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Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

Level Contributor
10 posts
62 reviews
Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

Hi Guys

Johannesburg Airport Taxi

All I can say is be very careful. As I came out of the airport I was almost ambushed by supposed taxi drivers. It appears they run a monopoly along with law enforcement which is rather disgusting and disappointing. First you need to download UBER app on your phone. This app is so reliable and safe so you don't have to even think about who you are ridding with as you already know the risks in South Africa. Unfortunately we ordered a uber cab and on arrival at the airport the cab was immediately seized from the driver. I was informed by a police sergeant that uber a unsafe only to learn later that the taxi driver he personally recommended charged us 3 x more!! When you arrive at the airport don't tell the taxi touts that you have requested uber as they will inform the police who will seize the vehicle under something or another. Wait at a car park inside the airport or take another exit as the taxi will go unspotted. It's sad but the police and taxi touts are all in it for themselves at the airport. Use uber where ever you are and its at half the price if not less. Uber drivers are polite and safe not to mention that you have peace of mind of not being carjacked or robbed which would be pre-planned by the taxi tout. With uber you have no issues at all. They will know where you are by just looking at their phone and using GPS so don't worry they will find you. Please note that I only experienced this at Johannesburg and this is by no means a reflection of the country. Like every city around the world there will be people out to make money but I did not expect this from a police officer.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
48 posts
1. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

I use Uber in the US....basically for the same reason.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
1,046 posts
97 reviews
2. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

We have used uber locally in jhb to get to labseria airport and were told when we returned that if anyone asks if we are taking uber we must say a friend is collecting us. It's ridiculous that you don't have fair play. Typical though...

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
9,710 posts
65 reviews
3. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

Here in the US, some airport authorities are actually setting up places where Uber drivers can collect their passengers. On the other hand, other airports are not. It will end up as a local issue in every city, I suspect.

Speaking now of the taxi driver situation at JNB.. It looks like some sort of 3rd world country, where this group of predatory guys are all right on the curb as passengers emerge. They are aggressive in trying to get people into their cabs. The Airport Authority could - and should - do something to structure the way cabs are assigned. I was at the airport for a night and a day last week and looked at this for myself - and for my clients - trying to figure out a way to make sure they will be treated fairly if they do want a taxi.

Guess what. I could not.

Edited: 30 May 2015, 13:45
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
450 posts
105 reviews
4. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

I've never caught an Uber/taxi from the airport as I usually have a friend willing to pick me up. But in any case, as a suggestion as soon as you book the Uber I would call the driver and ask where they suggest to meet. Even consider suggesting you will meet them up on the departures level. I use Uber here a lot and have always found the drivers to be very flexible and willing to meet your requests.

As said above, if anyone approaches you offering a taxi, just say you are waiting for a friend. I've endured many of these requests whilst waiting to be picked up. There is no need to be rude, just be confident.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,562 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

At the moment I would never use Uber in any country.

The main reason I would not use them is because they are ambiguous on exactly what kind of insurance their drivers carry and how their drivers are vetted. In California, for example, they were telling drivers only last year that they only needed to have personal insurance coverage and not commercial coverage and in a survey published by Forbes magazine last year, it was found that over 90% of Uber drivers in America lied to their insurance companies about using their vehicles commercially. There have been cases of Uber drivers being involved in accident whilst carrying passengers and their insurance company not paying out any compensation because the vehicle was being used for commercial purposes and the driver only had personal insurance.

So, for me, Uber is a no-no. The risks are just too great.

Edited: 01 June 2015, 13:54
Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
Level Contributor
713 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

Have used Uber from OR Tambo a few times. As soon as you book, normally the driver will call you and you decide between the two of you where you're going to meet. I've never had any issues.

Only recommendation is to meet the driver upstairs on the Departures level, normally s/he's able to park on the curb and wait for you, a lot more manageable than on the arrivals level.

Sandton, South...
Level Contributor
20 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

For MTChandler who says No-No to Uber and is not comfortable taking the taxis that park outside OR Tambo Airport then you would rather pre-book a professional taxi service which provides Meet and Greet Services then the driver/employee of that company will receive you at the Arrivals with a board marked your name. This will provide you with peace of mind and some form of recourse with the company that you booked with should anything go wrong.

On the other hand, I haven't experienced any serious issues with Uber as I regularly use them in and around Sandton.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
450 posts
105 reviews
8. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

To be honest MTCh, this is South Africa, you can't be sure who is insured and who isn't! And from my experience here, Uber is the most professional, safe and on time service I have used. I've used Uber elsewhere in the world and agree it can be a bit dodgy, but here in Johannesburg, I would not use anything else!

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
87 posts
53 reviews
9. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

I have used Uber across major South African cities and it works wonderful well. I would highly recommend it!

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: Airport Taxis Vs Uber Taxis

On arrival in Dallas (DFW) airport we were not permitted to use Uber as they have a system where Uber drivers are identified quite easily so we took a taxi to the nearest hotel and ordered Uber from there. It was still much cheaper and the driver was very friendly and accommodating.

Regrettably we have so much corruption in SA that I would without hesitation use an Uber driver they are more likely to have reasonably maintained licensed vehicles and not inclined to rip us or our tourists off with costly out of the way journeys.