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Cancun Drivers Under Investigation After Recent Tourist Incident

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Recently a tourist had to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4 at Cancun International Airport and due to the early 1:45 a.m. arrival time, the traveler opted to flag an unknowingly “unofficial” taxi for the short trip.

It is not that unusual of an occurrence, especially if the Cancun traveler is elderly and has challenges walking the distance in the very early morning.

What was unusual was the tourist was charged more than $990 for the 13-minute trip. Nope, that’s not Mexican Pesos it was United States Dollars. It was more than $17,000 pesos.

Tourists Waiting to Be Picked Up at Cancun Airport

The unofficial taxi driver’s treatment of a Cancun tourist sparked outrage on social media and has led to official investigations of other complaints against drivers abusing in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

Officials Take Action

Noting the seriousness of the tourist abuse, the Mexican National Guard arrested the unofficial taxi driver and delivered him to the Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office to face official charges of fraud and abuse of a tourist.

Restaurant inside Cancun International Airport

It’s not the first time this has occurred in Cancun.

A tourist reported a similar incident in which he was charged more than $730 for a similar trip between terminals at the Cancun International Airport.

Another traveler was charged $130 (more than $2,000 Mexican pesos) to go from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 at Cancun International Airport.

Confused tourist at airport

Officials confirmed to media outlets that there are several similar incidents of taxi drivers overcharging tourists. Because the airport is under federal regulation, the Mexican federal government is taking lead on the investigations.

State of Quintana Roo officials are also assisting with the investigation as some of the incidents actually involve travelers coming from the hotel zone of Cancun.

The head of the Quintana Roo Mobility Institute, Rodrigo Alcázar, said that he is unsure if the official investigation will be carried out since all of the complaints are on social media and not officially filed with law enforcement agencies.

Busy Cancun Airport

Additionally, the head of the local taxi union put the blame on the unlicensed “pirate” transportation drivers and the agency reportedly was unconcerned because the actions did not officially involve their companies or taxis.

Travelers Critical of Enforcement

According to reports, many travelers have been complaining about this scam on TikTok and other social media channels for some time now.

Taxi Parked on a Street in Cancun, Mexico

They claim that, unfortunately, airport officials and law enforcement have allowed it to continue without any enforcement action or regulation.

Officials counter that posts on social media do not represent official complaints to the agency which then could be followed up on and investigated.

They urged travelers that feel they were scammed by an unlicensed transportation driver to notify law enforcement or Mexican National Guard patrols of the incident immediately.

taxi driving toward Playa Del Carmen

Some tourists claim they have complained immediately to officials just to have the claim dismissed because the claim came after the ride, and the driver claimed that the price had been agreed upon before departing.

What Tourists Need to Know

The vehicle involved in the incident was a white car labeled “airport taxi” in black letters and a big airplane image on the doors.

According to the taxi union and other officials, this vehicle was actually an unlicensed, or “pirate”, taxi.

Cars awaiting passengers at Cancun International Airport parking lot

Tourists should avoid these types of unlicensed transportation providers at the Cancun International Airport.

More importantly, visitors to Cancun International Airport should be aware that the airport itself offers a free shuttle between terminals.

According to airport officials, there is signage at the airport in Spanish as well as English informing travelers about this free service.

It also warns travelers to beware of unauthorized transportation service providers offering this service and other trips at the airport.

They are also considering implementing and publishing uniform rates for tourist transportation services to and from the airport to avoid future concerns of overcharging.

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Tuesday 30th of April 2024

This evil thief should return all the money to the idiot that allowed this to happen, who in their right mind would pay this. Evil is encounter every where in the world, but in tourist places in Mexico, lot's of people are thieves, have no conscious, it's a shame.

Tore Bryan Wallace

Monday 29th of April 2024

All taxies should be equiped with a taxomiter like most over Countries in the world. This would avoid over charging for all taxies and avoid people being ripped off

Alex Jones

Monday 29th of April 2024

This happen not only in Cancun. In March I was asked at CDMX Airport Benit0 Juarez $850 to go to Terminal de buses Norte. The normal rate is $350. unauthorized taxis are very dangerous, you could be robbed or worse. Be very aware.