Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport has announced new taxi rules after an unregistered illegal acb driver charged a Thai tourist couple €247 ($283) for a trip from the airport to the city center.
Under the Taxi Officiel Aéroport or Official Airport Taxi scheme, around 40 drivers at Charles de Gaulle airport will wear numbered blue vests so that new arrivals at the country’s biggest hub, which is also Europe’s second largest, are able to spot them easily.
“The hunt for illegal taxi drivers is a public safety priority,” said the Paris police chief, Michel Delpuech. “Taxi services are part of hospitality and we must not play down the terrible effects”.
The new program will operate from 5am to 11pm daily and official taxis will arrive at a special easy-to-find rank.
French officials opened an investigation after two Thai visitors were overcharged for the 30-mile taxi ride from Charles de Gaulle airport to central Paris. A video of the incident shows the driver shouting at the couple in English: “Taxis in Paris are expensive … you pay me.”
The journey should have cost €55 under a flat-rate system introduced for official taxis picking up at the French capital’s airports. The couple offered to pay €200 if the driver unlocked the doors and let them out. “You are crazy,” he shouted back.
The driver, who was identified from the video that went viral after it was posted on YouTube, was jailed for eight months last month after being found guilty of fraud and extortion involving threats.