The shysters are back at Bucharest airport

Somebody has had a word.

The rip-off taxi drivers are back at Bucharest’s Otopeni Henri Coanda Airport.

We were at the airport yesterday and noticed that the so called Fast or Rapid taxis – charging way over the odds – are now allowed to wait directly outside the arrivals terminal. Until now they had been forced to wait downstairs, where it was clear that nobody could see them and that nobody was getting into them. Ergo somebody had a word with somebody else.

Don’t panic, however: you can still use the automated machines and order an honest taxi exactly as before. If you know that they are there, of course. First time visitors may not be aware of the existence of the machines, and the frequent announcements made over the public address system are hardly helpful.

The announcement (in English) does state that there are two ways of getting a taxi – one using the machines and one using the fast taxis – but places much more emphasis on the latter.

We can’t remember the exact words but the announcement says something along the lines of: ‘use the fast taxis which wait outside and which are ready to leave right now, meaning you do not have to wait.’

What is not mentioned is that you never have to wait more than a few minutes for honest taxis anyway, nor that a ride into Bucharest with a so-called ‘fast’ taxi may well cost you more than your flight.

It’s a totally shit state of affairs and Otopeni should be ashamed of giving in to whichever fat-necked gangster runs the fast taxis.

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  • Wasn’t it Nastase’s wife who originally gave the exclusive contract to Fly Taxi?!

    • Mr Rearguard

      Which one? Ilie’s been married more than once!

      • Amalia I think.

      • No, Adrian’s wife Dana I meant.

        • Mr Rearguard

          Ah I thought you were talking about the tennis legend.

  • Paul Wood

    We sounds a bit like Queen Victoria, but you are married, of course.

    • craigturp

      Have explained the reason before: In Your Pocket house style is we, not I. It is difficult to change when I go personal. I always reply to comments in the singular though.

  • Bucharest is one of my many postings overseas and the stories I have about taxi drivers the world over are plentiful, annoying, puzzling and downright bizarre. Suffice to say, I was ripped off terribly when I first arrived here. You expect to be and they don’t disappoint you.
    Green tourists are easy pickings for them. You get it everywhere, as soon as you open your mouth and they hear an English or foreign accent, expect the price, rent, bill, service to double – that is a world wide phenomena not an exclusively Romanian one.
    The airport could try some ;City Ambassadors; – people in a smart uniform and knowledge of languages, to sort out new arrivals and help with the basics, like taxis. How long before they ‘nobble’ the ambassadors.
    The taxis I have used at the airport, where you get a slip with a number are excellent but it is confusing for a new arrival and puts you at the mercy of the sharks.
    Bucharest is a fair place for taxis – having survived two kidnap/mugging attempts in taxis in Beirut and Cairo, it tends to change your perspective I guess.

  • i got a dodgy taxi one night (max fare 8 lei to my apartment) , the guy got lost (wasnt from bucharest) charged me 63 lei, I argued offered 50 lei , paid it , then he said I only gave him 5 lei.

    I was a bit drunk and realised that he was driving for about 30 minutes and that 50 lei is only £8

    Despite him getting his 50 lei he did drive for ages !!! (and almost wrecked his own car)

    anyway, the moral is take the metro

  • It would be very good if you would have a photo of those “Fast” taxis, so one can investigate further. Just saying… 🙂

    • I had no battery left. Zero. Hopefully someone passing through one of these days can help us out.

      • What taxi company are you talking about? I don’t think they had no name on the cars.

      • Well, it seems they are perfectly legal:

        At first, I thought you were talking about those drivers that charge you more than they should, but 3,5 lei/km is the price you also pay if you call a Mercedes car from Grant Taxi or other companies that offer you luxury cars.

        • CommonSense

          Once you’re used to Bucharest it’s not really that hard to take a cab with 1.39 lei on the side. However of course I’d not expect a newcomer arriving at the airport to know this. If the con men are being allowed to wait at arrivals again, then the airports management are to blame, and should be ashamed.

          • Mr Rearguard

            Call up the management at Otopeni, put on your best Oirish accent and tell ’em there is a 9lb stink bomb primed to go off, unless they the get rid of the scum taxi firms!

        • I know they are legal. The point is they should not be!

          • Well, it’s a free market and, as long as they don’t say it’s 1,39 lei/km and then charge you with 3,5 lei/km, then it’s OK for me. For foreigners, both prices are more than cheap. Also, the price is displayed on the car’s door, for everyone to choose.

            • That’s wrong. ‘For foreigners, both prices are more than cheap.’ That’s a shocking thing to say. What, just because we are foreigners we should pay three times more? No: the airport should be helping everyone to pay as little as possible. At the very least they should not allow these legalised crooks to wait outside the terminal. If someone wants an expensive car there are plenty of services offering them (Black Cab, Uber etc).

            • Oh, and if it is a genuinely free market why can 3.50 lei taxis wait outside, but 1.39 lei taxis have to be pre-ordered? In a free market any taxi should be allowed simply to wait outside.

            • I had to pay 30 EURO for taxi in Germany, for 10 km ride. If I follow your logic, then why don’t they have the same prices as in Romania?

              The 3,5 lei taxis are considered a fast service BECAUSE they wait outside.
              If you can’t wait 3 minutes, then pay more. But if you can, you’ll pay less.

              So… are you in a hurry? 🙂

              • When I am in Germany I expect to pay what Germans pay. When I am in Romania I expect to pay what Romanians pay. And why shouldn’t 1.39 lei taxis be allowed to wait outside too?

              • I am old enough to remember a time when there were two prices for almost everything in Romania: a local price and a foreigner price. It was so ridiculous that if you shared a hotel room with a Romanian you would get two bills: one for your half of the room, and one for hers: her half would cost less.