Taxi Driver Complained about Short Fare from Airport

Hi All,

So I live close to an airport (about 6km away).

When I returned on my trip, I went to the taxi stand which had a long queue of taxis lined up. It was around midnight. I got into the first taxi in line and as we were driving off, I told him my destination and he just groaned and said if I told him earlier, he wouldn't have taken me because the trip is too short and he's been waiting there for hours. He wasn't aggressive but he did keep complaining and made me feel like I'm inconveniencing him. I told him if he doesn't want to take me then just send me back. He said it's too late and proceeded to drive me home. The final fee was $25.

Now, I can see where he is coming from. It obviously doesn't make sense for him economically to wait a few hours to earn what he did.

However, I was telling him what I'm supposed to do then? Go to every taxi driver and state my address and ask if they'll take me? Walk home? He didn't respond. In the end, I said I understand his annoyance but I need to get home too.

By the way, I've taken a taxi home from the airport many times and this was my first complaint.

So now I'm curious to know what everyone thinks about this? What should I do next time? Would love to hear your opinions!

Thank you.


  • +193 votes

    He’s a cabbie and bleeding money because his employer cannot innovate while Uber destroys his livelihood. He will soon be out of a job. Leave the poor guy bleed in peace.

    • +8 votes

      BOOM!~ Truthdagger through the heart

    • -6 votes

      Why is it the first comment always gets the most up votes :(

    • +64 votes

      I do feel for the poor cabbies however it’s hard to forget the 20 yrs of them never turning up / never being able to get home on a Friday night / Being told they would take me for extra money / having taxis ask where you were going late at night cause that only wanted long fares.

      So yeah, I feel for them but their industry had it coming.

      • +28 votes

        And still even after the introduction of Uber, they have done nothing to change.


          Cabbies and cab companies refuse to adapt, instead demanding the Government fix it for them.

          People who invested in cab medallions lose money, yet they demand the Government fix it for them. Just another poor investment choice.


      First comment always the best 😀


      I have no sympathy for a business based on rorting customers going under because a business that innovates and keeps its employees AND customers happy is shitting all over them.

      Good riddance. Cabbie should become an uber driver though.

    • +1 vote

      Innovate like uber?

      You mean avoiding regulations which governments forced taxis to follow? You can hate the taxi industry all you want but Uber is a cancer of a company which avoids it's legal responsibility while reducing the pay of people to the minimum that desperate people will take.

      Of course it's not an issue until it's the industry in which you work yourself being undercut in similar circumstances.

  • +126 votes

    Get an uber next time.

    • +25 votes

      I've got rated very low as Uber passenger several times in Sydney for my trips that were 2 km away from the airport. But yeah, the drivers didn't have courage to tell me their dissatisfaction face to face.

      • +15 votes

        Don't the drivers know about the destination before picking up the job? I live 4km from airport and sometimes it takes a while before an odd driver is accepting the job.

        • +6 votes

          nah, only when you get in the car.

          For you my guesses would be they decline the job because

          1. They are going to the airport and want the sweet airport money
          2. They are already waiting at the airport
          3. you have a poor rating.
        • +2 votes

          They don't, which is a cornerstone of how Uber works


          Only pickup location, not destination I believe.

      • +5 votes

        If its only 2km ignore their cries, they get to jump the queue and go straight back to the front if they return in a short period and don't leave a specific area


        Same thing happened to me grumpy Uber driver gave me 1 star because he wanted to stay in the city taking small fares instead of my $100 fare out to the suburbs.


          How exactly can you know this?

          Uber doesn't update your rating for about a week, the only way you can know this for sure is if its your only trip and you wait to find out.


          As above 3 Uber drivers cancelled me coming out from the airport on long distance travel $122 worth.

          Technically if Uber had a unpicked up rating on there system would be better driver's would be more careful at not accepting there passenger,s as there rating would go down.


          I wonder if you can complain or they have to justify giving a 1 star rating?

      • -2 votes

        Who cares about their passenger rating lol

        • +2 votes

          Well if you get a low rating I think Uber drivers will decline your fare and you will basically find it hard to use Uber as intended?


            @serpserpserp: haha you really think that is going to happen, the passenger rating is just so the drivers can feel better about themselves getting rated. They ain't turning away paying customers.

            • -1 vote

              @trapper: Why would you neg me for that comment?


