Airport Taxi Scams in Manila Airport

*Airport Taxi Scams*: Beware Fraud from Cabs especially at NAIA

When in Manila and taking a cab from the airport, it’s better to be alert to taxi scams.

Apparently, there is a taxi scam going on right before the noses of airport officials (if they’re not in on it themselves; if not, they need to sharpen their powers of observation.)

Here’s my story. Last month, I went on a trip to Brunei and Sabah. My flight was at 11:40 in the evening. That day, I was rushing to finish as much work as possible before my leave and, consequently, my mind was almost numb from tiredness.

On the way to the airport on a cab, I wasn’t paying attention. I got off without checking if the taxi took me to the right terminal. I’m afraid it did when I  realized I was at Terminal 2 instead of Terminal 3 where the Cebu Pacific planes were.

I looked around and saw that taxis were dropping off passengers so I figured it shouldn’t be too hard getting a metered taxi to take me to Terminal 3.

One airport personnel, not a guard, called my attention to a white taxi parked nearby and told me it was a metered taxi. I got in. I checked the meter and saw it looked different—it did not show any amount just distance in kilometres. I asked the cab driver how it worked and he explained that their cab rates were in dollars, even showing me a signboard with dollar rates on it.

I realized that I would end up paying over a thousand pesos for a trip from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 (which took less than 15 minutes actually as the traffic then was very light)!

Outraged, I told him the rates were ridiculous and that this looked like a scam. He explained that the rates were official rates and were structured for foreign tourists. I said, who was he kidding and there was no way I would accept those rates.

For the reader’s information, yellow Manila airport cabs have a flag down rate of PHP 70 for the first couple of kilometres and PHP 2.50 per 500 meters.

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