18 Feb 2019
These are just private cars, and ARE FULLY ILLEGAL. I have been mugged by one of these drivers in an intricate well planned way. There are now using touts stationed INSIDE the airport hailing upon innocent passengers coming out of the arrival gates, claiming to be airport officials with NO ONE stopping them from doing so. There was simply not a single police officer in the entirety of the arrival lounge or even in the vicinity of the arrivals. I at first refused to talk to this gentleman posing as airport authority, then when I was looking around for help he approached me again claiming to be airport official, and suggested me to take an ‘official airport taxi’.
I made a mistake of believing in this guy looking at his attire which was fully suited with a neck tie. He led me to one of these private cars, and then when I asked about how much will it cost to Times Square Central, he said it’s all metered and nothing to worry about. I had a nice journey to my destination, until it came to the payment when I was handed a horrendous bill of $293 plus optional tips. I refused to pay, then started to get increasingly more aggressive. Lastly he suggested ‘how much do you have…’, I gave him a figure which he didn’t like, and he apparently made a call to his ‘company’ and told me that I MUST PAY the minimum amount of $240 as I had agreed to board the taxi.
I must admit I felt I was out of options at that time and submitted to his demand meekly as it was midnight, in a completely foreign land to me. I rewinded the whole incident over and over again with many scenarios and the ways that I could have handed the situation any better, but I could not think of anything in the moment when it actually happened.
My grievance will probably go on deaf ears when I say it was probably the WORST airport experience I have ever had in my life, and I regret to say it happened in New York. I do sincerely feel that NY police could do a better job by posting a few armed fully dressed police officers in the arrival lounges of all the terminals, to deter such serious criminals from ripping off innocent and unwary passengers like myself.