So Much For "No Tunnel...."
Started by motoman on Friday, 4th January 2013 11:17 pm
With the madness of New Year's Eve behind us and CES just around the corner, I offer the following tale from the slow period of mid-December 2012:
So, we tell the cabbie our destination is Encore and kindly ask that he not take the tunnel & freeway but rather go up Swenson.
Cabbie: "WHY yoo TELL ME DISS???"
Me: "Oh, we just prefer that route..."
Cabbie "Oh, YOO WANN DRIVE???" [gestures at steering wheel]
Me (sheepishly): "no...."
So we get the fucking scenic route all the way up Swenson along the UNLV campus, out east along Swenson instead of jogging over to Paradise or Koval, then all the way up to Desert Inn Road, over to Convention Center Drive, then down the Strip to a left turn into Encore making use of every red light along the way.
Hell, when my brother's GF noticed the Convention Center, I even tried to convince myself it was really Sands Expo and not the LVCC because WHY would the cabbie do that???
Fucking Vegas cabs....
 A much nicer cabbie going back to the airport let us in on some fun stories for busy New Years (and no doubt CES as well--buyer beware, man....)
Last response by Minton 8th January 5:19pm
DeucesWild responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
The cabbies are definitely getting worse. I was long hauled from Wynn to the airport on my trip last May. That was a first for me as I had previously experienced long haul attempts only from the airport. My extreme profanity in questioning the route led to a negotiated fare outside the terminal.
I think the key is to state firmly but politely as soon as you get into the cab at the airport: "[Your destination]. Absolutely no tunnel or freeway please."
The situation you described is terrible because who wants to start off their Vegas trip getting into a verbal altercation with some lowlife cab driver. For me, that first cab ride is almost always the low light of the trip.
MinVegas responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Fuck the cabs. Honestly. We've used them a few times when getting between the airport rent a car and a hotel and they're utterly terrible, and responsible for some of the worst experiences I've seen on the Strip throughout years of bad service experiences.
Get a shuttle/limo. $7 flat base fee (before tips etc) to any hotel on the Strip seems okay to me if you've got luggage, and especially if you're staying north of Flamingo and have a fair chance of getting stuck in traffic.
For all the talk about how the town is more honest than it used to be, the cabs haven't caught up with that, and their only advantage at the airport is that they've somehow lobbied the county (which operates the airport) to be immediately next to the baggage carousels while everything else is on a lower level. At least, that's how it is at the old terminals; don't know yet about the new one.
There's a time and place to ride a cab in Vegas, and it's outside a resort's lobby when you're with a group of people who don't want to walk and/or your destination is several properties away.
Jammer responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Just don't tip the asshole. A tip is for good service, not for being argumentative.
I've been long-hauled twice from the airport. First time to Vegas I asked 'Wynn, no tunnel please' and he took the tunnel anyway. I wasn't really sure if I'd been long-hauled at first (despite going through a tunnel) but I didn't bother to argue at the end. After a 10 hour flight and immigration you just want to get to your hotel. The second time I got tunnelled was from the airport to the Golden Nugget.. but I didn't know if there was a shorter route to Downtown.
The guy that left a sour taste in my mouth was when on the way back to the airport from Cosmo, I told him to take Paradise route. His English was poor but he dropped some snide remark about how I'd been to Vegas before as if I'd rumbled his game and he wasn't going to get as much as usual for his trip. At the end of the journey I gave him a basic tip (I didn't stiff him) but I wasn't happy with his comments and his questions about myself and my partner during the journey. He then said to my girlfriend 'you nice, he not' or something cause I hadn't tipped him enough. It really riled me up and if my gf had told me that before he had driven off I'd definitely would have had some choice words for him.
I'm renting a car next time anyway. Just don't take any shit from these guys.
vespajet responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
The driver by chance didn't work for Desert Cabs did he? I've heard that they're the most notorious for longhauling passengers.
Taxi drivers that do engage in the practice of longhauling do so as they know that the majority of passengers will not report them as they aren't aware of the regulations against it or they don't want to tie up some of their vacation time reporting the driver. The one and only time I took a taxi from the airport to The Strip, I got longhauled and instead of reporting him, I gave him a crappy tip as I only had 36 hours in Vegas and didn't want to spend an hour or more of it dealing with reporting him.
