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Tip: How to avoid long taxi queues at MEL airport

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Alan in CBR

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A couple of weeks ago I was forced to fly on Virgin Blue instead of QF to Melbourne. I was on the early flight, arriving around 7:30 am.

When I exited the terminal I walked to the taxi rank, which had no-one waiting. As I approached the curb a passing taxi ducked in and picked me up.

We took off, and as we passed the QF taxi rank I saw the usual queue snaking back and forth, meaning a long wait for those passengers.

So, if you are arriving on Qantas in the morning and need a taxi, take a one-minute walk to the Virgin Blue terminal and save the long wait at QF.
 

blackhorse

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Another alternative is to have a taxi waiting for you on arrival.

There are groups of taxi drivers, very professional, who will pick you up at the designated time. Need to call a number with the flight # and time and they will have taxi waiting for you

You still pay what you would pay for hiring a taxi from the ranks
 

bigjobs

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blackhorse said:
Another alternative is to have a taxi waiting for you on arrival.

There are groups of taxi drivers, very professional, who will pick you up at the designated time. Need to call a number with the flight # and time and they will have taxi waiting for you

You still pay what you would pay for hiring a taxi from the ranks
i do this in Brisbane all the time both domestically and internationally. i have a couple of drivers that i have made friends with and give one a call, if he can't come to meet me then i just call the other. failing that i just call the cab co. works a treat for me and i to would recommend this approach.

anything to beat waiting in a queue.
 

serfty

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I have a more cost effective way that takes about the same time when I have to cab it to the city or home; saving at least $25.

I take the skybus which runs every 10 minutes in peak times and costs $11-$15 one-way; then catch a cab from the rank at the bus terminal. This is balanced agaist the $2.00 tulla taxi fee & $3.00 citylink toll as well as a minimum $33 for distance/time.
 

Yada Yada

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Alan in CBR said:
So, if you are arriving on Qantas in the morning and need a taxi, take a one-minute walk to the Virgin Blue terminal and save the long wait at QF.
Alan in CBR - good tip. I've found the same has applied at SYD in the past. If there is a long queue at T3, a quick walk through the carpark to T2 often got me a taxi quicker. However SYD T2 seems to be getting busier every time I visit it, so the queues are getting longer.

I've now collected a few business cards from taxi drivers in MEL so that I can pre-arrange a pickup.
 

bfmi

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Bah.. rent a car! Last day trip I did was $46 + tolls (charged to my own tag vs day pa$$) + cheap Melb parking.
 

danielh

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Yep, whenever I see a quadruple snaked line of people in the taxi rank with the line only growing bigger I just walk down towards Terminal 1 and catch a taxi from there. There are usually about 4 people in the line when that happens.

Also, if you are popping into Melbourne Airport in the the morning and the traffic is unusually bad (IE. Monday morning between 6.45-7.30am) then tell the taxi to drop you off in the arrivals area (ground floor) and catch an escalator up.


Regards

Daniel
 
S

shillard

danielh said:
Yep, whenever I see a quadruple snaked line of people in the taxi rank with the line only growing bigger I just walk down towards Terminal 1 and catch a taxi from there. There are usually about 4 people in the line when that happens.

Also, if you are popping into Melbourne Airport in the the morning and the traffic is unusually bad (IE. Monday morning between 6.45-7.30am) then tell the taxi to drop you off in the arrivals area (ground floor) and catch an escalator up.


Regards

Daniel
In most cities, private hire cars aren't that much more expensive than cabs (and often cheaper).

Cleaner, no hindi music firing through the speakers, and the dude is there waiting for you as you exit the sterile part of the terminal. Can't beat it.
 

Skyring

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Looking at this thread, I see one constant theme. Don't join the end of the long queue, but think laterally. Time is money for business travellers, and the hire car suggestion makes sense if it saves you a half hour. And, as Scott notes, it can be a lot better than a taxi.

I'm a shuttle bus and youth hostel kind of person, myself, and I don't mind cheap and cheerful. I've had some wonderful conversations with other travellers over a fifteen minute ride to or from an airport.

As for taxis, multiple hirings can save a lot of time and money. Cabbies love them because they make a fortune on them, but if it gets you from the back end of the queue to the front and saves you a few dollars, it makes good sense. I watched the commissionaire at Canberra Airport yesterday morning, and he was calling out for multiples on almost every cab. And it was a long queue - the daily 767 had just landed.

