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How to Avoid Bankruptcy at the Airport Taxi Counter

Posted by tezza on 11/10/2016 at 00:09

The Madang-jago was a gang ofBalinese colonial era travel facilitators who specialised in jumping out frombehind roadside rocks to bail up passing travellers - only allowing onwardpassage for a handsome sum. No cash? The alternative cost was an arm and a leg. Literally.

Dutch colonialists considered this a challengeto their authority and introduced a re-education program, horticultural in nature: namely testing the tensile strength of tree branches by way of bodyweight suspended by rope. Around the neck.

This succeeded in driving our friends underground. Pun intended. But it seems they may have reappeared today– as Bali airport’s taxi mafia. Once again it is costing an arm and a leg for travellers to pass on by.

The scene: I arrive at the taxi counter with Lady Tezza. The price board states central Kuta is 70000 rupia. This is a bit expensive – a Bluebird meter cab from a more distant part of Kuta to the airport cost 46000 last year. But okay, 70k is a monopoly price – one brand of taxi only is allowed to take passengers from the airport. Our favourite Bluebird service can deliver but not pick up.

So 70k it is. EXCEPT the guy at the counter demands 150k! Looks like construction costs of the cartel boss’s new cliff-side villa near Uluwatu has blown out big time.

I flash the counter guy a cheery cheesy and walk outside. The usual bedlam rages, but I know half the locals are drivers touting for a fare. I have a 50k note in my hand and wave it around,calling the name of my hotel which is actually on the airport side of central Kuta - 4km away. At first I’m quoted figures almost as usurious as inside but after a few minutes a guy accepts. He hands us over to one of two waiting drivers who takes us across to his late model air-conditioned vehicle in the nearby car-park (scarcely further from where the taxis are parked – they don’t wait curb-side near the taxi counter) and within 15 minutes we are at our hotel (15 minutes for 4km! – airport and Kuta traffic is horrendous, even at 2230).

Moral of the story – if thetaxi counter wants an arm and a leg, leg it outside.

#1 tezza has been a member since 13/4/2006. Posts: 1,358

Posted by YogaSearcherBali on 16/10/2016 at 07:43

Hi Tezza, there is no way out of this case "Bankruptcy at the Airport". It's been for many years how it work down the airport, the only tips you could do it's smart travel. You have to walk a bit further out, and you can get a best deal. I dont think the system will be change in many years anyway.

#2 YogaSearcherBali has been a member since 25/2/2016. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 71

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