Earlier this year, Prague’s Václav Havel Airport introduced a new surcharge for taxis and other cars that make repeated runs to the Airport: a smooth 100 CZK.
Previously, entry to pick up or drop off passengers at terminal drop-off points was free of charge if the cars stayed no longer than 15 minutes.
As of July 1st, however, drivers were allowed a single entry entry to Václav Havel Airport within the 15-minute window for free. After that, they’re charged 100 CZK for repeat visits, with security cameras monitoring license plates – the same that Prague districts use to monitor parking – to ensure compliance.
Almost immediately after the new fees were introduced, drivers began to to look for ways around them, with reports of obscured license plates – a familiar tactic – reported in local media.
Now, writes iDnes.cz, drivers are successfully skirting the fees – – at customers’ expense.
The 100 CZK charge, of course, is being directly passed to the customer. Even though taxi drivers and other frequent customers also have the opportunity to purchase value cards that allow unlimited entry to the Airport lot within 24 hours for 40 CZK.
So far this year, 64,000 value cards have been purchased by Airport drivers – – up from a mere 5,000 in 2017.
But taxi drivers have also offered passengers another option: skip the extra fee by disembarking further away from the terminals, by the Airport bus stop or the entrance to the Prague Airport Marriott Hotel. That’s up to hundreds of meters away from the destination, depending on which terminal is needed.
“It is very unfortunate to ask the passengers to pay a fee of 100 crowns,” says Airport Spokesperson Roman Pacvoň. “Offering, as an alternative, to disembark away from the designated area is just as unacceptable.”
According to Václav Havel Airport, dropping customers off away from the terminal isn’t only an inconvenience – it also threatens the health of the passenger, and may be a traffic offense.
“We are convinced that passengers prefer a safe and convenient departure from a taxi in the immediate vicinity of terminals,” Pacvoň added.
“If a taxi driver lets a passenger off in a location other than the designated area, he risks not only his or her health, which he deliberately threatens, but can also commit a traffic offense. Such action is then dealt with by the Police of the Czech Republic.”
In the past few months, Expats.cz has had two different experiences with the new fee. On one trip, we were spared the charge because we were the driver’s first fare of the day; on another, we were hit with the additional 100 CZK charge.