PARIS — A Thai couple is being hailed for keeping their cool after a Paris taxi driver tried to charge them nearly five times the actual fare from Charles de Gaulle airport to the city centre.
The couple filmed their exchange with the driver while still seated in the backseat and uploaded it to YouTube earlier this month where it quickly went viral with over 220,000 views.
In the video, the driver is seen demanding €247 for the 45-kilometre ride, nearly five times the flat €50 or €55 fee official Paris cabs charge from the airport to Paris’ right or left bank, respectively. The driver repeatedly insists that taxi fares in Paris are not fixed – “it’s by metre” – and shows the couple an app on his phone that indicates the price of 247.
The couple, who were previously told by friends that a cab ride from the airport should cost “less than €70”, refuses to pay and questions whether he is a legal taxi.
“It’s not my car, it’s the company, you understand?” the driver angrily replies.
He claims it’s a company car from Chauffeur Prive, a legitimate company, reports the Independent. But according to the company’s website, a ride from Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris costs a flat fee of €45.
The couple asks to be taken to the police station where they suggest the matter can be resolved, but the driver refuses. They eventually offer to pay €100, but the driver calls them “crazy” before speeding up.
At this point, the couple is heard calling emergency services but are unable to pinpoint their exact location. They eventually agree to pay the driver €200 simply to get out of the car.
“The doors were locked and we had all our luggage in the trunk. He did not want to let us out, and kept driving while [supposedly] phoning his company to find a compromise,” Charkrid Thanhachartyothin, one of the passengers, told Le Parisien.
Boers, the city’s specialist taxi police brigade, is currently investigating the incident.