Las Vegas Taxi Took Me The Wrong Way To Airport, What To Do?

Just come back from Vegas yesterday after spending 10 days there. This was 5th time over the last few years.

Had an excellent time BUT was plagued by time share reps to the point where they was running after us ( husband and I). I tried everything from politely saying no to ignoring them . Nothing worked!!!!!! They were more of a nuisance than the sex card workers. Can you give advice please for when we come again.

We stayed at the Hilton Paradise Road. The taxi that took us back to the airport charged over 20 dollars and did not by any means go the quickest way.He turned onto the strip at Circus Circus and went the whole length of the strip!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Refused to tip him saying he had not chosen the quickest route. He then got very abusive. Can I ask for your advice about this 20 dollars, we usually pay 15 dollars.

Love Access Vegas!

Angela M.

Ted Responds:

Here’s the trick when dealing with the time share people: Tell them you are leaving town “tonight” (no matter how many days you have left). If you are leaving, you can’t go to a presentation and are of no use to them. Of, you can do what I do and say “I’m a local” because I sure don’t need a Las Vegas timeshare!

Having said that, yes… they can be pushy in this economy. And yes, it is irritating. And unfortunately they pay the hotels good money for those spots they occupy so nobody is going to do anything about it. (Short of a hotel getting hundreds of letters per day from angry patrons, which probably isn’t going to happen because no one realizes this relationship).

Another way to handle it is to do what I do with the pornslappers. (For you new readers, that isn’t a dirty sex term. It refers to the people who pass out business cards advertising “girls to you room”). I simply pretend they don’t exist. I don’t look at them, don’t listen to them, don’t make eye contact with them. It isn’t rude. They aren’t some friend from your city that you just happened to run into who wants to bend your ear. They want to distract you and waste your time. I simply don’t allow them to!

Yes, the taxi driver was screwing with you. The Hilton is on Paradise Road. Guess what… the airport is on Paradise Road! It is a 3.3 mile straight trip if you don’t detour. I’m going to give you some advice that I’ve had to start following myself as I’ve been screwed with on cab rides by people who don’t know I’m a local:

Get the cab company name and number every time you ride. Take two seconds to email/text it to yourself. Why? For a number of reasons.

  • If you leave your purse/wallet/bag or similar in the cab and you know the cab number, you can usually get it back quickly. Call the cab company, tell them the cab number, and the driver will head back your way (with the understanding that you need to pay for his time and miles). How do I know? My wallet rode off in a cab without me one time. It happens.
  • If the driver isn’t very nice to you, call the cab company and complain. Absolutely. If you have the cab company name and cab number, they know who the problem employee is. Cab drivers are a dime a dozen. The companies don’t want trouble. A rude driver might also do other things to hurt the company.
  • If you get long-hauled, you have a right to complain the the Taxicab Authority. They take complaints very seriously. If I remember correctly, three complaints and a driver loses his right to drive (I think for six months… it’s been a couple of years since I did this research). You can actually use this information in two ways:
    1. You can get out of the cab (wait until after he’s unloaded your luggage), tell the driver that he took the long way, and tell him you are calling the Taxi Authority. (Dial directory assistance if you need the number). They are screwed and they know it. If they start to put up a fuss, start to dial directory assistance on your phone and say “I’m calling them right now”. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they will decide that your ride was absolutely free (as long as you don’t make the call). They screwed with you… screw with them!
    2. If they are still abusive or argue, make the call and put in the complaint. Just remember… you do need to cab company name, cab number, and time of day to make this complaint. If you didn’t write it down (or text it to yourself) when you got in the cab, you’d better make note of it before he drives off.

In a perfect world, none of this should be necessary. And there are honest cab drivers out there. But the ones who aren’t should be held accountable.

One last tip: Don’t take too much of what a cabbie says to heart. They tend to be the worst conveyers of third-hand info out there. One cabbie was telling people that The Sahara was going to be blown up (not true). Another reader heard that The Stratosphere was closing (um, they just spent $20 million refurbishing the joint). Get your information from us instead!

CEO/Managing Editor

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Return Of Old-Style Las Vegas Junkets, Why Is Airfare So High?

I live in Ontario, Canada about 50 miles north of Detroit Michigan which is where we fly out of when going to Las Vegas.

My wife and I love going to Vegas, we try to make it at least 2 times a year. Our main problem now is the cost of airfare from the east. It has gone through the roof,and even if you get a cheap flight by the time you pay baggage costs it’s not cheap any more.

I can’t believe the casinos can’t get hooked up with an airline that would provide reasonable flights to Vegas from the east, if not maybe they should start to charter their own planes and go back to the old junket style deals they had years ago with the champagne flights.
Anything would be better than the price gouging going on today.

Wouldn’t know what percentage of Vegas traffic is from the east but I’m sure the numbers would warrant some thought to finding an affordable way for us too come to your great city. Spent the first week in March this year in Vegas but as of now we are looking at Atlantic City for our next trip this summer NOT VEGAS by any means but for $55.00 each it will have to do.


Rick O’Rourke

Ted Responds:

Years ago in the travel section of a U.S. newspaper, you’d read about free flights to Las Vegas. The only catch? You had to board with X amount of cash. Or sometimes pay it up front and you’d get casino chips at the specific casino running the junket (or variations of such).

The problems with doing that now are many:

1. The cost of flying is really high. (Jet fuel was cheap back them). So… you really would have to tank some money for the casino to even be able to offer you that junket. The minimum for you to get on and bring would be higher than people would be comfortable with. They’d just go ahead and book their own trips.

2. With so much to do and see here now, boarding a plane with X amount of cash doesn’t mean it is going to be gambled away. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip used to be few and far between back then, were smaller, and your host could see that you are tanking the money you brought on the plane with you (and keep you off of future trips if you didn’t play). Now what are they going to do? Track you with your players card and make you take the bus home if you don’t gamble?

3. Serious players are now tracked with their players card. The hotel knows exactly who to fly out here for free and depending on your level of play, they can take care of coach, first class or even send a private jet (or give you the equivalent in free play or other perks). So… they really still are flying people out. Just not the way they used to.

4. Three million people are coming here a month (equal to 2004 numbers). The gaming companies are hurting because of debt and bad decisions they made during the boom. Not from a lack of interest or lack of visitors. 2004 was a great year here for all involved.

5. The absolute fire sale prices on rooms (because way too many new rooms were built during the boom) literally makes airfare irrelevant. So you have to pay $400 to get here. Your room cost is about what you’d pay at a Motel 6 anywhere else for a name brand hotel in a good location here (and a nice room is completely free if you are good gambler).

Having said all of that, summer should be a beautiful time to visit Atlantic City. I wish you so much good luck that you can take the winnings and pay for the airfare to come visit our way soon!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Artwork and Paintings On Las Vegas Area Overpasses

My wife and I visited Vegas in September. Having a rental car, we decided to drive to Primm. On our way back, we saw the most beautiful over (under) pass I think we have ever seen. The place I am speaking of is the last major intersection on I-15 heading south. Is there a way you could perhaps get a picture of the the bridge, support wall, etc. there? Also, what is the significant of this beautiful work on your highway?

Thanks for your newsletter on Vegas.

Astor Kinney

Ted Responds:

Here’s a couple photos so that people know what you are referring to:

Las Vegas animals statues along the freeway.

Photo courtesy Retired Travelers

The Review-Journal also did a story about it:

Sculptures aim to soothe beastly drivers

Hope that helps!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor