Travel expert says ‘avoid taxis’ for airport transfers abroad – or risk being overcharged | Travel News | Journey
All-inclusive getaways mean you don’t have to think twice about getting from the airport to your accommodation, but this can be a gray area when booking different parts of your trip with separate providers. Although taxi services are easy to find in most vacation destinations, you could be overpaying for your transfer by simply jumping into the first one you see. Express.co.uk spoke to travel and aviation experts to find out exactly how you can get the most affordable and convenient transport deals on holiday, whether you’ve pre-booked or not.
Nicky Kelvin, manager of travel website The Points Guy UK, said: “Sometimes travelers may find it easier to hail a taxi from outside the airport than trying to find a driver. through an app which may or may not have service or at a pickup checkpoint, which may or may not have changed location since their last visit.
“When traveling by taxi, it’s always a good idea to make sure you know local regulations, including whether or not drivers are required to display government signs and licenses. Additionally, if prices are not fixed, find out if local taxis operate on metered fares set by the government, or if prices need to be negotiated before you leave.
“As a general rule, it’s best to avoid taxis where possible in destinations that require haggling, especially if another language is involved, as it’s the easiest way to get overcharged.”
It’s always worth taking a look at reviews or price estimates a few days before your trip to get a clear idea of what you should expect to pay, although some popular destinations will remain fairly constant.
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If you’re heading to Spain, for example, Nicky noted that prices from popular airports such as Madrid Barajas, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca to the city center “usually” range between €25 and €30 one way.
According to David Doughty, an experienced aviation expert and CEO of Admiral Jet, a taxi in Portugal from the airport to Lisbon can cost around €15-30, although he noted that it “can be cheaper” if you use apps like Uber or book ahead, so you need to “do your research” before you fly.
He said: “While buses or trains may be the cheapest option, they can often take much longer and may not be able to take you directly to your accommodation. I suggest looking at the services of local taxis or search for apps like Uber, especially when you’re loaded with luggage.
“While they can be more expensive than public transport, you can try to negotiate a fair price, in addition they are much more practical when you do not yet know your destination. I advise you to book your journey in advance or ask for a meter to be If a flat rate is negotiated, be sure to agree on the price before getting into the taxi to avoid being overcharged.”
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If you have a driving licence, car rental is also a consideration, especially if you are not staying very close to the most popular tourist sites.
Nicky said: “These can be pre-booked with the rental operator, however the more convenient car rental companies have kiosks directly available in the airport, sometimes in one of the terminals or perhaps near the parking lot.Luxury car services often vary depending on location, so check reviews on TripAdvisor and similar travel websites before booking for the most up-to-date information.
“Some hotels offer a free shuttle service to and from the airport via a shuttle that can be selected when booking.
“Travelers can also ask the front desk to call car service. Some hotels allow you to add a charge to your room, but most will arrange payment directly with the driver or service.”