26 October 2016
Authorities have been urged to increase the penalty for overcharging taxi drivers. Photo: HKEJ
Authorities have been urged to increase the penalty for overcharging taxi drivers. Photo: HKEJ

Swiss charged HK$8,000 taxi fare from airport to Hung Hom

Even a limousine or helicopter service wouldn’t cost as much.

A Swiss transit passenger was charged HK$8,000 (US$1,032) for his taxi fare from the airport to Hung Hom, falling prey to an unscrupulous taxi driver who took advantage of his being a stranger to the city, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old passenger, identified as Adrian, was booked by his airline at the Hung Hom Harbour Plaza Hotel after a flight delay that caused him to miss his connecting flight, police said.

He took a taxi at the airport and when he arrived at the hotel at 2 a.m. on Monday, the driver told him the fare was HK$8,000.

The passenger did not realize he was cheated until he talked with the hotel staff, who told him the typical fare is between HK$200 and HK$300.

As he had to take the flight at 10 a.m. on Monday, he asked the hotel staff to report the case to the police on his behalf.

However, he could not remember the car plate number of the taxi.

And so as he left the hotel at 7 a.m., he decided to just charge everything to experience.

Hotel staff still reported the case to the police, who classified it as a transport complaint, which means there will be no investigation unless new evidence emerges.

To Sun-tong, director of the Motor Transport Workers General Union’s Taxi Drivers Branch, said he hopes the police will still follow up the case because the incident seriously hurt the image of the local taxi industry. 

To also said the penalty for overcharging drivers should be increased. 

A spokesman for the Airport Authority said the Chek Lap Kok terminal provides information to passengers about estimated taxi fares for trips to different areas of the city. 

Airport personnel also take down the plate number of the taxi cabs taking passengers at the terminal, and a hotline number is provided in case passengers want to file a complaint, the spokesman said.

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