Travel Check Airport Taxi and Ride Share Cost Estimates Before a Trip
Should You Book a Flight Through an Airline You've Never Heard of?
In your quest to find an especially great deal for a flight, you’ll likely come across airlines that seem made up—take Bearskin Airlines, for example, which operates out of Ontario, Canada and is very real. Or Chair Airlines, a Swiss airline that flies throughout Europe and is not a figment of your imagination. There’s even Okay Airways, which provides flights to China and Thailand, and hey, at least they’re honest about their quality of service. © Photo: ShutterstockBut is it worth booking through an airline you know nothing about? Well, that depends, particularly on your budget, necessity for comfort, and travel plans.
Though you probably know roughly how much a ride via taxi or an app like Uber or Lyft would cost from your home to your local airport, when you travel to a new city or country, all bets are off. Living in New York City, I’m routinely surprised at how inexpensive trips using ride sharing apps are in other cities, but I’m sure there are plenty of others who are much less pleasantly surprised when they realize how much it’s going to cost to get from JFK Airport to Midtown.
At least if you’re traveling somewhere with ride share apps, you have the benefit of knowing how much your ride will be before you get in the car, as well as be confident in the fact that you can pay with credit card. But if you’re somewhere that relies exclusively on taxis to get people to and from the airport, you could run into a few problems; namely, that you won’t technically know how much it will cost until you reach your destination, and you won’t be sure that they take credit cards. The last thing you want to do when you arrive in a new country all jet lagged is to deal with finding the local currency and taking into account the exchange rate.
LaGuardia Airport Now Has $15 Flat-Rate Rides to Manhattan and Brooklyn
The Port Authority has teamed up with ride-share app Via to offer $15 flat-rate carpool trips.Now just before the holiday travel rush the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—the government agency that runs the airport—has teamed up with ride-share app Via to offer a new affordable (and less stressful) option for leaving the airport. For just a $15 flat-rate fee, arriving passengers can take a car pool ride to any destination in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens. For the farther boroughs of Staten Island and the Bronx the flat fee will be upped to $20.
Fortunately, there are a few ways around this—or at least options to help you prepare a bit more.
Email your hotel or Airbnb host ahead of time
If you’re unsure how much an average taxi or Uber ride will be from the airport to your accommodation, send an email to your hotel or Airbnb host asking how much it should cost.21, who holds the world record for being the youngest person to travel to every country that she does this before each trip she takes:
Sending this simple email has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years, because I’ve avoided being taken advantage of by taxi drivers with inflated prices or fixed meters. Taxi drivers can be merciless as far as screwing you over, so you need to be very sure on exactly how much it’s going to cost and how long it’s going to take to go from A to B. If you get to the hotel and the meter is unbelievably high, refuse to pay for it. Go inside the hotel and ask for help. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to call the police. If you say that, the driver will give up. I’ve done that in Angola a few times, and in Samoa. And I just did that in Guinea-Bissau.
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And in some cases, your hotel may provide a shuttle from the airport to their property, so if you email them asking about taxi or Uber estimates, they may let you know about this service, which may end up costing even less.
Check RideGuru and other sites and apps
If you want to double check what the hotel sent you, or are looking for other estimates, you may want to consult with sites like, which allows you to put in your point of origin and your destination, and find out which ride share, car service or taxi company is cheapest. now has a ride share option, which gives you an estimate for Uber and Lyft (and possibly other services in the area)—simply type in directions to your destination and tap the little person with their hand up in the air. has a similar option.
As far as apps, there’s Bellhop, which is free and available onand . You can also go directly to a ride share company’s site and get fare estimates from them. The and sites both offer this feature.
Uber threatens to leave Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport; city delays fee increase .
Phoenix has put a hold on proposed a ride-share fee increase after Uber threatened to stop serving passengers at Sky Harbor International Airport.The City Council made the decision after discussing the matter with lawyers in a special meeting on Jan. 22.
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