Taxi driver banned from Thai airport for life after taking Taiwanese visitor for inflated ride
BANGKOK – A taxi driver has been banned from picking up passengers at Thailand’s largest airport for allegedly using a fake list of flat-rate fares to overcharge a Taiwanese visitor for a ride from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to central Bangkok.
The driver allegedly charged her 1,200 to 1,500 baht (P1,900 – P2,400). Using a meter, the cost would have been around 300 baht.
Besides being banned from picking up passengers at the airport for life, he may lose his license to drive a taxi.
The airport management said on Sunday that the unnamed taxi driver had been using a fake list of flat-rate fares to various destinations.
All taxi drivers picking up passengers at the airport are required to use meters to calculate fares, the airport management said.
A photo of his fare list was published on a Facebook page titled Khao Wong Karn Thong Thiew, Thai for Tourism News.
“Embarrassing! A female Taiwanese national who used the taxi service from Suvarnabhumi Airport was charged 1,200-1,500 baht to get to central Bangkok. The taxi driver claimed the airport set the rates,” the post said, showing the photo of the fake list titled Taxi Airport International.
The Airports of Thailand – which operates Suvarnabhumi – left a comment on the post, indicating the group would investigate the incident immediately.
On Sunday, the airport management said they had summoned the taxi driver for questioning after seeing the report online. The fare list was fake, they said. All taxi drivers have to be registered with the airport to pick up passengers and are required to use meters instead of charging flat rates, the management added.
The name of the taxi driver has been sent to the Land Transport Department, which has been asked to consider revoking his taxi license for tarnishing the image of Thailand, the airport management said. It added that the driver may have cheated other tourists on other occasions.
Suvarnabhumi Airport management also denied reports that a 50 baht surcharge for taxi rides from the airport was prompting drivers to charge flat rates, explaining the 50 baht goes to drivers.
It was levied to encourage taxi drivers to pick up passengers from the airport.
Taxi drivers will be randomly checked around the clock to prevent them from refusing to use meters, the airport management said. Airport users can report any taxi drivers refusing to use a meter.
Taxi for hire! Bangkok cabbie hopes to capitalize on his COVID-19 shot
In the fast lane: Female motortaxi drivers on the rise in Bangkok
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.