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What's The Funniest Travel Scam You've Experienced  
User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3171 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5588 times:

We all have stories of times that we were "had" while travelling. What are some of yours? Here are my top two:

1) we arrived in Shanghi and were staying at the Ritz. At the airport, I found the hotel desk for the Ritz, and i arranged a ride. Unfortunately, I didn't think to consider that just because the guy was at the Ritz desk that he represented the Ritz desk. (The fact that he was standing in front of the desk rather than behind it should have tipped me off). Anyway, he boarded us into a ratty old van that went 25 miles an hour. It was horrible!!'

2) Turkey. Took a cab from Istanbul to our hotel north of the city. The cab left us off "two blocks" from the hotel (because of traffic). 3 miles later, we got there on foot. And then we realized that thriver gave us change in old currency, which was worthless.

Live and learn!


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBNAOWB From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5523 times:

In India recently, two restaurants attempted to charge us more for items than the amounts that were posted in their menus. Also, it was very frustrating that cab drivers in India always claimed to not have change even for small bills (a lie in most cases I am sure).

In Armenia at EVN last year, a woman at the tourist information center told me that there was absolutely no public transportation to the city (a lie) in an attempt to get me to use her boyfriend taxi driver who was sitting next to her.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 1):
In Armenia at EVN last year, a woman at the tourist information center told me that there was absolutely no public transportation to the city (a lie) in an attempt to get me to use her boyfriend taxi driver who was sitting next to her.

That's a very common one. Have experienced that myself in a dozen or so countries, although on half the occasions I've gone with it. In more out of the way places there are no official cabs, so if it's a good price you take it.

I wouldn't say it was terribly funny, but certainly the worst scam I've encountered was a GYD airport in Azerbaijan. Visa on arrival was supposed to be the same as visa in advance, just pay the fee and enter. But until you waved €20 at the guy behind the counter he wouldn't even look at you. This went up to something like €80 for the Belgian bloke behind me, as his confidence in milking cash grew, and €200 each for the three Japanese businessmen behind us. I managed to tell the Belgian guy what I paid so he got it for that as well, but the others spoke no English and paid up.

In the same country, I had a taxi driver pull into a petrol station and try to get me to fill his tank up. That didn't work.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3005 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 4 weeks ago) and read 5472 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 1):
In Armenia at EVN last year, a woman at the tourist information center told me that there was absolutely no public transportation to the city (a lie) in an attempt to get me to use her boyfriend taxi driver who was sitting next to her.

I had this in Abu Dhabi, except there was no "boyfriend", just a commission on pre-pay taxi vouchers. I knew a bus exists, so politely declined.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1613 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

Last year I did a roadtrip through Southern Africa with a 4x4 and tents on the roof, an unforgetable experience (for pics see;

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=46891&id=1128848036&l=27233ebb6d

and

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=46896&id=1128848036&l=7dd095bf09


The list of "taxes" we encountered driving through Zimbabwe alone;

- Road tax
- Car tax
- Camp tax
- Tent tax (different from Camp tax of course)
- Tourist tax
- Park tax
- Polution tax
- Diesel tax
- Entry tax
- Exit tax
- Gate tax
- City tax
- Foreigner tax (different from tourist tax of course)
- Ferry tax (which is different from the Ferry fee we discovered)
- Numerous "stamp"-taxes, where we needed a form to enter/exit the country, pass a river or something completly else. To obtain the required document we needed various stamps, the stamps cost money and apparantly are also "taxed"
- Foot and Mouth-checkpoint-tax (no kidding)

...and of course the infamous; No-Reason-Tax; Just give me money or this very official looking person will confiscate your passport!

 



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5370 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 4):

...and of course the infamous; No-Reason-Tax; Just give me money or this very official looking person will confiscate your passport!

Presumably arguing causes rapid hyperinflation of these taxes?  

Excellent pictures, I'd love to do that one day.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1613 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5353 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):
Presumably arguing causes rapid hyperinflation of these taxes?

Yep, and I didn´t even mention all the different "insurances" we "had" to buy at the border   We planned to stay in Zimbabwe but the we didn´t feel entirly safe so we dashed through the countryside to Zambia. Irronicaly the only place we almost got robbed!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 5):

You should!! Maybe Zimbabwe is a bit too unstable at the moment but Botswana and Namibia were absolute gems in all aspects. I could live in Botswana and I dont say that very easily (actually it´s the first time I say it and really mean it)

Also I saw some gorgous metal on the different airstrips! Unfortunatly my 2 friends are not into aviation at all. All I managed was to get a ride in an ancient Cessna over the Okavanga Delta  ("Wow you got ILS in this?!", "nah, doesnt work", "NDB?", "doesnt work", "GPS?!", "hasnt worked since 2005", "WHAT DOES WORK?!, *pilot pointing towards prop and yoke*)



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5297 times:

While it did not happen to me, a couple told me of their visit to the old USSR. The first day they had a guided tour of Moscow scheduled so they awoke early, 0700, got dressed and went to the hotel restaurant, only to find it closed. But there were people inside eating? When they questioned why the restaurant was closed they were told "it is time for breakfast, so the restaurant is closed, to allow the restaurant workers to eat their breakfast"!!!

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26997 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):
in Azerbaijan.

I have heard so many stories about this place its put me off going, scams 24/7 .

---

The funniest scam I ever had played on me was in India . Delhi train station to be exact , guys hang around trying to trick tourists into saying that they dont have a valid reservation for the train to Agra! They then take you to a side office across the street from the train station and offer you a tour instead. While there they make a phone call to another person who says the train is full so cant get you on the train you paid for. The office is done up like a travel agency. Anyway I just got up and left and said I would fight it out with the conductor on the train . I boarded the train pushing out of the way the other cheats and misfits hanging around the doors and nothing was ever said. Sometimes you need to be ultra streetwise especially in India.


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1613 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5213 times:

I almost forgot the time in Bali, Indonesia where I payed 5 euro's (!!) in local currency for a 2 week old photocopied dutch newspaper. Now I consider myself quite street savvy, been to a few rough spots on the planet and I live in the centre of Amsterdam (pickpocket-central). But the way this 10 year old girl tricked me was almost impressive 


Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinesimfanatic From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5196 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):

Very true. Been to India 6 times in the past 10 years and by now, I manage by just ignoring them.



Don't be a fool, think about what you're writing!
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1089 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5050 times:

Didn't happen to me, but to my travel companion. Several years ago in a small North Vietnamese hotel, the desk clerk claimed to also be a travel agent. We had intended to go from Hanoi to Saigon by train. He said he could get tickets. He called us a short time later and said he wasn't able to get train tickets, but airfare was nearly the same. My buddy insisted he fly First Class and was told this would not be a problem. Pat paid for his tickets, and I paid for mine (economy).

Pat got to the airport to check in for the flight from Hanoi to Hue, insisting that he had booked "First Class." He was told there was NO first class!!!!!


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