Tan Son Nhat International Airport continuously sees crowds of passengers even on the ninth of the new lunar year
At around 10am on February 9, the front of A2 Domestic Arrival Station was full with airline passengers. Vehicles coming to pick them up have to move slowly in line. The pick-up and drop-off area was rather messy and noisy. Tech-based taxi drivers were hurriedly approaching people, trying to drag those passengers to their taxi.
Mr. Hung from Go Vap District had just landed from Da Nang City and was trying to find an available taxi while carefully guarding his luggage. Even though his house is just 5km away from the airport, a few tech-based taxi drivers offered the fare of VND350,000 (US$15.4). When he tried to bargain, those drivers became angry and walked away, saying ‘Then you can walk yourself home!’
Facing a similar situation was Minh Thang from District 10, who landed at 1am on February 9. After some unsuccessful taxi bookings via such apps as GrabCar, Bee, or even GrabBike, a group of young man approached him a suggested a taxi fare of VND300,000 ($13.2), which was three times as high as the price he usually pays. Mr. Thang refused them because of their unacceptably ill attitude regardless of the price.
At TCP Parking Lot Building opposite the entrance to the domestic station, it is quite common to see many tech-based taxi advertisers noisily trying to attract possible customers. If passengers agree with the service, they will take these travelers to the fourth floor for another group specializing in price bargaining.
Airline passengers have to walk far to catch a taxi
Meanwhile, major traditional taxi firms like Vinataxi, Mai Linh, Vinasun, Saigontourist are moving slowly to take turn to pick up customers.
Director of Vinasun commented that despite a large quantity of taxis serving passengers at the airport, a huge number of people normally land and then pour out at once, leading a long line waiting to be served. An increase in taxi quantity might not help much, yet it might become unsafe for the traffic when so many extra taxis suddenly park along the road. The fare of Vinasun is still the same as that on ordinary days.
More seriously, Mai Linh Co. has reported the case of certain people faking the company’s taxi drivers just by wearing its uniform, and then trying to illegally attract passengers. The company stressed that its taxi fare is still based on the taxi meter installed on the vehicle. Mai Linh Co. hopes that people can report any such cases by providing valid proof like vehicle license number, route, fare to the firm for proper handling.
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has requested Tan Son Nhat International Airport and related units to urgently evaluate the situation and devise feasible solutions for similar peak periods in the future such as the upcoming summer holiday.
The temporary insufficiency of taxi quantity could be addressed by smarter and more flexible route planning based on the number of passengers in the airport at the time.
Finally, Head of the Road Transport Management Division under the HCMC Transport Department Do Ngoc Hai shared that it is the responsibility of tech-based taxi service providers to handle the wrongdoings of their tech-based taxi drivers in the airport lately.
As for taxis without registration to those providers, handling problems in the deals between drivers and passengers is not within the power of the Transport Department.