Arriving this AM in Singapore, we grabbed the bags and headed for the taxi stand. And, as I have in the past actually lived here, I sort of new the drill on getting a ride. However, I was really surprised at how aggressively the taxi attendants tried to usher me to the left side…Premium Limo taxis. Obviously, they assumed that because I am Caucasian, I am of course a tourist, and therefore can spend more than double the cost of a regular, “local” taxi.
If Singapore intends to keep attracting the record number of visitors they so ardently woo, then I suggest that this practice be nipped in the proverbial bud, because it’s basically taking advantage. Clearly, that Premium taxi driver over there, yes him…the one waving at me frantically…. is giving these attendants some sort of spiff to send all tourists over to the left side, not the local, right side, of the taxi area.
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been duped before. Once, upon arrival in Shanghai, we ended up taking a taxi ride from the first guy who approached us after we came into the main terminal. Bad, bad, bad! I chalk this up to nervousness, it was my first real trip into China…but still…stupid, rookie mistake. We were quite lucky we only got fleeced on the ride charges, could have been much worse, like back-alley mugged. Shanghaied, if you will.
Ok, so here’s the takeaway, kids:
* Always get your airport taxi at the proper taxi stand.
* Don’t accept a “taxi” ride from anyone approaching you.
* Check with any taxi attendants about all available options for taxi rides, and the prices of each.
Have a great trip!