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Being taken for a midnight airport taxi ride

A few weeks ago our flight from Bangkok was late. It did not arrive on Phuket until after midnight. With no meter taxis available, we had to deal with the several private taxis that were hassling us for business.

Their fares to Kata were 1,800 baht upwards. We normally pay between 500 and 700 baht, but we finally had to accept the offer of a taxi who also wanted to give his friend a lift home.

Before setting off, the driver’s friend intended to sit in the front seat on top of our suitcase since there was no room elsewhere to sit. We said “no” and off we went without him.

Our taxi driver drove at 140 kilometers per hour all the way, including through red lights, until he finally stopped to buy gas, at which point I told him to slow down.

He did, and only drove at 120kmh while sending a text message to someone.

I also noticed a car license plate in the seat pocket in the back. Maybe he was now using his private license plate?

Is there any control at the airport on who gives you a ride after office hours? What action do the Phuket officials recommend we take if our flight is delayed next time we come to Phuket?

Frequent flier, Phuket Thursday, January 10, 2013  5:07:32 PM
“We are working with the authorities to get rid of illegal taxis operating from the airport. Until that time, I suggest that you use careful judgment before getting into any car.

Recently, the regulations for taxis were changed. Now legal taxis must display stickers on both sides of the vehicle detailing the taxi’s number, owner’s name in English and Thai, and the complaint phone line number: 1584.

If you believe you have been badly treated or overcharged, you can call either 1584 or the Taxi Meter Association on 076-202171 and make a report.”
Thursday, January 10, 2013  5:07:32 PM Attayaporn Sukchatree, Taxi Complaint Service officer

“Our company operates a taxi service at the airport from 7am to 1am daily. Outside of those times there may be taxis around, but it is not guaranteed.

You can recognize our company’s drivers by their dress. They wear white shirts and black trousers.”
Thursday, January 10, 2013  5:07:32 PM Jantima Chaipibal, an officer of the Taxi Meter Association

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