              @trapper: As an ex Uber driver of 1000+ trips I can assure you the passenger rating does matter. Myself and plenty of other drivers I’ve spoken to use this as a way to filter out the idiots and swing the chances of a hassle free trip back in our favour. The majority of the time if you’re getting rated anything less than 4-5 there’s a good reason for it, why would I want you in my car?

              • +1 vote

                @SMI7HY: You want them in your car because you want to get paid lol

                If you turn your nose up at a 3.9 rated passenger it's going to take 5 seconds for some other driver to snap them up lol


                  @trapper: Of course you want to get paid but not at the risk of abuse to myself or damage to my vehicle, both of which seem to increase with lower rated passengers. I would much rather wait around for 30seconds and get a decent person. As I said before, passengers with a bad rating usually have it for a reason and in my experience are typically more trouble then they’re worth. The money just isn’t good enough to put up with that.


            @serpserpserp: Curious though, couldn't you just make another account?


          You won't be able to use the service if your rating is too low.

      • +2 votes

        I didn't realise this; that's just begging to head the same ways as taxis then, at least for airport trips.

        I sometimes use Uber for really short trips (too far to walk, but no PT route) and whilst I haven't had any shitty attitudes, I thought they knew my trip already.

    • +3 votes

      Uber is not a very good option in Sydney from the airport. You have to walk a fair distance to the allocated pickup location and it takes for ever for drivers to get there and sometimes a driver cancels after waiting over 5 mins for some reason that I stopped using Uber from the Sydney airport. From Sydney domestic, if you don’t want to take taxi, you can ride the bus to the next stop and from there you can order Uber. Bus stop is literally outside the terminal.


      for a short trip from the airport? good luck. You think cabbies are bad wait till you try that.


      Uber drivers only know the destination once they have picked up the customer. So from my recently experience at Avalon Airport, they do a dodgy trick where they said they have picked up the customer so they can examine the destination. Once they realised I was only going nearby they called me and tried to get out of the job saying it was too close. I was furious…but what can I do? It was late and I just wanted to get home. I ended up at the taxi rank and the first thing I told the cabbie was that I was only going nearby. He wasn't happy, but he was good about it and still took me there. I gave him a larger than usual tip.

  • +33 votes

    If this was your first experience of this behaviour, think yourself lucky.
    The problem is not the distance / fare.
    The problem is that the driver chose to wait at the airport for that long, on the off-chance that they might get a passenger with a long trip. And, it must generally be the case that they do score a longer trip, otherwise why would they do it.

    From memory, Perth airport is not too far from the city / inner suburbs. If the driver had a fare to the airport, they could as easily left the airport and looked for fares elsewhere.

    My concern is that, as taxi companies are ramping up the use of their apps, they will become increasingly like Uber and accept jobs and then not turn up / cancel the jobs.

    • +17 votes

      Regarding your last statement, as someone who works in a pub and calls them all the time for customers, quite often we have had customers waiting up to an hour for them, they don't turn up, we call them and they said the job was cancelled. So now customer has to start waiting again.

  • +11 votes

    This has happened to me. The Taxi driver signalled to the rank controller that this was a short fare. Apparently this allowed the cab to come back to the front of the line upon returning. No idea if this is still current practice (was years ago) or how it is policed.

    • +1 vote

      I think that is still the case with Uber. If there is a long wait to get to number 1, Uber will automatically give drivers short rides in the meantime, to make sure that they are constantly making some form of income. Then once they get back from their short ride, it was as if they never left the Airport waiting line.


      Similar problem but apparently I went to the wrong area to choose the cabs, there is a line for big cabs and a line for small cabs.

      The small cab was annoyed that our team had a lot of luggage, but I tipped him $10 as I felt sorry for him.

      I think the driver goes back to the end of the queue nowadays.


      Even better, it is tracked by GPS in the taxi, if they don't leave a specific area and return in a reasonable time they get to jump the queue


      the airport taxi rank should have a second pickup point, much earlier in the taxi's queue, for short trip passengers.

      something like


      but the main problem is lazy drivers who chose to wait at the airport for hours instead of hustling the city streets for fairs.

  • +14 votes

    Come on, mate, this has been done before.

  • +42 votes

    Happens all the time in Melb when passengers live in north western suburbs. Passengers just have to report the driver to the taxi authority when they get complaints from drivers.

    A lot of cabbies seem to have a rather entitled attitude when it comes to this sort of stuff. I can imagine the Uber thing hasn't helped their mood recently. But I have no sympathy for them because their product is inferior and they refuse to improve it.

