The incident is certainly one that will make you hesitate about getting a taxi to or from airports in Paris.
An investigation has been opened after a video on YouTube which showed a couple of Thai tourists being swindled in an illegal taxi went viral, Le Parisien revealed.
In the video you see the unlicensed driver of the “taxi” demanding €247 aggressively in English from his two passengers, a couple from Thailand.
The journey was from Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris which in an official Paris taxi can only cost a maximum of €55 after a flat rate fee system for official taxis taking passengers to and from the capital's airports was introduced in 2016.
Meanwhile, the tourists refuse to pay this €247 demanded by the driver leading to a furious response.
“Taxis in Paris are very expensive!” he shouts.
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In the footage filmed on November 6th, the situation escalates, with the couple asking to see his professional license before asking him to drop them in front of a police station.
But he refuses to let them out, with the frightened couple eventually paying €200 just so they can get out of the car.
One of the two victims, Charkrid Thanhachartyothin, told Le Parisien: “The doors were locked, and we had all our luggage in the trunk. He did not want to let us out, and kept driving while [supposedly] phoning his company to find a compromise. So, we decided to pay €200 to get out. “
Charkrid and his girlfriend returned to Thailand without having had the time to file a complaint but decided to post the video on YouTube anyway to alert other tourists who decide to travel to Paris.
An investigation into the incident by the specialist taxi police brigade, known as “Boers” is underway.
The driver claimed to be a registered private hire driver however this has since been denied by the association of VTC (private minicab) drivers, according to reports in the French press.
Both Paris airports have official taxi ranks with staff directing passengers into the next available car. However many unofficial taxi drivers hang around airports to try to pick up customers. Passengers are advised to avoid any offers for a taxi from people waiting at arrivals.
Instead you should head to the official taxi rank or use a ride-hailing app like Uber or Chauffeur Privé to reserve a cab.
If in doubt, remember that if you're travelling from the Charles de Gaulle airport to the city centre by taxi, you'll pay €55 for a trip heading anywhere on the Left Bank and €50 for anywhere on the Right Bank (see map below).
If you're coming in from Orly airport, it will be €30 for the Left Bank and €35 for the Right Bank (see map below).
However prices will vary and will often be higher if you use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Chauffeur Privé, whose prices can go up due to “surge pricing”.