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Taxi Ride From Hell

Posted by LOTGK on November 4, 2007

Six days in Las Vegas at the ASD trade show and a late flight to Chicago on Wednesday night so I could set up the Halloween show on Thursday morning. I was looking at six more days on the road. Of course, the flight was delayed an hour, and the 3.5 hour flight is now 4.5 hours. No problem, I had a nice exit row aisle seat with extra legroom. By the time I got my luggage, it was 12:30am Chicago time. Out to the taxi line I walked. Being late at night, the line was small, only about 15 people ahead of me.

When it was my turn, I flipped the taxi attendant a dollar and waited for the taxi driver to open his trunk for my bags. The driver stayed in his seat and clicked the trunk release. I guess this was a self-serve cabbie. I tossed my bags in the trunk and got in. I told him I was going to the Crowne Plaza on River Road in Rosemont.

He clicked his meter which was set at $2.10 and pulled forward about fifty feet, then stopped, and got out to talk to the attendant. Several minutes later, and 60 cents more on the meter, he got in and we left. Being that the Crowne Plaza was literally five minutes away, it would be a short journey. A journey I have taken many times. About three minutes into the ride and the meter reading a little under $4.00, the cabbie reached over and turned the meter off. I asked why he did that but got no reply. I asked a little louder and he said don’t worry about it. So I didn’t.

Two minutes later we drove right past the Plaza even though I warned him we were going by. He had to turn around and go back to the Crowne Plaza and I got out. The driver popped the trunk and I gathered my bags. The cabbie then tells me that the fare is $12.00. I said the fare is usually around $6.00 plus tip. Again, the cabby demanded $12.00. I asked why he turned off the meter and he said the fare is $12.00, that’s why. Since he did not load my luggage in or out of the cab, I told him I would give him $6.00 dollars that is the fair price for the ride.

The cabbie raised his voice in an attempt to intimidate me and once again, just outside the hotel lobby, demanded $12.00. Being a traveler, and being tired beyond belief, I yelled right back at him. I handed him $6.00 and said take it or leave it. He took the money and then gave it right back to me. He said he wanted $12.00 or he was going to call the police.

I then yelled back, “Yes, lets go inside and call the police. I know you are scamming me and I have your medallion number written down and would love to have the police arrest you.” I then proceeded to grab my bags and went inside the hotel lobby. The cabbie followed me yelling and swearing.

I headed for the front counter with the cabbie in tow. He shouted out that I wouldn’t pay him for the fare and that he was calling the police. The cabbie said this several times over, louder each time. I then turned to him and called him a thief and shouted back, “Why did you turn the meter off halfway to the hotel?” At this point, the desk clerk motioned for security to assist.

The security officer asked if I needed any help and I asked for him to call the police. The cabbie raised his voice again saying he wanted his $12 dollars. Just then, one of the customers checking in asked what airport I was coming from. I told him O’Hara. The customer said he just came from there as well and his fare was $6.10 plus tip. That’s when I looked at the cabbie and the security agent and in a raised tone said, “And he wants me to pay $12 dollars plus tip for the same ride!”

At this point, the cabbie then said that I was to get back into his cab and he was going to drive me back to the airport. I almost chorlted when he said this. I told him I was quite fine where I was at. He then said that he waited in the cab line for over three hours to take me. I told him I had him beat for I just had a three and a half hour plane ride and now I was yelling at him. I told him that he should rethink his vocation in life if he wasn’t happy what he was doing for a living.

Finally, I decided that enough was enough and took my cell phone out. I told cabbie dude that I was calling the police in 10 seconds if he didn’t leave right now. I didn’t give him any time to reply and started to count. I began, 1…2…3… and then I said TEN! I was bored. He turned and went out the door running to his cab. Several people in the lobby clapped and I got in line to check in.

My usual tipping for taxi service is as follows: Round up to nearest dollar amount to reach 20% of the fare. Add $1 dollar for each bag and extra for exceptional service. If this cabbie would have been nice and loaded my bags in the cab, he would have received $10.00 from me. $6.10 for the fare, $1.90 for the tip on the fare, and $2.00 for my two bags. This one was trying to scam me and I thought I would make him pay.

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3 Responses to “Taxi Ride From Hell”

  1. Cyn said

    would’ve made a lovely video.

  2. what was the trade show all about?
    i like these types .

  3. LOTGK said

    It was the Halloween show. Sexy models galore in scanty costumes. Great show.

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