Highway robbery

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I haven’t visited St. John’s in 20 years and, as to be expected, things had changed.

The airport was more modern, there were more businesses, things were busier, but I expected the sentiment to be the same and I didn’t expect to get robbed at the airport.

Oh, not by a purse snatcher or a burglar, but by a cab company.

Upon stepping out the door I was whisked into a very shiny cab by a man with a clipboard on my way to my hotel.

Being from Boston and travelling to New York many times our cabs are sanctioned by the city and only legitimate cabs are allowed into the airport.

“Gypsy” cabs — cabs that rip you off are not allowed into these airports.

However, St. Johns does just the opposite. I paid $25 for a five-minute cab ride which should have cost $9!

I’ve always remembered Canada as a kind, gentle haven away from the hustle, corruption and graft of my life back in the States, but it seems to me you have succumbed to the Dark Side — or at least your airport has.

To knowingly rip people off when they’re coming off a plane at midnight is deplorable.

When you make New York look like a beacon of morality and civility you have failed St. John’s Airport.

Bad form, bad form.

Karen Boyle

Boston (vacationing in Calvert)

Geographic location: New York, Boston, Canada Calvert

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Recent comments

  • Virginia Waters
    July 23, 2014 - 23:33

    Yes, you were ripped off by a government agency in collusion with a taxi company. I get it. But the same thing happens all over the world - including Boston and New York. What I don't get is that you are returning to NL after 20 years and this is what you focus on? Really? You're ready to base your entire experience back on the Rock on a $25 taxi ride? Maybe you need to extend your vacation in Calvert long enough to unwind, get some of that big city grease out of your hair, and regain a little perspective. We had crap in our lives 20 years ago and - despite our supposed newfound affluence - we have even more crap in our lives today. Take a cue from the good people on the southern shore. They never, ever had things easy and they don't have it easy today. But they have a tremendous sense of humour and a reputation for not taking things so seriously. Maybe you can re-acquire a little of that wisdom during your visit.

  • chris
    July 23, 2014 - 15:17

    It is hard to make it in the taxi business. After the driver (who pays for half the gas) is paid, a $360.00 intake on a slow shift will leave only $180.00 for the taxi stand owner. That is $360 /day. 20 cars will give the owner $7200.00/day; $50,400 /week or $2,620,801.00/year, not making any allowance for busy holiday seasons.

  • BI
    July 23, 2014 - 11:57

    I totally agree with this visitor. If I want a cab ride from my home in Paradise, it will cost me between $30 and $40 just to get to the airport. I think taxis charge far too much - and to think visitors are being ripped off hurts me to the core. We aren't all like this Karen Boyle but the airport and the taxis will rob you blind all the time.

  • gb
    July 23, 2014 - 09:45

    You can call a taxi of your own choosing to come to the airport to pick you up at a reasonable fare. The ones parked at the curb are under a contract with the airport authority that is designed to fleece you. Instead of say a $10.00 fare to drive you to the few hotels located near the airport, they charge you the same as if the hotel was located 20 minutes away. I'm sure in the warped, non customer service oriented minds they have this absurd practice rationalized!

  • Steve
    July 23, 2014 - 08:29

    Unfortunately, this is a deliberate 'contract' decision between the cab company and the airport. Both sides make more money by colluding. This is also why, despite all reasonable logic, the busses to and from the airport only run during business hours, Monday to Saturday. You can't catch a bus to the airport after 6:30 pm, and the busses just don't run on Sundays. It's absurd.

  • realist
    July 23, 2014 - 08:17

    20 years is a long time and your first impression is disappointing. Did you know our gasoline prices have risen to ~$5.82 USD/gal. Hard to transport folks for $9 at that rate. Of course in 20 years everything is up, insurance, automobiles, labor, auto repairs, tires, taxes... At least you could roll down the window and let fresh air rush into your lungs. Do hope the rest of your trip is more memorable.

    • Sick of the Shills
      July 23, 2014 - 11:25

      Realist? More like apologist. Getting in a taxi in St. John's costs $3.75. Each km is $1.50 - if you're on the meter. From the airport to the Sheraton (downtown) you'd pay $15.00. Hopping in one of the waiting cabs at the airport will set you back at least $25 = you're paying 2/3'rd more that the same ride anywhere else in town. It's nothing but a rip off and a cash grab by the airport authority and the taxi company.

  • Jack
    July 23, 2014 - 07:42

    In the future, call another cab company from the airport to pick you up. I hear that in some cities, public transit actually goes to the terminal. Imagine! But the Airport Authority has other priorities apart from serving the public. In any event, have a great vacation.

  • Observer
    July 23, 2014 - 07:02

    You haven't seen anything yet. Try the restaurants that are all overpriced , overhyped and mediocre.