Airport Taxis: The Most Taxing Aspect of Travel


One of the nice things about Dubai Airport is that both terminal 1 and 3 are accessible via metro. One of the not nice things is that I somehow always end up returning to Dubai at an hour when the metro is not running. While I’m not thrilled that the starting fare for these taxis is 5 times as much as it is in the rest of the city, that’s something I can live with. However I believe that passengers should be warned beforehand if their driver is a smart aleck.

Recently, after getting off a plane which had been considerably delayed, thus not only preventing me from taking the metro but also cutting into my hours of sleep before work, I found myself standing in the taxi queue at Dubai Airport. Unsuspectingly, I got into the assigned taxi and gave the driver my address. Since it was late at night and there was not much traffic I figured I should ask him to use a bridge without a toll.

“Can we use the Maktoum Bridge?”
Some kilometres later…
“Hey that sign says Maktoum Bridge is closed”
“Yup I knew that”
“Oh, why did you bring me here if you knew?”

No response.

“Let’s take another bridge then”
“Floating Bridge?”
“Isn’t that bridge normally closed at this hour?”

I was already a bit cranky at this point from my long journey and the prospect of limited sleep, so it took considerable effort to bite my tongue before telling him to take the Garhoud Bridge. Now as we came down the Garhoud Bridge he took an early exit instead of continuing straight to the address I’d given him.

“Hey where are you going? You were supposed to go straight”
“You did say you wanted to go via the Maktoum Bridge so I’m driving past there”
“I don’t want to go there after crossing another bridge!”
“It’s not my fault the Maktoum Bridge was closed”

It may not have been his fault the bridge was closed, but inventing reasons to make the journey longer certainly was. As I paid him I told him that this journey had cost me nearly 50% more than I usually pay. His exact words were “that’s okay for me”.

At least he can say he goes the extra mile for his passengers, even if they would rather he didn’t.