ... a scam is when you pay and dont get what you paid for, you got a limo ha ha ps;see you next month thailand, i cannot wait!!

Gulfport, MS
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750 posts
17 reviews
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10. Re: Airport "taxi" scam

It's deception, you're paying for a limo when they're talking about a taxi.