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taxi to the airport scam

Lisbon, New...
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51 posts
15 reviews
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taxi to the airport scam

On our last return trip from Costa Rica we were introduced to what I now understand to be a common scam. When disembarking from the bus at the Caribbean terminal were encountered the expected mob of taxi drivers. We asked "how much to the airport" and were pretty much unanimously told $20 US. This is pretty much in line with what we had paid in the past. Once we were loaded up and on our way the driver again asked where we were heading. When we told him the airport he asked which one. When we told him that we were heading for the international airport he acted surprised and told us that it would be $30 US. We told the driver that he should have made it clear at the start and we gave him20$ and what we would have normally given him as a tip and listened to him argue as we walked away.

Since we were a large group we were in two taxis. The same thing happened in both cabs. Make sure that you are clear in which airport you are heading for ( I don't think that a lot of people are heading to the airport at Parvas but I guess it is possible)

Paris, France
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568 posts
30 reviews
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1. Re: taxi to the airport scam

By law, the taxi cannot charge you more than the meter reads. If the driver didn't use the meter, you owed him nothing. When you arrived at the airport you should have claimed your bags and given him the agreed to $20. If he had a problem with that, you could have called a policeman to the car...there are numerous policeman around the entrance to the airport...I am sure he would have quickly backed down for his demand for more money rather than risk the fine for not using a meter.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,474 posts
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2. Re: taxi to the airport scam

Agree 100% with El Gato!

roadadvisor

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
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3,484 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: taxi to the airport scam

when you get into a taxi always ask for the meter or "la maria por favor" many taxi drivers will not turn on the meter unless you ask.

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: taxi to the airport scam

From what I read, triumphman didn't say if the taxi had a meter. Perhaps it was an unlicensed or pirata taxi.

This is why we say over and over in this forum and others -- be sure to use only licensed taxis -- red with yellow triangle or at the airport the orange taxi - and be sure the driver turns on the meter.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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8,083 posts
42 reviews
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5. Re: taxi to the airport scam

I agree with Hattie, as a general rule only use licensed taxis here. Unfortunately you can still run into trouble with them as well. I used to take taxis a lot and on the same routes. Depending how any given taxi's meter is set you can still get ripped off. I have gotten mixed results going from the same point A to B taxi rides with meters being set at a faster pace than they should. Luckily because I new how much the rides cost from repetition I never got ripped off but I did have my share of arguments with taxi drivers.

Inca

Lisbon, New...
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51 posts
15 reviews
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6. Re: taxi to the airport scam

It was a red licensed taxi, thank you all for your replies.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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460 posts
22 reviews
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7. Re: taxi to the airport scam

A taxi driver tried to scam you out of more money, is that a surprise? In NYC, Miami, Buenos Aires, Rome, New Orleans and every 'tourist' spot, taxi drivers always try to get more money from you.

It starts with the "What way do you think I should take" question to see if you know you are going, and continues with getting lost trying to find your hotel in Buenos Aires, or always taking the route with the most traffic in NYC.

What you describe is not a scam, it's a taxi driver's way of life.

San Francisco...
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675 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: taxi to the airport scam

Are the taxis required to use the meter everywhere in the country or is this specific to the San Jose area that is being discussed in this thread?

Just curious so we know what to expect when we use them to get around in Manuel Antonio.

Thanks!

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
25 reviews
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9. Re: taxi to the airport scam

Licensed taxis are required to use the meter unless you negotiate a fare before you get in. This law applies to taxis all over the country.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,474 posts
35 reviews
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10. Re: taxi to the airport scam

Hattie is correct...again...

roadadvisor

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