Taxi 'rip-off' old news: Phuket officials

Taxi 'rip-off' old news: Phuket officials

Travellers arrive at the airport as Phuket reopens to overseas tourists on Thursday. (Reuters photo)
Travellers arrive at the airport as Phuket reopens to overseas tourists on Thursday. (Reuters photo)

The provincial land transport office on Monday clarified a claim by a passenger who said she was charged 900 baht for an airport transfer service arranged by a hotel in Phuket's Patong area, saying the passenger's post on social media was about an experience she had a long time ago, and was unrelated to the island's current reopening.

In response to a furore no social media, Banyat Khantha, chief of the local land transport office, said his office had investigated and found that that it wasn't a new incident.

He said the office had asked the hotel mentioned in the post and been informed that the standard rate for the service is now between 600 and 700 baht per ride.

Mr Banyat however, made no reference to other comments by foreigners claiming to have been overcharged since the reopening, nor whether the original poster had confirmed the hotel's information.

He did, however, go on to explain that there are two types of so-called green licence plate taxis being operated in Phuket -- one is the taxi service offered by company at the airport and the other operated by a different company offering a service outside of the airport, he said.

The standard fee for the airport transfer service to Patong is normally 800 baht; but since Phuket's tourism has been being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rate has been lowered to 650 baht, he said.

Both airport limousine service operators are now taking part in the Phuket Sandbox tourism reopening programme, and "there are other options too", he said.

These include a bus service that costs 120 baht per person per ride for an air-conditioned bus with a Wi-Fi connection and 100 baht for a different type of bus called the Orange Line, he said.

Other taxi services can also be hailed via the Hello Phuket app, which was launched late last year to help standardise taxi fares across the island, he said.

A total of 675 green licence plate taxis have registered for this app-based taxi hailing service, he said.

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