Taxis And Uber
If you live in or frequent a large UK city you are probably very familiar with Uber. Most people haven’t taken an Uber so this section is a guide for newbies. Uber is basically a taxi that you request from a mobile phone app and you pay on the app. You don’t have to pay the driver any money at all. You can tip if you want to but it is not required.
The best thing about the Uber service is the app. You can see where the cars are in relation to you and you can see them moving in real time. You can see the names of the drivers also. When you book an Uber you can see exactly where your Uber is so you don’t have to wait in a specific place for 10 minutes. As soon as you see the car is almost with you, head out to meet the driver.
The UberX is the standard car that will seat up to 4 people and costs the least amount. Once you plan your route on the Uber app, you will see the prices. Once you select your car and confirm, the Uber is booked and you will get an estimate time of arrival. You can check the cars progress on the live map during your wait.
A couple of years ago I was browsing the Uber app when I left a night out at Sleuths Dinner Show. I must have accidently requested an Uber because the next day I noticed it had billed me. The app stated that I had taken the Uber and been dropped off back at my villa. I raised a dispute on the app and stated I never took the Uber. As soon as I clicked submit, the refund popped up and I already had my money back. I tend to use Uber in Orlando a couple of times per holiday. They are efficient and a lot cheaper than a normal taxi.
Get the Uber App
You can download the app on a tablet or phone below. Register now and take a look around the app. If you like the look of it, add it to your phone and you are set.
Booking a taxi…be careful!!
Beware of pirate cab drivers. A few years ago my Mum (Nanna Brit) ordered a Yellow Cab to pick her up from a hotel in Orlando. The cab that arrived did not have a Yellow Cabs sign on the side of the car. She asked who the cab was for and the driver gave her name so she obviously thought it was the same company.
After a short trip that usually costs $8 the taxi driver asked my Mum for $35. She quickly turned into someone resembling Mr T and told him that he must be a crazy fool if he thinks she is going to pay that amount (good old Mum). Nanna Brit told him he was a con man but he insisted that she pay the $35. She got out of the car and threw $10 at him and told him that was all he was getting. She quickly got to where she was going and told the store staff what happened. They offered to get her a genuine Yellow cab for her return journey.
When the real Yellow Cab (usually orange in colour) turned up later in the day to take her home she asked the driver if the earlier cab was one of their cars. The driver checked with the control room and they told her that it wasn’t. The driver told my mum that the real Yellow Cab did try to collect her from the hotel earlier but she wasn’t there.
It was a fake taxi
The real Yellow Cab driver told her that there are Pirate taxi drivers that tune into the Yellow cab radio channel and sometimes get to the customer quicker than the real Yellow cab. These dodgy drivers are then pre-armed with the customers name and the hotel name. These scammers will try to rip you off because you are a tourist. They hope that you won’t want to get into trouble with the Florida police so you just pay up. Unfortunately this guy picked Nanna Brit as his victim and she will argue all day long if she needs to. I wish I was there to witness it.
Make sure it is a genuine Yellow cab (or other reputable company that you booked with) before you get in.
Do not to let your hotel staff book you a cab…
…because most hotel staff make commission from your ride when they book one for you. The taxi firm puts you on a rate accordingly so you pay a higher tariff. Phone a cab company from your hotel room yourself as local calls should be free. Make sure you tell the Taxi firm that Mr Brit recommended them so they can put some commission aside for me (only joking!!)
As I mentioned above, Uber will cost you a lot less and is quick and easy to use.
Taxi and Shuttle services
Mears are one of a number of companies that offer shuttle services from the airport to any destination. Shuttles and taxis can be found right outside of MCO at level 1. They provide services to Orlando hotels or any destination you are heading for. You do not need to book your trip in advance but if you don’t, prices can be very expensive. Personally I would just land in Orlando, grab your luggage and fire up the Uber app.
We had an 8 seater car hire booked once and there were 7 of us but we couldn’t all fit in because of the amount of luggage we had. We were given a ridiculous quote of £60 for 2 people to be taken to our hotel by mini bus (about a 15 minute drive). There were already around 10 people on the mini bus so the bloke was obviously ‘trying his luck’. I would rather have bought 2 pairs of roller skates and a rope than pay £60.
In the end we squashed a few bums against windows and managed to fit everyone in the car. This just shows you how you can get stung if you don’t prepare in advance. As stated above, if you are not driving, book an Uber if you don’t have free transfers.