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Old Jul 20, 07, 6:08 pm   #1
sy7
 
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Dusseldorf taxi to airport cost question

This is more out of curiousity, since hopefully I won't be in this situation again!

Is there a fixed price for a taxi from the Dusseldorf train station to the airport? According to the airport website, it is 16 euros from the airport to the city center, but it doesn't say anything about the reverse. Due to poor planning on my part, I arrived at the train station < 1hr before my flight (without having checked in), so I decided to take a taxi to the airport since I figured that would be the fastest way. Anyway, the driver used the meter (21.50 euros), and played dumb when I asked him about the fixed rate of 16 euros. Since I was (1) in a rush and (2) not totally sure that there truly was a fixed rate I just handed him 22 euros (and also noted his cab #). Luckily, I was able to checkin for my flight (it's a good thing DUS has a 30 min cutoff--I think I made it with <1 min to spare!).

Anyway, I was just curious if the taxi driver was lying, and whether it is worthwhile to report him to the authorities in charge. It isn't that big a deal to me, but it simply reinforces my habit of limiting taxi usage whenever possible. For example, in Houston I used to routinely take the taxi to the airport, but the driver would never use the fixed rate and I never remembered to argue about it (these are early morning trips). However, after a while, I simply switched to hotel park and stay rates instead.
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Old Jul 20, 07, 6:46 pm   #2
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If there's any question about whether you got gouged, I'd file a complaint and see how they handle it.

(Isn't the train faster?)
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Old Jul 21, 07, 1:11 am   #3
 
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I don't see why you would expect a fixed price, unless you arranged it with the driver before starting the trip?

The Dusseldorf Hbf is in any case not very close to the centre of the city.

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Old Jul 21, 07, 1:15 am   #4
 
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There is NO fixed rate to the airport and the website refers to "Richtwerte" (educated estimate). 21.50 from the main station to the airport is normal, depending on traffic it can be even more. However, you should have taken the S7 - 12 minutes into the Terminal and 2,10 Euro.....
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Old Jul 21, 07, 2:00 am   #5
 
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The concept of "fixed rate" to/from the airport is a USA-ism I haven't encountered elsewhere in the world, where the meter rate is always standard.

By the way, regarding tipping 0.50 on a 21.50 fare, if you did that with a taxi driver in a number of US cities you would get a punch on the nose.

I always enjoy the taxi ride out to Dusseldorf airport from the city, it is not too far and although there is only about 3 miles on the Autobahn the drivers always get their old Mercedes up to about 100mph if they can !
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Old Jul 21, 07, 3:46 am   #6
 
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I always enjoy the taxi ride out to Dusseldorf airport from the city, it is not too far and although there is only about 3 miles on the Autobahn the drivers always get their old Mercedes up to about 100mph if they can !
Agreed. However, they are only allowed to drive 55 mph because the "Autobahn" is not an "Autobahn" but just a national road. .

If you order a taxi by phone in DUS you should aware that there are TWO numbers. There is Taxi Düsseldorf with 33333 or 99999 (http://www.taxi-duesseldorf.de/) and there is Rhein Taxi (http://www.rheintaxi.de/) with 21 21 21.

When using Taxi-Duesseldorf ALWAYS order a "service taxi": It does not cost you more, but you can be sure you get a good car and a good driver. Rhein-Taxi in general always has better cars and better drivers.
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Old Jul 21, 07, 5:42 am   #7
 
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Agreed. However, they are only allowed to drive 55 mph because the "Autobahn" is not an "Autobahn" but just a national road.
I didn't understand there was a distinction. From the office (in Munsterstrasse) to the airport along A52 and A44, there is a junction between the two with a 270-degree loop round. I've never entered that at any speed less than one that makes you wonder if the driver has taken leave of his senses. Then, with the airport exit in sight, it's back up to maximum speed again. Wow !
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Old Jul 21, 07, 7:58 am   #8
 
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I didn't understand there was a distinction. From the office (in Munsterstrasse) to the airport along A52 and A44, there is a junction between the two with a 270-degree loop round. I've never entered that at any speed less than one that makes you wonder if the driver has taken leave of his senses. Then, with the airport exit in sight, it's back up to maximum speed again. Wow !
Ok, that way out of town. I normally get our of town via Kennedy-Damm.

