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More visitors would be using taxis during the airport limo strike

Update: Striking Phuket Airport Limo Drivers Return to Work

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
UPDATE

The striking limousine and minivan drivers returned to work at noon on Thursday after it was agreed that there would be no increase in their payments.

Original Report

PHUKET: Many passengers arriving at Phuket International Airport after 1pm today were left to fend for themselves as 110 drivers of limousines and minivans went on strike against their boss.

The man, a local powerbroker who also controls many of the shops in the airport, told the drivers earlier today that they would have to pay an extra 250,000 baht to 300,000 baht over four years to retain their positions in the rented ranks at the facility.

''We stopped work because it's an extra 15 to 20 percent for us,'' one limo driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told Phuketwan this evening.

''We are already stretched and forced to ask high fares because of what we have to pay to others.''

Airports of Thailand manages the Phuket International Airport and deals in rent negotiations with the two people who directly control the two limousine and minivan services.

Governors of Phuket have for years attempted to impose a better structure than the current arrangement at the airport, but have sometimes been threatened with blockades.

The contract for the spaces at the airport, Phuketwan has been told, comes up for renewal every four years.

This new contract will run beyond the November 2014 date set for completion of the Phuket International Airport enlargement to handle 12.5 million arrivals and departures.

The airport contract system is just one symptom of Phuket's public transport chaos that generates excessively high fares for limos, taxis and tuk-tuks.

The limo driver told Phuketwan ''A big guy is on his way from Bangkok tonight to sort it out for us.''

Comments

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My heart bleeds when I read such bad things to good people... ;)

Posted by Tbs on November 23, 2011 20:26

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I don't know if this is funny or not funny! I can't make my mind up.

Posted by poppops on November 23, 2011 20:28

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Yes, i understand everyone needs to make money, however, it has been completely forgotten that the it should not only be 'business' but also a 'service' provided to the huge number of tourists.

Its simple! The increase will be passed on to the tourists and will be another nail into Phuket's coffin as everyone already complains about the high transportation prices in Phuket.
In the end, AoT is responsible!
If AoT denies responsibility, the limousines should not be allowed to use "AoT" stickers and Logo!

Posted by Mr. K on November 24, 2011 08:58

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These Limo drivers earn much more than the average thai does, more than a university teacher, more than a middle manager at a bank or a hotel. More than people with an actual education, and that does not make sense at all. Nobody anywhere is supposed to belong to the upper-middle class by driving a taxi, and much less so driving a distinctly third world vehicle like a Tuk-Tuk. This goes for every country in the world. How would it look if a taxi driver in the US earned, say 50-80K a year? It's not sustainable. Imagine the choice given to young people: Either study hard and enter University and earn 15-20.000 baht a month, or become a belly scratching Tuk -Tuk or Limo driver and earn 60.000 baht or more per month?

Posted by christian on November 24, 2011 10:52

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"We stopped work because it's an extra 15 to 20 percent for us"

Simple arithmetic: If 20% is 300,000 extra over 4 years, then these taxi drivers are each paying the AOT 30,000 baht per month.

Who is the villain here? The drivers or the AOT?

Posted by Eric on November 24, 2011 11:08

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taxi-meter and the bus is still running and is much cheapher!

My neighbor drives a tuk tuk, he have 4 houses on phuket and 3 cars!

He tells me in high season he can make up to 200,000 baht a month.

Posted by Svetlana on November 24, 2011 11:08

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Heartbreaking news! Reap what you sow. Thais ripping off Thais, ripping off foreigners... same old story played out day to day.

Once again tourism will suffer. I've just had some friends email me about coming here for a holiday for the first time. My comment to them... try somewhere else, it'll be cheaper.

Rip off Thailand - RIP

Posted by Graham on November 24, 2011 11:18

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In Phuket I have never managed to get the so called meter taxis to turn on the meter, its always a set fee!

Posted by coxo on November 24, 2011 12:35

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I know many airports in the world. But why does only Phuket have this stupid system. In Bangkok, old or new, they have taxi meter taxis and a set price pr km. Why does AoT not control it 100%. I hope the new design of the airport drop off, pick up, car rental company car parking spot and parking zone will much better lined up.

Posted by Thomas on November 25, 2011 08:46

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@ Thomas
No law enforcement on Phuket ensures that these drivers - same as tuk-tuks, do, and charge as they please.

Posted by agogohome on November 25, 2011 19:09


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