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Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

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Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

At the airport, I'd recommend skipping the fixed rate taxis and instead going up to the departure level to catch a real taxi (Vinasun or Mai Linh). If you just stick with those two, you'll be ok. Should be about $5-$7 depending on traffic and hotel location.

So, here's what happened to us. We paid for an $8 fixed rate ride from "Saigon Air" taxi, figuring it was a reasonable price and less hassle for us Vietnam newbies. But after handing over our receipt and getting in the taxi, the driver says "OK, $15 to hotel". Rather than argue, I told him to go right back around to where we started. He refused, but said "OK OK". Then he demanded payment for the fee to exit the airport (really only 5k and probably included in the fixed rate voucher). I didn't think we should have to pay that either, but I gave him a dollar to shut him up. He said "No, $5". I then told him again to take us back to the airport (we had only made a few hundred meters at this point), but he wouldn't do it. Hard to say whether he understand "airport" and our gestures, though I suspect he did. After 10 rounds of this, he still wouldn't do it. So I said, "OK, pay at hotel." He just kept yelling at us "$5! $5!" and was driving erratically. We were pretty scared at this point, so we just paid up.

I knew we'd have a chance to fix it at the hotel. I jumped out and summarized for the bellboy. He really seemed to understand but then mysteriously walked in the wrong direction. So then I tried the other bellboy and he figured it out more quickly. But by then the driver was already speeding a way and wouldn't stop when the bellboy told him to. I think he got the number, though. He called to the company and they said the driver would return to pay us our $5. Well, that never happened. I spoke with the same staff at the airport two days later but they were unsympathetic. They never gave us our copy of the receipt (my bad for not catching this), which might have been part of the scam.

Anyway, I've since run into other people who fell victim to the same scam from the same company. We later figured out (in part from reading this forum) that if you just stick to the big two companies mentioned above, you won't have any problems. We didn't. Avoid all others (especially sitting taxis or those with tinted windows). Wait if you have to.

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Singapore, Singapore
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31. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

Hi all,

Arrived today in HCMC after clearing immigration went straight to vinasun taxi counter about 9.45pm,booked a taxi, rate given to us was 170k. The counter guy walked us to the taxi, when boarding the taxi he told us not to pay anything more to the driver, and we were driven straight to our hotel,no whatsoever problem at all.

Thank you so much guys for all the information relayed in this thread, it was so helpful.....cheers

Singapore, Singapore
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32. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

Hi all,

Arrived today in HCMC after clearing immigration went straight to vinasun taxi counter about 9.45pm,booked a taxi, rate given to us was 170k. The counter guy walked us to the taxi, when boarding the taxi he told us not to pay anything more to the driver, and we were driven straight to our hotel,no whatsoever problem at all.

Thank you so much guys for all the information relayed in this thread, it was so helpful.....cheers

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33. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

Last night me with other 2 persons took vinason taxi to city hotel near ben than market from the airport. the fare was 190,000 dong (around usd9+ got ticket from service counter). the taxi meter only showed 120,000 dong. maybe there're extra charges for no of passengers, no of bags carried etc. anyway it's a reasonable rate right?

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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34. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

The same amount was charged to me by Vinasun last July except in the other direction. This to me was excessive and even though the meter was on the driver still added 10,000Dong to the meter price, for the road toll. The road toll incidentally is included in the voucher price when travelling from the airport.This was the first time in the last 5 years of regular travel to HCMC that this occurred. There was a difference on this trip in that a 7 seater was used but the fact that we crossed the river 3 times on the way to the airport suggested to me that I was getting the "long way around". The amount is nothing in western terms but deliberately inflating taxi costs to the unwary is not in the country's interests.

I questioned this with Vinasun, received a reply requesting more info but have not heard anything since.

MSK575 can you recall whether you were taken the route by the river and crossing it several times ?

Cheers Ross

Edited: 22 September 2012, 09:18
california
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35. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

this is good information for our coming trip to HCM next Summer. Thanks

Petaling Jaya...
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36. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

I had bad experience with Saigon Air Taxi as well. Being ripped off.

For those travel to Ho Chi Minh, friendly advise you that Never Ever Take Saigon Taxi to enter the city.

Hervey Bay...
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37. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

On 18 September at the Mai Linh counter in Ho Chi Minh we were quoted $17 to D1 - even the good ones will have a go.

QLD
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38. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

Here's an article regarding fake taxi's with some pictures.

vinarentals.com/index.php/forum/vietnam-relo…

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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39. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

"On 18 September at the Mai Linh counter in Ho Chi Minh we were quoted $17 to D1 - even the good ones will have a go."

I noticed once when I arrived at the Mai Linh counter that it was vacant, but not for long as I was approached by a man who introduced himself and told me that the counter was unattended and he was looking after the counter for the time being. Same thing ridiculous fare was was offerred.

I used the 152 bus.- 50 cents.

Cheers Ross

-

Sydney, Australia
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40. Re: Airport Taxi Scam (Saigon Air Taxi company)

On our last day at Ho Chi Minh City airport two days ago after visiting Phu Quoc island, we decided to kill our time (2 hours) back to Bui Vien St in Saigon, after been warned by our luggage locker staff at the domestic airport to hail vinasun taxi only as there's lots of scam out there (charging 400k - 500k d). As we couldn't find vinasun or mai Linh taxis in the queue, we thought it's ok to take the Saigon Air taxi again as we did the first time when we arrived at the international airport without any problem on overcharging on the meter etc. When I asked the lady in attendance for Saigon Air taxi, she said MAXIMUM I would pay is 200,000 Dong ($9-10 US). As soon as we arrived Bui Vien St, the meter showed 154,000 dong. So I took out 170,000 dong to pay extra for the airport tax (approx 10,000 d) and the balance as a tip. The driver demand 200,000 d as he said I agreed with the lady in attendance to pay him this amount. I told him (the driver) that I only pay what the meter showed and he kept saying pay him 200,000 d as I agreed. Though it is a small extra fee to pay but it is the principle that I want to withold. I then told him take it or go without one dong. He still refused to take the money so I decided to leave the taxi and he kept following me and came out of the vehicle and went back in again & following me. So I decided to stop and as soon as he wind down the passenger window screen, I threw in the money and walked away and turned into a narrow st. He finally drove off and left us alone. It was a blessing that being the last day in HCMC otherwise, it would have ruined our hard earned holidays. It's a real shame this beautiful city image is being tarnished by some of these thugs preying on unsuspected foreigners. As we heard on the very day, another British couples was being conned 23pounds in a (5 mins walk) taxi (unmarked) trip back to the hotel.

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