Beware of taxis in Las Vegas

I recently stumbled upon this article about how taxis in Las Vegas overcharged patrons by $15m dollars last year.  A number of years ago I had flown to Vegas for a conference and jumped in a cab to the MGM Grand.  For many people who have been to Vegas, they know the MGM Grand is basically on the Northwest corner of the airport.  

Well, the cabbie decided to take me the "long" way, in other words, he headed out east of the airport, then south to the highway and then back up to the MGM Grand.  What should have been a ten minute cab ride ended up being 30 minutes.   Since this incident, every time I get in a cab at Vegas, I make sure they take the surface streets and not the highway.  

My last trip to Vegas i mentioned this to the cab driver and he admitted that the cabbie's do that since the airport fees are so high and many tourists don't tip or undertip.  So the cabbie's feel they have the right to do that.  

So, the next time you find yourself in Vegas, make sure you don't get take for more than a ride then you need.


I just put on my uniform and take the free shuttle! ;)

Mike May 21, 2013 at 03:33 pm

If you're staying on the strip definitely tell them you want to take Paradise Road. One day, I was on the phone and didn't mention this, and it was too late by the time the cabbie long hauled me. I simply paid him a normal fare ($14 or $15) instead of $25 or whatever the meter read and when he complained I told him I'd be happy to discuss it with the cops. He took the money and left.

SJU May 21, 2013 at 09:32 pm

I guess I've been lucky with the cab rides I've had in the past. Is it ok to tell a cab driver which way you want them to go? Also, do you know if it makes a difference in fare to take the Strip or the back road when going from one hotel to another? Last time I went I took a taxi from Excalibur to Caesars Palace and the driver took the back road, seemed quick and he let us get off the cab before getting to the main entrance due to heavy traffic.

Mike May 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

@SJU You should tell the cab driver where you want to go. "MGM Grand, please take Paradise Road and not the tunnel." And back roads are generally preferable. Driving down Koval Lane usually has less traffic and is faster than taking Las Vegas Blvd.

jeff May 22, 2013 at 09:46 am

My first time in Vegas (going from airport to strip), many years ago, the taxi driver asked if I wanted to go "the fastest way or the quickest way". I should have said "the cheapest way" but I was not as savvy back then. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten out of the cab and found an honest driver. The fare was about $10 more than it should have been. I hate taxi drivers in Vegas for this reason. I always smile when I see the taxi commission police giving tickets to the dishonest drivers.