25% Of Las Vegas Cab Drivers Ripping You Off

Taxi drivers in Las Vegas have been ripping people off for years. It’s not really a secret and it looks like the government is finally going to do something about it. Last week they set up check points to see how many taxi drivers were long hauling passengers from McCarran Airport and here’s what they found.

About one-fourth of the 48 taxi drivers that passed this point on Thursday were given long-hauling citations

It’s a small sample size and that number is less than previously estimated. Most people that were pulled aside for this didn’t want to press charges against these crooked taxi drivers. They just wanted to get to their hotel. They’re on vacation…in Las Vegas…who wants to waste more time in a taxi? I wouldn’t.

That’s where the taxi drivers get you. They know you want to go have fun and you want to get to it as quick as possibly. If you’ve never been to Las Vegas before you won’t even know that 3-5 minutes is being added to your drive and if you’ve been to Las Vegas before you likely won’t care about the extra few bucks because you just want to go have fun.

If you find that you’re overcharged by a taxi driver and don’t feel like dealing with it at the moment because you’re on vacation, that’s fine. Just do two simple things and deal with it when you get home.

  1. Take pictures of your taxi and your driver.
  2. Submit a complaint to the Nevada Taxicab Authority

The more complaints that are submitted the sooner the government will do something about this. Think of this as paying it forward so someone else doesn’t get ripped off by these crooked taxi drivers.

Believe it or not there’s actually good news from this sting on taxi drivers overcharging customers. Last year estimates on Las Vegas taxi drivers long hauling were much higher than 25%.

Some drivers put the percentage of long haul rides at 50 percent or even 70 percent.

The truth on Vegas taxi drivers ripping you off is probably somewhere in between the range that were caught last week (25%) and the estimates from last year (50%-70%). That doesn’t make this problem better. It just makes it, potentially, less worse.

Note: Not all taxi drivers in Las Vegas are crooked so treat the good drivers well so we can keep them.

Photo: Wikipedia

Boom: Hacienda Implosion

In light of the pending implosion of The HarmonVegas Inc. decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. We go to #4 on the list – The Hacienda.

Opened: June 1956

Closed: 1996

Imploded: Dec. 31, 1996

Built on 48 acres, the Hacienda had 10 buildings and started with 240 rooms. It was remodeled in 1975 and expanded in the early 1990s to 1,140 rooms to compete with booming megaresorts nearby. During its first couple of years the casino remained closed for lack of a gaming license.

Just two miles from McCarran International Airport, and for most of its years the first hotel on the highway from Southern California, it attracted an ample amount of tourists but remained somewhat solitary until the 1970s.

The Hacienda was known for family entertainment and featured miniature golf. Owner Warren “Doc” Bailey wanted to have something that kept children occupied while their parents gambled. In 1960, Bailey purchased eight small passenger airplanes for $2 million to provide customers with a package deal that would include airfare and hotel stay. In the 1970s and 1980s, tourist traffic grew for the Hacienda, due in large part to its location at the southern end of the Strip.

In its heyday, the Hacienda showroom launched Lance Burton‘s career and featured comedian Redd Foxx. Even with star attractions and a family-oriented environment, the Hacienda could not compete with the flashy resorts that grabbed tourist attention. The hotel was imploded on Dec. 31, 1996, to make way for Mandalay Bay.

The neon horse and rider from the old Hacienda sign now decorates the intersection of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas.

Destroyed In Seconds
Destroyed In Seconds

Hate the Taxi Line at the Las Vegas Airport?

I hate the (always) long taxi line at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas – especially in the summer!  I’m not sure if the airport plans for every airplane to land at the same time, but it always seems as if baggage claim and the taxi line are both always packed.  People cheer when they land in Las Vegas no matter what time it is and the wait for a cab to their destination is excruciating.

If you are with a large party you take a limo at a similar cost.  There are always drivers stalking the baggage claim area for customers.  I’ve done this before and while the cost of a limo was only a little more than the cost of a cab, I’m not sure I’ll do it again.  Especially when travelling with a smaller party.

Vegas Chatter found a way to get around the long taxi line that doesn’t involve paying a little extra for a limo.

Find a Skycap. Let them know they can help you with your luggage. Give the guy a nice tip and tell him you want to go to Yellow #1. Here cab drivers will get pulled out of the long cab line servicing the regular folks in order to pick you up at Yellow #1. No waiting.

Now during super crowded times even this Yellow #1 tip can have a line behind it. What do you do then, or for that matter if you want to take no chances on waiting in line? When your plane lands and the pilot allows you to turn on your cell phone, Twitter Vegas Cabbie (he is the one who gave us the above tip in the first place) and tell him your flight just landed and you will gather your luggage and meet him at Yellow #1.

What a great idea.  I’m assuming that if you know where Yellow #1 is located you can probably skip the skycap and the tip and just head over and grab a cab.  I have a little time before my next trip to Vegas and I’ll be looking for info on how to bypass the line.  If I find any tricks, I’ll share them here as always.