Whine Wednesdays: Hotels Pushing Car Services Or Affiliated Taxis

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Couple of weeks ago, I was in Vilnius and staying at the Radisson Blu Astorija (it is really spelled with J) hotel in the city center. I had a flight our at very early hour and and asked the reception about the price to the airport on a regular metered taxi.

vilnius-taxi-jpg

(Taxi company on the photo is not the one I used)

I would usually just hail a taxi on the street, but you really cannot do this in Vilnius unless you are Lithuanian. The taxis in this Baltic country are very good at ripping off non-locals.

So, I had to ask MOD (Manager on Duty), what taxi company she would use to get to the airport, as the front desk agent was not aware of any other taxis than the one used by the hotel that charges flat 30 litas. This charge was 50% to 100% higher than the real going rate from the hotel to the airport.

I did some searching on the internet and found a list of local taxi companies that you can call, their starting rates and the rate by the kilometer. I chose one of the taxi companies and asked the agent to call the dispatcher to send one to the hotel and to confirm that the price shown on the website was correct.

On a side note, the driver had a hot meter and the charge to the airport was about the twice what it should have been. After exchanging few words, we settled for a price of 20 litas that was still about 3 to 4 litas higher than the real rate should have been.

Conclusion

I have no problems with hotels trying to sell their overpriced car services or taxis that have higher than normal rates. They should, however, be willing to help and arrange other taxis, which are not paying them commission, that charge regular rates.

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