Whine Wednesday: Airport Taxis?


This week Whine Wednesday deals with a relic from a bygone era called an “Airport Taxi” that somehow still seems to be around.

Whine Wednesdays Airport Taxis

These are the only taxis that are allowed to pick up from certain airports (and then drive back empty) while taxis dropping off passengers are not allowed to pick up from the airport (and thus drive back to the city empty).

(Note that the photo above is just generic one from Vietnam from a company that is a GOOD ONE)

I had not been to Jakarta for a couple of years and seems that they had this new “airport taxi” setup, although using the actual taxi companies in the city. The cars had decals “Airport Taxi”. As usual, I took Blue Bird but couldn’t figure out if the price was higher than a regular cab (I then took Uber back to the airport later).

The last couple of times arriving to Bali, I have come from a flight outside of Indonesia and Uber pick up has been rather painless from the international drop off area.

It seems that now that the updated Bali airport is up and running they have a new setup for fixed-price taxis and some other ones a bit further out. Blue Bird, Grab and Uber are not allowed to pick up from the airport (you can probably work something out with Grab and Uber drivers though).

Why do airports dictate this? They could easily allow anyone to pick up and just collect a fee from each ride (but then the fee would go to the airport and perhaps not to someone’s pocket …. some cynics would say).


Especially in Bali and Jakarta these taxi setups makes very little sense considering how congested the roads are and this is not environmentally friendly either.

The fixed price ride at the Bali airport is not “expensive” but perhaps 50% higher than what Blue Bird would be using a meter or more than double the price of Uber and Grab.

Well. I guess that someone could think of this as a “tourist” tax visiting the island and unfortunately this set up is not unique to Indonesia.