    • -6 votes

      Not sure that someone going to work and wanting to earn at least the equivalent of the minimum wage ($16.37 per hour) could be classified as entitled.


        No, I agree it’s a tough gig, but they sure act like it sometimes with their attitude.

      • +7 votes

        Terrible that these cabbies are enslaved like this with no choice but to sell their labour for the barest minimum. The threats of violence or even death from their employers must be what makes them show up every day. What an awful country.

        • +3 votes

          They aren't employed. They lease the taxi for the shift. If they want to sit in the holding bay for an hour that's their issue.


            @brad1-8tsi: He was being sarcastic.


            @brad1-8tsi: Only an hour? I used to work at the Brisbane airport and you'd see cabbies sitting in the line for three hours during the day. The minimum fare from Brisbane airport to the nearest residential area would be $30, and to the city (where a lot of travellers would be going in the middle of the day during the week) would be more like $50 I think. It's no wonder that the cab industry is dying.

    • +1 vote

      Agree, report the cabbie. Drivers can't expect massive long fairs and don't dictate where customers go.

  • +26 votes

    Isn't it illegal for cabbies to turn you down because your fare is too short?

    • +5 votes

      Yes it is illegal. Taxi drivers can be fined for refusing…

    • +19 votes

      Which is why the cabbie didn't actually reject him rather he just bitched about it.

      • +3 votes

        However, he did say if I had told him earlier, he would have refused to take me and that's what triggered me the most.

        • -15 votes

          Yeah I call bullshit on that line

        • +2 votes

          I’ve had taxis refuse to take my fare because it was “too short” on a number of occasions. I didn’t pursue it - ultimately I am not sure I’d feel safe in their vehicles anyway.

          I have come to like the ride share apps, both here and os as it eliminates the dodgy drivers that try to scam you, it gets around language issues and I’ve had better experiences.


      He didn't refuse to take him though.

      Although in the bad old days cabbies would often ask your destination before letting you into the car. I think to exploit a loophole where you were not technically a customer yet, so they were not technically refusing your fare.


        That's why you tell them you want to go someone further away, then when you get in the cab you tell them you've changed your mind.

  • +3 votes

    Apparently in the past if it was a short fare they got a special ticket or something which enabled them to come back and jump the queue.
    But they stopped this recently
    Had a driver complaining about this recently

  • +1 vote

    as an uber driver… i encourage you to use uber in the future.

  • +1 vote

    I too face this issue in Melbourne, cabbies wait hours in the line to get a 15 minute, $25-30 ride..

    I do one of two things:
    - Catch an Uber
    - I ask people at the taxi rank where they are going, explain my situation, ask if they wouldn't mind if we went together, I pay for the first portion, they pay for the second portion.

    Quite often, people are stoked for option 2 as it makes their journey way cheaper, and cabbies are stoked to do it because they get 2 fares out of it..

    But I do avoid option 2 unless Uber is surging..

    • +2 votes

      Your option 2 used to be an acceptable and actively encouraged thing, but I haven't noticed it over recent years.

      • +12 votes

        sort of reminds me of the movie taken,
        would you like to share a taxi, because is Paris they a damn expensive

        NEXT MINUTE i dont know who you are or what you want

        • +2 votes

          Taxi drivers also like to quote Taken whenever whinging about Uber:

          "I have a particular set of skills…skills I have acquired over a very long career…."


            @zeggie: "I can go for days without bathing. I can camouflage into this beaded seat with a thick layer of crumbs and stains. I can forget the fastest way to get almost anywhere, even though I travel there multiple times a day.

            I remember, years ago when I was a student, walking past the UQ bus stop late one evening and a cabbie pulled up next to me and asked me how to get to the city from there. UQ St Lucia has 20k+ full time students, that makes it probably the second most travelled to destination in Queensland - after the Brisbane CBD. They are less than 10km apart. This cab driver didn't know how to get from one to the other (in the days before ubiquitous GPS).

  • +1 vote

    So now I'm curious to know what everyone thinks about this? What should I do next time? Would love to hear your opinions!

    Very common when I lived in Adel that taxi drivers would leave there doors locked (but window winded down half way), they'd ask where I was going and they wouldn't unlock the door unless they felt like it was worth their time (I never had this problem at a taxi rank though). I don't think all taxi drivers are like this but it happened a lot to myself and people I know, in particular on weekend nights.

