Re Tuesday's letter from Grantham, a tip I gave to my tourists coming from the airport if the taxi driver asked for more than I had indicated was to ask the driver for an official receipt. Not a figure scribbled on the back of a fag packet but one written into an official receipt book, specific to his cab, which a taxi is obliged to carry. To sign for a fraudulent fare is for him to sign a death warrant and the mere mention of "official receipt" normally made the price tumble. If you feel particularly aggrieved, you can then refuse to pay at all as you are saying you wish this fraud to brought to the attention of the authorities.
To be honest I haven’t gone that far here but have a couple of times in the UK where airport cab drivers can see easy pickings - clients who may not know the area, the currency nor the language and perhaps all three. After all, if they do correct the fare and you pay it they are not losing anything. While on the subject of official fares a similar 20-minute drive from Heathrow to Kew in London is a jaw-dropping £65. The return journey in a regular taxi is a more reasonable £25.
Before I’m accused of prejudice I’ll admit it is true. My father was one of a number regular cabbies who plied the streets of Newcastle and looked down on the airport drivers (then railway station drivers) who he saw as lazy and waiting for gullible passengers.
Playa de Palma
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