Taxi drivers absolutely hate taking you to a hotel at the La Defense complex. There are a number of hotels here, some brands (such as Mercure or Sofitel) having more than one establishment
As far as I could work out, as La Defense lies beyond the central area it is not included in whatever passes as exams for Parisien taxi drivers. The other reason is that finding your way around the area is very complex, irritating and downright frustrating. Like a giant Rubic's cube, the roads weave in and out and over each other, diving underground, doing a quick pirrouette before exiting into daylight again. And everywhere seems to look the same at that subterranean level.
The taxi used by my in-laws recently took two and a half hours to try and find the way from the centre of Paris. The fare on the meter had gone up over 70 euros, and he had had to get another taxi driver to show him the route by driving ahead of him.
To his credit he absolutely refused to take more that 20Euro for the fare (about what it would have been if he had driven straight there).
I guess taxi driving was not his ideal job - but at least he was a gentleman about it.
i too have had the same thing happen with paris shuttle, are flight was late and the ride had left, i was told to find a taxi thats it, and that my card would be credited right then, then i asked would i still be picked up ? yes 1215 on sunday ok i understand, and took the bus very easy, and 18 euro s cheaper, sunday no pick up hotel calls, after telling me they stopped using the company for being unrealible, so i talk to this women who tells me i never set up a pick up, wrong i tell her when i called, and all of a sudden a private car appears no appoligies for being an hour late, so home and check to see if i have been credited, nope, i call and am told i will be right away, ok next call next day, no i have to email them, i ask to talk to a manager who tells me he has to investigate please email, and will hear back at the end of day, you guessed it no email today, so i ask any one who reads this to tell friends not to use this company , they dont care at all.
Paris Shuttle is disorganised, run by rude and incompetent staff. We have paid for a service we did not receive.
My husband and I with our three young children arrived into Paris Orly on 25 September 2010 at 8.25pm to find that the Paris Shuttle private transfer we had booked more than 6 weeks in advance had not arrived and never turned up. Several phonecalls and waiting for more than 1.5 hours came to nothing.
And what's more they refuse to refund us.
We found the taxi to Paris 75006 was half the price of the shuttle !! (29 Euros)
Whether you are leaving the airport or trying to get back to it, getting a cab will take a while. There seems to be a real shortage of taxi cabs in Paris! We waited at Charles De Gaulle airport for a half an hour for a cab when we first got to Paris. The cab ride from Charles De Gaulle to the southern part of Montparnasse cost 80 Euros which was quite expensive.
When we left to go back to Charles De Gaulle, we were in La Marais. The hotel desk called for a cab, but could not get an answer. We were told that it is very difficult to get a cab in Paris and that we should have asked for one to be reserved the night before. Well, we did ask and they said that it would not be a problem. Their recommendation was to walk to the closest main street and 'hail' a cab. NOT EFFECTIVE! They were all occupied as they drove by. My solution was to walk to the closest train station which was Gare De L'est and wait in queue at the taxi stand. Well, that did work, but we waited about 45 minutes as the line was one block long. So my advice is to ensure that your hotel reserves a cab for you so that you can get back to the airport on time.
Avoid taking a taxi from the airport after midnight; they will over charge you.
If you arrive in Paris early enough to catch up the metro do so, you will save a lot of money. The metro is safe and inexpensive. Take a taxi, when you are in the city.
Paris is one of the safest cities in the world but sometimes travellers tend to become blase about safety matters in a new city especially at night. Just recently, a swedish girl studying French in Paris, took a clandestine taxi, an irregular taxi without licence, knowing well it is clandestine, and was raped and murdered. fortunately someone had noticed the taxi which was in front of a busy night spot for tourists and within a day the taxi driver was arrested. he has had previous convictions.
We always think of this kind of thing happening in Mexico City but it can happen in Paris as well. So when you want a taxi always take a regular taxi which has a light on top of the car saying Taxi Parisien. you can note the number if you like. they have meters and you pay them according to the meters.
if you are staying at a hotel, they will call for a taxi which is even safer.