Any taxidriver worth his salt will respond to a phone call from a regular customer if it's at all possible. He's not going to lose money in going to the airport at a busy time anyway, but if he knows you, he'll be assured of a good fare and most likely a tip. And a chance to catch up - the life of a cabbie is full of random encounters with people he'll never see again, and having a regular customer is a big deal.
 

vt01

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Skyring said:
Any taxidriver worth his salt will respond to a phone call from a regular customer if it's at all possible. He's not going to lose money in going to the airport at a busy time anyway, but if he knows you, he'll be assured of a good fare and most likely a tip. And a chance to catch up - the life of a cabbie is full of random encounters with people he'll never see again, and having a regular customer is a big deal.
I also have a regular taxi guy. And if he can't make it he has a group of backup drivers to call on.
I SMS'd him from BKK a couple of weeks ago with flight details and arrival time. He met me on time with a Cadbury Picnic bar for me and newspaper!
He runs the meter so it costs no more (although I did leave a tip). And he's a really nice guy to chat to as well.

I'm near Parramatta but he was willing to do pickups from as far as Pennant Hills. So if anyone is interested in using him, PM me..
 

simongr

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I use a hire car guy in SYD and MEL (not the same guy of course :)) It costs about $20 more for me in SYD and about $10 more in MEL. The ocmpany pays so that is a luxury I can afford - mind you I still use them for personal trave - akthough I pay cash rather than Amex to avoid the cabcharge fee on personal travel. The main advantages for me are the fact that he is there on time waiting for me on the way TO the airport and even if he is early he waits outside until exactly the time we agreed. The comfort is great after a long flight and I am less concerned about faling asleep in the hire car than in a random cab. Finally as well he only bills me once for multiple trips so it makes my amex bill easier to reconcile if I have multiple flights over a short period.

Good tip though - always good to share :)
 

Skyring

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vt01 said:
I also have a regular taxi guy. And if he can't make it he has a group of backup drivers to call on.
I SMS'd him from BKK a couple of weeks ago with flight details and arrival time. He met me on time with a Cadbury Picnic bar for me and newspaper!
He runs the meter so it costs no more (although I did leave a tip). And he's a really nice guy to chat to as well.
A Picnic bar! You must be a real sweetie! And/or he is. If you aren't having friends or family meet you, that's a great way to make that final leg home.
 

Tiki

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Brisbane isn't nearly so bad. We've never had more than 2 or 3 people ahead of us. In Bangkok, we went upstairs to the departures area and snagged a taxi with no waiting and no 50 baht airport charge. Don't know if this would work in Melbourne?
 

caggs

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Tiki said:
Brisbane isn't nearly so bad. We've never had more than 2 or 3 people ahead of us. In Bangkok, we went upstairs to the departures area and snagged a taxi with no waiting and no 50 baht airport charge. Don't know if this would work in Melbourne?
I do this in Melbourne whenever the line downstairs is long . It also allows me to select the taxi (I pick Northern Taxis as they are very happy to take me to the northern suburbs). I just keep heading past the Qantas terminal and hitchhike from there. I have never had a taxi complain or refuse to stop.

Craig
 

SeatBackForward

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In Sydney thats the hint I've heard for people who live near the airport (although in Sydney near can mean anything less than a $50 fare). To go upstairs to the departures and catch a taxi from there..


BUT Macquarie airports have their "controllers" there watching, so taxi drivers will often ignore you and continue on.

The issue is that at the airports the Taxis sometimes wait for hours on end to get to the front of the pick-up queue., and to then get a small fare makes their time wasted. They cannot refuse however.
 

vt01

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Skyring said:
A Picnic bar! You must be a real sweetie! And/or he is. If you aren't having friends or family meet you, that's a great way to make that final leg home.
hahaha.. yes - he does it for all his customers.. A very nice touch. As the wife is now completely sick of the airport, it's nice to have a friendly face and chat on the way home.
 

thadocta

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SeatBackForward said:
In Sydney thats the hint I've heard for people who live near the airport (although in Sydney near can mean anything less than a $50 fare). To go upstairs to the departures and catch a taxi from there..

BUT Macquarie airports have their "controllers" there watching, so taxi drivers will often ignore you and continue on.

The issue is that at the airports the Taxis sometimes wait for hours on end to get to the front of the pick-up queue., and to then get a small fare makes their time wasted. They cannot refuse however.
It is actually ILLEGAL for a taxi to pick you up from the departures level at SYD (all of the terminals).

PASSENGER TRANSPORT (TAXI-CAB SERVICES) REGULATION 2001 - REG 70A Taxi-cabs to be hired only at taxi zones

The only "taxi zones" at SYD are on the arrivals level.

Dave
 
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