Pre-Paid Cabs at Chennai Airport

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#1 Nov 1st, 2007, 13:14
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  • mairangi_vice is offline
#1
Hey, my friend is arriving at Chennai airport tonight at 1:30am, does anyone know if the prepaid taxi service there runs 24 hours?
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 18th, 2008 at 19:16.. Reason: merged threads
#2 Nov 1st, 2007, 13:26
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Yes it does (16 month old information)
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This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#3 Nov 1st, 2007, 16:24
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I'll be relying on it next Tuesday morning at 1.00am!

And I'm sure I won't be disapointed. There are three booths: 've tried two of them, and the one nearest the airport door is cheaper but had an old car.

Having said that, they have done a lot of modernisation, and the booths may have moved or the companies changed places!

Enjoy your trip to Chennai
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#4 Nov 1st, 2007, 16:43
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#4

from Chennai airport downtown

Quote:
Originally Posted by mairangi_vice View Post Hey, my friend is arriving at Chennai airport tonight at 1:30am, does anyone know if the prepaid taxi service there runs 24 hours?
I don't know about prepaid taxi there at night.

anecdote:
2 years ago I arrived at night at Chennai airport, and life at the airport taxistand, was as busy as day time.
First taxi's cabs were asking a price I was not willing to pay. I just started to walk of the area with my packpack, and that gave the best results for negotiating. ;-)
I went down-town with a 3 wheel-motorrickshaw, enjoying the darknight, and the agreeable temperature.
#5 Nov 1st, 2007, 21:31
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The autos are not supposed to pick up at the airport. They do, of course, and you can usually find one that has just dropped someone off. However, unless you know where you are going, how far it is, and what is a reasonable rate, your first taste of Chennai is likely to be one big rip off! Especially at night! They will, if they can, charge you far more than you would have paid for a car.

The car prices, for pre-paid, are read off a computer. Not much flexibility there; I wouldn't bargain, but if you can, and succeed, good for you!
#6 Nov 1st, 2007, 21:44
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To my knowledge, nobody will bargain at the prepaid counter at any airport in India that I have been to.

But maybe joph is talking about just walking out of the terminal (without paying for the prepaid) and going directly to the taxis.
In which case you better bargain hard, or better still, buy a prepaid coupon.
#7 Nov 1st, 2007, 22:10
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Quote:
To my knowledge, nobody will bargain at the prepaid counter at any airport in India that I have been to.
And you've visited many, many more than I have! But what you say confirms what I was thinking.

However, my experience at Chennai is that the different booths do not charge the same prices, so there is room to shop around!

Whatever, the amount you save would be nominal and, while we all want to avoid being ripped off, the priority after a long, long flight is just to get in a car and get to that hotel and lie down on that bed; not to save Rs50 or so.

That starts the next day
#8 Nov 1st, 2007, 22:30
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post But maybe joph is talking about just walking out of the terminal (without paying for the prepaid) and going directly to the taxis.
In which case you better bargain hard, or better still, buy a prepaid coupon.
I agree with you capt.

Also, If you walk out of airport you will also get other taxis waalas than the prepaid taxi waalas.

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#9 Nov 1st, 2007, 22:57
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However, my experience at Chennai is that the different booths do not charge the same prices, so there is room to shop around!
In Chennai, like elsewhere, 'airport taxis' are run by

-private (largely unregulated) operators who have their own booths and charge whatever they can get

-police approved prepaid taxis, where the rates are fixed; besides the rates, there is supposed to be some oversight on the taxis by the cops, for security. This is the one any traveller should take. In Delhi the cop notes down the passengers name, taxi number and destination after the passenger has taken the taxi from the queue, in Chennai this is variable.

The rates are even fixed for the amount of baggage (IIRC, its 10 rupees per bag)
Rates are fixed for each destination in the city, or, if a destination covers a large area, for a few locations within that destination.

What these cab drivers do to try to cheat, sometimes, is claim, when dropping you off (as Shashank brought out in another thread about Delhi airport prepaid) that your destination is further than the location you paid for, and so they should get extra money. Even when paid, (eg when a newcomer is unsure) this amount should not be more than, say, 20/30 rupees at the maximum.

But, if you have pre-paid, for eg, for Chennai Central Railway station, there can be no such ambiguity.
#10 Nov 2nd, 2007, 11:42
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#10
I usually would just get in an auto, but I can confirm now that the pre paid taxi's at Chennai airport do operate 24 hours. And also that the ones from the international terminal seem to be slightly cheaper than the ones from the domestic terminal. I would have thought it would be the other way around!
#11 Nov 2nd, 2007, 13:02
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#11
I regularly use the pre-paid taxis and find them reliable, and reasonable. I am sure it is posisble fo find cheaper options if you leave the airport building, but as Nick says you are really at the mercy of whoever finds you (not the other way round!!) the one nearest the door is the govt regulated one so the pricing system is fixed (and fair in my view). The system is easy and comfortable - you pay at the desk, take your ticket to the booth outside (clearly marked) where they write the number of the car down, and it is one of the cars waiting. Yes they run 24 hours. Very interesting about the variations in rate between domestic and international - i didnt know that, and like mairangi vice cant understand the logic!
#12 Nov 2nd, 2007, 17:23
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#12
I'll be there next monday night: Mrs N making the chai ready for me at home, me getting the car...
#13 Dec 4th, 2007, 17:07
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#13

Pre-Paid Cabs at Chennai Airport

I've arrived, once domestic, once international, twice here in the last month, and my experiences have been mixed.

The first time, international, I went to the same booth I'd used before, and got a reasonable price for the trip home. I live somewhat in the sticks, and the driver was not sure whether or not to believe me when I gave him directions. Sometimes it's best not to reveal too much, so I did not say the obvious, 'look; it's my home we're going to, I know where it is'. The fare was Rs.315.

On returning home on a domestic flight last week, we decided to check the prices at the different booths. At first we were quoted Rs480! This was enough for my wife to say she was going outside to find an auto... The second booth was not much better, but we settled for Rs280 from the third booth.

The cars are old; so are the drivers. I don't think these guys would be working if they didn't really have to, and I don't think they'd be driving these cars if they had a choice, so we felt that a Rs.50 tip was in order.

It's supposed to be all "fares approved by TN Government" --- but I was disappointed to find such a variation in the prices.

The system works, and it will get you where you want to go, but if you are coming to a guest house or hotel, I'd recommend you to ask for a pickup, even if it is a little more expensive.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 18th, 2008 at 19:17.. Reason: merged thread
#14 Dec 5th, 2007, 19:44
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#14
umm ..its the same in all metros ..
#15 Dec 17th, 2007, 10:46
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#15
Waat? I took the pre-paid taxi from both intl and domestic- the black and yellow ones and it was approximately the same from both.
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