I once landed at Mexico City airport and was comprehensively ripped off by a taxi driver. Disorientated after a long flight, we ended up paying ten times the going rate for the journey from the airport to the city centre.
I wanted to ride in the city’s famous Volkswagen Beetle taxis. But I certainly didn’t want to start my holiday feeling stressed due to being taken for a ride by the driver! So, I do see the value in taxi transfer companies that let you make advance bookings to take you from the airport to your hotel.
You’d expect such services to cost more than local taxi fares (provided you’re not usually conned by the local cabbie) because they should take the stress out of the arrival experience.
Relying on a local cab means you may be uncertain about whether there’ll be one available when you land. You’ll also be unsure about the price you’ll have to pay, and you may struggle to negotiate properly if the driver doesn’t speak great English.
A transfer company should mean you have an English-speaking taxi driver waiting for you regardless of flight delays, and you’ll be whisked off to your hotel without problem.
Taxi transfer companies vs local cabbies
However, when we looked at taxi transfer companies after a Which? member’s complaint, we found that you could end up paying a lot more.
The member felt he’d paid over the odds for a poor taxi service when he used a transfer company on the Greek island of Kos. So we decided to investigate further.
We looked at five transfer firms operating in Kos and found that their average prices over eight routes were nearly three times higher than local firms. For example, A2BTransfers had the most expensive average price of €80 – nearly three times the average local taxi price of €27.
So whether you choose a transfer company, or a local cab, the journey from the airport to hotel can be a costly business. Have you had any spectacularly expensive taxi rides? Do you think you paid over the odds because you were a tourist?