In all the travel I’ve done, I’ve noticed one near constant (at least in North America):
Cars that take you to the airport (especially when they’re pre-arranged) are generally very nice. In Vancouver I always end up with a nice, new, clean cab. In other cities I’ve had everything from nice taxis and shuttle vans to Town Cars and Escalades.
In contrast, the cars that pick passengers up from the airport are generally god-awful and potentially dangerous.
We had one van-cab in Orlando where, when the side door was slid open, it FELL OFF.
Without fail, whenever I end up queueing for a taxi at an airport, the taxis are crap and the drivers are surly. And it still completely affects my impression of the city (even though I always discover that these dirty deathtraps are usually the exception rather than the rule).
But it’s always the worst when I come home. I know how the taxis here work. I know that out of the dozen or so cab companies that service the area (and thus the airport) there are only four that are licensed for pickups in Vancouver proper. And none of them are ever waiting at the airport taxi stand.
Instead there are taxis from the surrounding suburbs: Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, Richmond. And when I get in one of those cabs (because as an arriving passenger at the taxi stand, I must simply hop in the car that’s next in line), I inevitably get an incredibly cranky driver. He now has to drive my ass all the way out to the West side of the city and then back either to the airport or his licensed pick-up area, fare-free.
And yes, driver, I understand that part of things certainly sucks. But it’s not my problem that you’re doing to have to do at least $60 worth of driving for the $30 I’m going to give you. So quick being a cranky dick and just get me home.
Anyone out there able to explain the crappy arrivals cab phenomenon?