Monday, 16 February 2015

Taxis at Lisbon Airport, Portugal - A comment!

Over the past year, I have had to pass through Lisbon Airport several times, and despite the fact that the police are trying to crack down on overcharging by taxi drivers at Lisbon Airport, the latter are still trying and are ripping passengers off.
Both my wife and I speak Portuguese and know Lisbon and Portugal well. However, we do not look Portuguese. On two recent occasions, when we have taken taxis from the Airport, I have caught them out, either not taken the most direct route or refusing to put the meter on. In one case, when I remonstrated with the driver when we arrived at our destination for adding 4 kms to the route and asked for his taxi licence number, he almost assaulted me.
The other trick that is happening increasingly at Lisbon Airport, is that more and more drivers are buying larger utility type vehicles that can carry more passengers AND with which they can CHARGE MORE! There is no separate queue for these vehicles at the taxi rank at Arrivals at Terminal 1 at Lisbon airport. All one can do is stand and wait until a smaller taxi comes along, all the time facing the wrath of the drivers of the bigger vehicles who insist it is their turn at the head of the queue.
There is no doubt that this situation has worsened since the opening of the Metro to the Airport two years ago. Obviously, the taxi drivers lost income. However, the Lisbon Airport taxi drivers are increasingly leaving a foul taste in the mouths of many visitors ans travellers with their bad behavior.
If one needs to get a cab from Lisbon Airport, go to the Visit Lisbon (Lisbon Tourist Bureau) counter outside the baggage hall in the arrivals area and get a taxi voucher.
Alternatively, buy one line here:
The Lisbon Airport Company, Vinci and the Portuguese Tourism Authorities really do need to get a handle on this situation and it is not a nice way for visitors begin their visit to Lisbon.