One of the problems with taxis is the line for them, although with some of the passenger traffic now going in and out of Terminal 3, the wait times for taxis are not as bad (nor is the wait time at the baggage claim).
Taking the shuttle bus can be a hit or miss affair depending upon where you're staying at and where the other passengers are staying at. They try to keep the runs as compact as possible, but that's not always possible, especially if you're staying Downtown. The two trips I used a shuttle bus while staying on the Strip, it wasn't too bad, as either I was the first drop-off or there wasn't too many passengers on the bus. The one time I used it while staying Downtown swore me off of using them.
I started to use limo services about three years ago and has quickly become my method of choice. You pay a standard rate for the service and the baggage assistance from the claim to the limo is better than having to lug your bags across the baggage claim area to the shuttle bus area or the taxi stand. It's a bit more expensive than taking a taxi or shuttle bus, but it's less stressful. I'm even thinking about booking one to and from my home airport my next Vegas trip so I don't have to deal with the parking hassles.
Drake responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
The cab companies have WAY too much political power in Vegas. What's stopping the taxi commission from establishing flat rates to and from each of the top 50 hotels and destinations in town? That would fix everything, except that it would prevent the cabbies from ripping people off.
In July, a cabbie wanted to long-haul us to Paris, for cryin' out loud. He tried to convince me that the "expressway" was faster. That while driving past the "long-hauling is illegal" sign.
We stayed at the Golden Nugget our last two nights and then took the shuttle to the airport. Best decision we made. It was a relief that I didn't have to tell some dirtbag to take Main to Paradise, instead of long-hauling us on the highway, and then put up with bullshit attitude for the entire drive.
Yeah, I'll be taking the shuttle buses from now on, too.
vespajet replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Part of the problem is that 5 of the 13 cab companies in Las Vegas are owned by the same company (Frias). To add to that equation, many of the cab companies also own shuttle bus services and limo companies. So these transportation companies will get your money one way or another (Unless you're renting a car, having a friend pick you up/drop you off at the airport, take public transit or your hotel is picking up the tab.). A huge chunk of the taxi medallions are controlled by two companies so they have the power as one or both of them could decide to park some of their fleet in protest of any real enforcement efforts against taxi companies and cause real havoc for folks.
Drake replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Short version: LV bureaucrats have no balls or are on the take, or both. The situation is a genuine black eye on the city. Flat rates would solve almost everything.
Yeah, it's a shame too that the same assholes own the shuttle buses, but at least that's a fair shake. Funny how the shuttle drivers always take the shortest, quickest route they can, isn't it? Cabbies would do the same if they didn't have an incentive to gouge.
Skywise responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Heading back in a few weeks and thinking of doing the Limo thing because I'm tired of the taxi abuse.
Any recommended companies? Cost?
boomer751 replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I'm arriving later today. Booked a Town car with Presidential Limo. Roundtrip ended up being $68. Staying at the Nugget. If I take a cab and get long hauled it would cost about the same round trip. So from my perspective its a no brainer.
There's plenty of choices for limo and driver services. I could care not if the money is going to the same companies as this way at least I don't have to deal with asshole cabbie dicklords.
vespajet replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Presidential is one that folks on most Vegas sites tend to recommend. I used them for the first time back in October and will definitely use them again. They have some pretty good web specials on their site. I sprung for the stretch even though I was the only passenger because it wasn't that much more than a sedan.
I previously used a company called A1 Worldwide Limo and the prices were pretty good but their contractor in Vegas was hit or miss the last few trips I used them. But on the bright side, I got more than what I paid for as their contractor would send out whatever driver they had available and even though I had booked a sedan, on two occasions I was picked up in an SUV and one trip I was picked up in a stretched sedan.
stevie replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Unless a flat rate is imposed, I will never take another cab to/from the airport. I used Belltrans Limo last August, and will use them again in April. $103 roundtrip for a sedan, and that includes ALL taxes, fuel surcharges, etc. They even stopped at a liquor store for me on the way to the Mirage so I could stock up on beer, ice, water, cooler, and liquor. It was so much easier to take everything in with me than to walk to the nearest store and lug that shit up the strip!
