Shameless Bangkok taxi driver swindles foreigner at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Another Bangkok taxi driver has brought shame to the capital by swindling a foreign customer at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The driver has been subsequently banned for life from picking up passengers at Bangkok’s premier airport and authorities say his license could be revoked.

The unnamed taxi driver last week allegedly used a fake list of fares to cheat a Taiwanese visitor from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to central Bangkok instead of turning on his meter.

The driver allegedly charged her a fare of 1,200 to 1,500 baht (USS$47-59). Using a meter, the cost would have been around 300 baht.

According to airport management, all taxi drivers at Suvarnabhumi International Airport are required to use meters to calculate fares. The driver in question had been using a fake list of fares that used flat rates for various destinations, The Nation reported.

The airport has since confirmed that the fare list was fraudulent and summoned the driver for questioning. The driver’s name has also been sent to the Land Transport Department for consideration of revoking his taxi license for tarnishing the image of Thailand.

A photo of his fare list was published on a Facebook page Khao Wong Karn Thong Thiew, Thai for Tourism News. The caption accompanying the list said…

“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.”

This incident has been met with concern by the authorities, who fear that the driver may have cheated other tourists on other occasions. As a result, airport management yesterday pledged to randomly check taxi drivers around the clock to prevent them from refusing to use meters. Airport users are encouraged to report any taxi drivers who refuse to use a meter.

Furthermore, the Airports of Thailand, which operates Suvarnabhumi, denied reports that a 50 baht surcharge for taxi rides was prompting drivers to charge flat rates, explaining that the surcharge goes to drivers to encourage them to pick up passengers from the airport.

Shameless Bangkok taxi driver swindles foreigner at Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by Thaiger

Stories of taxi drivers ripping off customers in Bangkok are as old as time and far too many to mention but there have been several high-profile incidents involving taxi fare scams over the past year.

In February 2022, a taxi driver was caught on camera demanding 1,000 baht from a passenger for a ride from Suvarnabhumi to the city centre, significantly higher than the usual metered fare of around 300 baht. The passenger reported the incident to the Tourist Police, who arrested the driver and fined him 1,000 baht for refusing to use the meter.

In another incident in March 2022, a group of taxi drivers were caught using fake taxi meters to overcharge passengers. The drivers had installed fake meters that showed significantly higher fares than the actual metered fare. The Tourist Police arrested the drivers and seized the fake meters.

In April 2022, a group of taxi drivers at Don Mueang International Airport were caught overcharging passengers by using a fake list of flat-rate fares. The drivers charged passengers between 1,000 and 1,500 baht for a ride to the city centre, significantly higher than the usual metered fare of around 200-300 baht. The airport authorities have since pledged to crack down on such fraudulent practices and ensure that all taxi drivers use meters to calculate fares.

These incidents have sparked concern among the authorities and tourists alike, who fear that such scams could tarnish the image of Thailand and negatively impact the tourism industry. As a result, the Tourist Police have stepped up their efforts to catch and punish dishonest taxi drivers, and the airport authorities have introduced measures to prevent taxi fare scams. Nonetheless, it remains important for tourists to remain vigilant and report any incidents of overcharging or fraudulent behaviour by taxi drivers.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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