    I know in Sydney, I've definitely had taxi drivers complain about distance, was quite a shame because one of my parents can't walk very well due to age (its not bad, just take a bit of time and is painful) but a lot of drivers don't care and complain or outright won't take him because of distance (or will park far away from where we want to go 'because you can just walk'. Please note its not all drivers though, I've had drivers that were absolutely amazing and have gone above and beyond to help my parent out or even myself.

    I know last time I called up to book an appointment I had some lady who was very sharp and mean about it, she ended up getting the wrong suburb (chose one in Melb instead of Sydney) because she cut me off when I tried to state the city after the suburb, she just said "I booked it" and then hanged up.

    I have never tried any rideshare apps though, so no idea how they compare, I like that I can just grab a taxi on a whim, esp at taxi ranks, and I didn't think the price would differ much, but yeah.

    • +2 votes

      I've had the same problem in Sydney when going from the airport to St Peters ($14 fare or so).

      You have to get in and let them drive off before telling them where you are going otherwise they refuse to take you.

      Then you have to endure them swearing and carrying on like idiots for the entire journey whilst driving erratically and racing over speed humps etc.

      LPT: when booking a taxi for my return to the airport I had to tell them I was going to an entirely different suburb a decent trip away otherwise they just don't turn up. This happened week in, week out without fail.
      When you ring and ask where they are, they say the driver came and no-one was there.

      They are quite happy to take the profitable trips, they have to deal with the short trips too.
      It's part of any job.

      It's no wonder Uber came in and shat all over them, they have done nothing to help themselves.

    • +2 votes

      taxi drivers would leave there doors locked (but window winded down half way), they'd ask where I was going and they wouldn't unlock the door unless they felt like it was worth their time

      This was very common where I grew up. I think they did it so your not technically a customer yet so they are not technically refusing the fare.


      You wrote 3 paragraphs about why taxis suck, and yet you still don't use rideshare apps? Wtf? Are you ok?

  • +30 votes

    A short trip in the CBD, driver cries it's too short (it was raining and I carried stuff).
    The same trip in CBD, different driver, he didn't complain but decided to give me a (de)tour, the fare was more than double.
    From CBD to a suburb 50 minutes away, the driver complained that it's too far and refused to take me.

    I gave up on taxies…..

  • +33 votes

    Did you explain that you can only take his stinky BO in small doses?

    You can't win with taxi drivers. They complain and don't want to drive. Someone else who wants to drive (uber) comes in and then the taxi drivers complain that the new drivers are stealing all their jobs.

  • +13 votes

    I'd have told him to stop complaining and to be grateful for having a job.

    The cabbie chose to wait so long for a fare. He knew that a short one was a possibility.

    Too bad, too sad. If he doesn't like it, don't queue at the airport.

    • +36 votes

      I disagree; it's the mentality of taxi drivers need changing.

      • -9 votes

        Not always about mentality.

        Taxi drivers are just like many of us, just another person trying to make a living. If I put my self in their shoes in this situation, where I have waited for long time just to drive a short-distance trip, I would be annoyed too.

        Currently, the system doesn't really do much to make it fair for both sides.

        But also, I can understand from the customer's side. Let's say I'm a group of 4 people, if I take train to go to Mascot at least per person costs $10? so 4 people costs $40…I might as well just take a taxi which costs approximately around $25/4 = $6.25/person - cheaper and less hassles carrying all the luggage.

        • +8 votes

          Yes but they don't complain when they get a big fare, you cant have your cake and eat it too. I work in a similar industry, and you have to take the good with the bad, and hope it evens out. The more you whine about it to your paying customers, the more you will just push them towards companies like Uber. And as unfortunate as it is, the bad ones will spoil it for the good ones that make sure the customer isnt made to feel bad about something that is entirely out of their control.


          But also, I can understand from the customer's side. Let's say I'm a group of 4 people, if I take train to go to Mascot at least per person costs $10? so 4 people costs $40…I might as well just take a taxi which costs approximately around $25/4 = $6.25/person - cheaper and less hassles carrying all the luggage.

          you have no idea what the train fare to either airport station is…

          The taxi drivers issue isn't the $25 fare. They are quite happy to take you to the airport for $25. It's their mindset of not wanting to drive away from the airport and getting a $25 fare to take you home after an hour in the holding yard.

          I do $25 fares with taxis often. They don't complain

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