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New tariff for Kuwait Airport taxi services – Charges already implemented

KUWAIT: The Directorate General for Civil Aviation released the new tariff for Kuwait International Airport taxi services which now ranges between KD 4 for areas near the airport and KD 20 for border areas. A taxi from the airport to Hawally or Salmiya for example costs KD 7. The increase approval by the Directorate General Civil Aviation comes a few months after airport taxis already implemented the increased tariff. “In June I went to Europe but came back and was forced to pay KD 7 to get home from the airport,” a female passenger revealed. “No explanation at all - the driver collected KD 7 and said the fare had increased. I gave him KD 10 but I was shocked to receive change of KD 3 only. I was told the airport taxi fare had increased and that’s it,” she lamented. Airport taxis have been lobbying for an increase in fares since last year. The taxi operators note their original tariff was introduced in 1991.

They claimed with the continued increase of cost of living in the country and in the light of increased maintenance and spare part costs, it was now necessary to increase the fare. According to a local newspaper, the new tariffs are 50 percent higher compared to the old ones, but are less than limousine rates by KD 2 to KD 10. Besides limos, there are other options too, like ‘illegal taxis’ (cars without license to operate as airport taxis) that carry passengers from the airport. “If you know the language, you could easily bargain. For me, when I ride the ‘illegal transport’ from the airport, I pay only KD 3. Why pay KD 7 if you can get a ride for KD 3,” a traveler noted. But he warned these taxis were being targeted by authorities. “Remember the expat crackdown? They were plenty before, but now they are reduced to a very few because some of them were deported. So be careful.

If the police catch you riding in the illegal transport, you could be in trouble too. Why ruin your livelihood for few dinars,” he reasoned. Other passengers opt for the bus (Route 13), the cheapest option. Both KPTC and Citybus take passengers to and from the airport for 250 fils. Public buses are available at the airport from seven in the morning till 11 pm. “If you don’t want to pay that excessive amount asked by airport taxis, I suggest you better take the bus instead. When I came from Dubai and only had a few things with me, I rode the bus just to get out of the airport. It cost me 250 fils only. Then after few kilometers, you can disembark and get a taxi in front of Crowne Plaza.

All taxis from that point charge KD 1.5 only, whether you are going to Salmiya, Hawally or Kuwait City. This is the best and safest way. But you can’t ride the bus if you have ten bags with you,” he explained. Many passengers, especially those who are taking short vacations in neighboring countries, have no choice but pay the long-term airport parking fee. Short term parking costs 200 fils for the first hour and 400 fils per hour subsequently. Long term parking costs KD 2 per day. Parking fees across the country have increased recently. Previously, parking in shopping malls cost 150 fils an hour. Today one hour of parking costs 250 fils.

By Ben Garcia

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This article was published on 29/10/2013