However: The first mile if the A52 (between the ARAG Headquarters or the Renaissance Hotel and the Esso station) is a national road, the famous B1 leading from there all the way to Berlin and (in the past) going up to Koenigsberg. After the Esso station the B1 becomes A52 it continues to Essen, where it becomes the A40 and if you continue that way to Dortmund, as soon as the A40 reaches the Dortmund city border it becomes the B1 angain. The difference is easy: A national road can have crossings and traffic lights and there needs to be no shoulder (and there is a speed limit). Similar to the M and A concept in the UK.
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Old Jul 21, 07, 2:19 pm   #9
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Sy7, the rate is in my eyes okay, that's what one of our external consultants had on his expenses, too, and that was from the city centre of DUS.

We have no flat, but 16 EUR is what you pay in the off peak time, where you do not have much traffic and less waiting time at red traffic lights.

DUS has a very good connection to train, in my eyes train could have been faster than taxi, but that's now too late.

WHBM, there is a speed limit off 100 km/h at this part of A 52 / A 44 at the junction and police is flashing there quite often. And the other direction via Kennedy Damm is only 80 km / h on all streets / motorways.

As a sidenote:
I take a bus from my office in the Golzheim area which is the fastest way (I have been not only once faster by tram and bus than a colleague in her car ). There is really no need for a cab to go to airport in Düsseldorf
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Old Jul 22, 07, 7:44 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
Ok, that way out of town. I normally get our of town via Kennedy-Damm.

However: The first mile if the A52 (between the ARAG Headquarters or the Renaissance Hotel and the Esso station) is a national road, the famous B1 leading from there all the way to Berlin and (in the past) going up to Koenigsberg. After the Esso station the B1 becomes A52 it continues to Essen, where it becomes the A40 and if you continue that way to Dortmund, as soon as the A40 reaches the Dortmund city border it becomes the B1 angain. The difference is easy: A national road can have crossings and traffic lights and there needs to be no shoulder (and there is a speed limit). Similar to the M and A concept in the UK.
If you get on the Autobahn towards the boarder to Netherlands, make sure you smile a lot as they take nice pictures of you, if you drive too fast... Got my first three points there in Flensburg in March 2006...

By the way, the only club I don't want any points or status at is the Verkehrsregister in Flensburg...
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Old Jul 22, 07, 9:59 pm   #11
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Okay, I'm glad to know that there isn't a fixed fee to the airport. I misinterpreted the "standard fee" phrasing in the airport's website (and yeah, given that it's a german airport website, I realize it's probably not written by native english speakers). I'm wary of train station taxis; on our first (and only) trip to Vienna a couple years back, we arrived in the evening at the central train station. We showed the taxi driver our hotel's name & address. After a while, we questioned him about how long it was taking; he then immediately said the hotel is coming up soon, and the dropped us off at the WRONG hotel! It was the same brand, so we didn't immediately recognize our mistake until trying to check in at the reception area. Anyway, I got a lot more wary of taxi drivers (especially those at central transit areas) in most cities after that experience.

In terms of the tip or lack thereof, if the driver doesn't bother to get out of the car to help with the luggage, I don't tip (& this definitely includes taxis in the US too). In this particular case, the driver didn't help with my luggage (though I only had carry-on piece which I can easily handle myself so it wasn't that big a deal).

Yes, I know that the train would have been a lot cheaper, but I was running short on time and every minute counted. I didn't know when the next airport train would arrive, and plus there is always a longer walk from the train station vs being dropped off in front of the airport. Actually, this made me curious, so I checked out the train schedule. This was on a Saturday afternoon so the trains don't run as frequently. The earliest I could have arrived at the terminal via the train would have been 4 min before the check-in cutoff which would almost certainly have been too late.
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Old Jul 27, 07, 12:53 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
The concept of "fixed rate" to/from the airport is a USA-ism I haven't encountered elsewhere in the world, where the meter rate is always standard.
The U.S. isn't the only place where flat rates to/from the airport are common. It's just that in the U.S. some cities impose a fixed rate by law, whereas in other places the price is negotiated.

Fixed (in practice) rates can happen in Europe too. In Riga, for example, many airport trips are not metered but set at commonly known flat rates, one for locals and a higher one for tourists.
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Old Jul 27, 07, 2:08 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by sy7 View Post
I misinterpreted the "standard fee" phrasing in the airport's website (and yeah, given that it's a german airport website, I realize it's probably not written by native english speakers).
Even with my very rudimentary command of English I would not understand a "standard fare" as a flat or lump sum fare but as the fare you have to pay under normal circumstances....

There is no city in Germany that allows flat fares or lump sum fares within the city borders. All fares within a city border are metered. As soon as you cross the city border you are free to negotiate. This ends up in strange results: I pay 14 Euro metered fare to my (local) railway station (5 km from my house) whereas I pay 10 Euro flat negotiated fare to the long distance railway station in the next town 8 km away.
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