Commodore69 responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I've only gotten long-hauled once, but that was enough.
I now have what might be a reliable way to deter unscrupulous cabbies. The plan is as follows:
Get into cab at airport. Take out phone & take blatant photo of cabbies hack license & ID on the dashboard. Say "Just for my records! Aria, please - and No Tunnel."
It's worked like a charm so far. They get me where I'm going in record time & with NO conversation, as a bonus :-)
Happygirl21 responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Thus far I have never paid more than $15.00 to go to hotel ( Bally's, Harrah's & IP) from airport. I am guessing this is a normal fair? I don't/didn't even know of a tunnel,lol. Guess I have been lucky so far!
But some people suck :(
vespajet replied on Monday, 7th January 2013
That sounds about right. I was staying at the IP once and got longhauled and the fare was $23.
coybotjr responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Yeah, I have never had an issue asking for no tunnel. I think it might be the way you are possibly demanding rather than asking. If they ignore you and once you are heading through the tunnel, just let them know you are about to call the cab company right then. We all have cell phones and their numbers are in the cabs.
Skywise replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
How demanding can "Bellagio. No tunnel, please." be? Of my last 4 trips, 2 from the airport resulted in the drivers getting surly with me about it and one "long hauled" me anyway up to the Stratosphere and back... to the BELLAGIO!
Now of those 2 times, they were both on a Friday night... and the time of day/day might have something to do with it but still...
vespajet replied on Monday, 7th January 2013
The one and only time I got tunneled was on a Friday night. The worst part is that he jacked up the fare even more because LVB at Flamingo is such a busy intersection and Friday and Saturday nights it's a real clusterfuck and we sat through at least two lights before he decided to take the back way into the IP via Koval. The same back way could have been accessed had he taken from the airport via Paradise/Swenson and it wouldn't have been as expensive.
The cab drivers have to make a certain amount per night to actually make money, as out of the gate they owe the cab company for the rental of the vehicle as well as the gas costs and they have to make the money to cover that before they start making any money for themselves. This is why some of them engage in taking passengers on longer runs than necessary so they can get the money they owe to the cab company quicker so they can make more money for themselves.
jammoral responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
The cabbies have gotten bad and I was stupid last Dec. I was tunneled and by the time I realized it we were getting on the highway to get to Bellagio. I gave him leftover change for a tip, he was not happy.
levans responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
This is why I never take a cab at the airport and take the shuttle every time. If I stay at Trop I am usually the first person off and heading back the first person on. A cab is too much of a hassle and you open yourself to getting gouged.
kayday responded on Monday, 7th January 2013
Just wondering ... has anyone ever tried something along the lines of, "Listen, I'm sure that *YOU* are one of the GOOD cab drivers who would NEVER take someone through the tunnel, but just because I have been screwed in the past I have to say it: No tunnel please."
I'm just trying to come up with the perfect line for not getting long hauled while at the same time not getting on the cabbie's bad side.
stevie replied on Monday, 7th January 2013
Based on the many Vegas cabs that I've been in, you are using WAY too much of the English language.
jinx73 replied on Tuesday, 8th January 2013
I wouldn't sugar coat it so much, I just say destination and for them to take surface streets, some still get huffy, but from cab drivers that used to post on forums, that was their suggestion. There is only so much I'll do to try and appease the feelings of someone else in a service position.
Even without tunnel, I've been taken down the strip to Harrahs from airport, sad for him, he hit every green light and then got a crappy tip too (awww).
Taken around Swenson instead of Paradise and Koval for a trip to Mirage, with a slow pedal at every light trying to hit it.
And I've had great experiences, taken back entrance to Paris, travelled through hotel parking lots from HR to MGM on fight night, etc.
Your mileage will always vary, I don't get pissed anymore, I just make a determination of what the tip is then, I tip higher for better service and zero to less for bad service.
I will say with the fuel surchage, airport surcharge and rates that have gone up, I'd not recommend anyone look for a $15 fare to most mid strip properties even without the tunnel, it's typically going to be closer to $20 in my opinion with any kind of traffic, 5-6 years ago $15 was a realistic number.