A problem at the airport

Livia Hegner: In the past weeks I have followed the discussion regarding corrupt taxi drivers treating customers in an abysmal manner when it comes to haggling over fares for a ride from Tan Son Nhat Airport. The drivers don’t want to turn on their meters and then make extravagant demands at the end of the trip. I have been aware of this problem since I came here. But in the whole discussion there has never been a mention about the taxi drivers who do not haggle but have tampered with their meters, which work at double or triple the speed and you end up paying double or triple the fare.


This is a negative introduction when arriving at the Sai Gon Airport. These fake taxi companies copy the look of legitimate taxis in such a precise way that even to a seasoned customer (I am counting myself among them), it is not always obvious they are a crook cab.

In addition to the hassle when confronted with triple the fare, I have been threatened with fists, bad language and terrible treatment when I have told the taxi driver he is a crook. This is a terrible manner and definitely terrible PR for your country.

It is not only a problem at the airport but all over the city.

I have countered the problem by only taking taxis of one company I trust, which is absurd considering there are many taxi companies but only a few legitimate ones that will not rip you of. I am keen to get this fact mentioned in the papers and thus create public discussion.

I remain cordially and still a fan of this city

Lawyer. Minh (MTON Vietnam law firm)

Inspectors of HCM City’s Transport Department fined 26 taxis at TanSonNhat Airport on Tuesday for parking, receiving passengers at unregulated places and touting for customers.

This was considered the first strong response to the chaotic taxi operation at the international airport.

Transport Inspection Sub-department deputy director TranHongNam said taxi drivers took advantage of the Lunar New Year – when many Vietnamese abroad came home and foreign visitors poured into the city – to overcharge customers.

To bring the transport service into order, all the taxis coming to and from the airport are subjected to inspection by the department to check on work permits, meters, parking and receiving customers at regulated places.

The campaign runs for 30 days starting from February 10. After that the security forces of the airport will be responsible to maintain order. The department inspectors will check their work twice or three times a month.

Nam also said the transport inspectors have co-operated with the city police to constantly check taxis transporting at other parts of the city, including District 1, 3, 5 and 10.

They put focus on those operating at big hotels and restaurants where many foreigners use the service.

Nam said drivers tampering with meters may be fined up to VND16,500,000 ($970).

He hopes the inspection would be effective and help win the heart of taxi users, particularly foreign visitors.


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