My friend had arranged for a taxi to pick me up at his apartment to take me to where I had to catch the bus to CDG. I was down there about 10 minutes before the taxi was to arrive because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss it. Well a taxi pulled up about 15 minutes later and I assumed it was for me. The taxi driver said a name that was not mine and so I waited....He waited and his pick up did not show up. Then I asked him again who he was picking up, again, the name was not mine. I was getting worried and I had to get to the bus stop, so I decided to ask him if he could take me, he refused because I was not the one he came to pick up. Still his person did not show up. Worried I would miss my bus and miss my flight, I started walking towards the metro. Now this was about 4:30 in the morning, it was dark and I didn't want to go into the metro. As I walked away, the taxi driver spoke up and said he'd take me. I was so flustered and worried I'd miss the bus, I never noticed that he had the meter running all that time he was waiting. I noticed it about 1 minute after we were driving. I'm pretty sure he was there to pick me up, but decided to take advantage of me and scam me. What an #$$! I was so pissed I was ready to just jump from the cab. I told him to stop because he had kept the meter running and I was not going to pay what was on the meter. I knew how much I should be paying and it was way, way past that. I argued with him and kept telling him to stop the cab, but he continued to drive. I just finallly gave up because at that point we were almost there. He stopped, I got out and he wanted to be payed before he gave me my luggage, which was in the trunk. I payed him, he gave me my luggage and I told him he was a VERY BAD MAN and that what goes around comes around. I will NEVER take a taxi in Paris again. I'll walk or take the metro.
We had a terrible experience with Airport Shuttle Associates (airportshuttleparis.com). Since it was cheaper than a taxi, we booked the shuttles with our flight information and pre-paid. We received a confirmation saying the driver would meet us at the gate holding a sign with my name on it. Not only was the driver not there, he was almost 2 1/2 hours late! We decided to give them another chance (we were leaving Paris and returning later), and this time the driver was an hour early and threatened to leave if we weren't ready in 10 minutes, even though we had already paid. Coming back to Paris, the driver wasn't there again, so we called to cancel that and our last shuttle home. An employee said they would refund half our money for the cancelled shuttles. Now that we are back in the states, I have emailed the company four times in the past few weeks and received no response about our refund. Don't waste your money on this unreliable company.
Last Monday at the early hour of 5.30am a taxi was booked to take me to Porte Maillot to catch the coach to Beauvais for a Ryanair flight (difficult enough at any time during the day...) Everything started to go terribly wrong when the booked taxi failed to show up. My pyjama clad boyfriend assisted me in trying to flag down an alternative taxi, after 10 minutes of trying a taxi stopped and, as I have now experienced an incalculable number of times, the driver could not be arsed taking me to my destination. The result: eventually there were simply no taxi about so 170 Euros had to be paid up for a new flight ticket (many thanks Juan), two meetings cancelled and a day at work missed. This seems to be the trend in Paris, for whatever their personal preference of passenger they have very negative/ non progressive approach to customer service... I say bring in the European competition. I strongly advise anyone booking a taxi to catch a flight have secured provision, get a number and have a back up plan!! XXXX XXX TO FRENCH TAXI DRIVERS....
By French law prices MUST include tax and tip (service compris or prix nets).
Beware of bills stamped service not included in English!
Beware also of restaurants or the taxis slyly using American-style credit-card slips, hoping that you'll be confused and add the habitual 15% tip.
In neither case, do not fall for this type of fraud.
Instead, while still at the restaurant, or in the taxi or whereever this might occur, inform the manager that you will call
Paris Consumer Fraud Office to report this at 01 48 0407 13, and in addition,
phone Union for the Consumer at 01 42 74 54 42, and if in LaDefense area call 01 46 23 15 02
Most likely, they will say you do not have to pay the bill at all, in order to avoid your report!
Most flights from the UK land at Aeroport Charles-de-Gaulle at Roissy, which is 23km from the centre of Paris, on a route that has really long traffic jams! Not ideal at all, when all you want to do is get to your hotel and have a rest before starting to explore! :)
So, although the drive should take about 40 minutes it can last up to two hours, making the taxi option VERY expensive.
My friend and I tried to take a taxi back to our hotel after sightseeing. When we gave the taxi driver the name of our street and hotel, he pretended that he didn't understand our pronunciation of the location. We even took out our street map and pointed to the spot right on the map. Then he acted like he didn't know where the street was. And all this time, we realized the meter was running! Frustrated, we just paid him for his "time" and jumped out of the taxi. Who knows where he would have taken us if we actually got a ride!
I am sure most taxi drivers are not like this, but be aware of this "taxi driver confusion" and if the driver starts the meter before you even leave the curb!
We had a great deal of trouble getting taxis which had meters running at multiples of the normal rate. We took the advice to take a taxi from the official rank at the airport only to be charged almost twice the normal fare of circa 15LT to the city.
The only way we managed to get the normal reasonably priced taxis were those ordered from the hotel.
Taxis do not cruise for passengers, so make sure you are at a taxi stand.
If there are more than three (3) in your party, you will most likely not be able to ride together in the same taxi...unless you are unusually persuasive.
A Parisian woman I met told me the locals have nothing but contempt for their local cabbies and the rates they charge. I can see why as it cost me more than $50 to get from the airport to a hotel in the city. Definitely a good idea to minimize their use if you're travelling on a budget (and I always am).