When you say that you’ve been scammed, it’s usually the case when you pay way more than you should for a service. For example, the people selling trips to see the Statue of Liberty at the Staten Island Ferry entrance. They are selling tickets to an experience that people are steps away from experiencing for free.
Taxicab scams at airports are nothing new in New York. There are plenty of “drivers” who look for unknowing visitors and then charge exorbitant fares to take them to their hotels in Manhattan. We avoid these by using the official taxi stands at the airport.
When we landed at JFK at 2:15 AM, all we wanted to do was get to our hotel and go to sleep. We walked from JFK T5 to the taxi stand and waited for a cab. The attendant pointed us to a car as it arrived. The driver took our luggage and put it in the trunk and said that it was a flat rate of $65 to Manhattan and I nodded in agreement.
It wasn’t until we started on the ride that I remembered Sharon writing about how NYC was having hearings on raising the rate from JFK from $52 to $65. At the time of our trip, that increase had not yet been approved. We spent the duration of our trip wondering if our bags were going to fall out of the back of the cab (from damage that left a gap between the hatchback and the rest of the vehicle) and hoping we didn’t crash as we sped down the highways of Queens and Brooklyn.
I knew something was amiss when none of the taxi fare apparatus was functioning during the ride. When we got to our hotel, instead of using the card reader in the back of the cab, the driver asked me to hand him my credit card. That’s when he ran the card through a Square reader on his phone for the $65 fare. He handed me the phone to tap my “tip” for the ride and helped us get our bags from the trunk.
Did the driver take advantage of “tourists” by overcharging the fare that an NYC Taxi should be charging for a ride between JFK and Manhattan? Undoubtedly he did.
Do I feel that I overpaid for a ride between JFK and Manhattan at 2 AM? No, I don’t.
That doesn’t mean that our driver, in an NYC Yellow Cab, didn’t break the rules by not charging a metered fare and instead of having us pay him using his phone. In all, I ended up paying less than $10 more than I was expecting, which was not worth arguing about after a long flight delay.
Removed a week from the event, I’m not sure how to feel about the encounter. Should I be angry that the driver took advantage of travelers who were obviously having a bad day? Or should I chalk it up to paying a little extra to prevent any friction and just be happy that it was relatively easy to get a reasonable price for a ride to our hotel in the middle of the night?
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary