We just barely avoided this scam after arriving on a Delta flight from JFK. Terminal 2 E. The information desk directed us to door 10 for a taxi to the city and when we got outside a nice man who looked official directed us to door 16. There we were told that the fare would be 120 euros bc of the traffic. There were just a few cabs loitering there. We loaded our bags and were about to leave when another driver warned us off and told us to go back to door 10 which we did. It all looked fishy so we didn’t need much convincing. Door 10 was legit with lots of cabs like you’d see anywhere. The flat fare to the city is 55 euros. Be aware of this one as but for the kindness of a stranger we probably would have fallen for it.
Glad you didn't fall for it. This is a very well known scam and has been going on for a long time. It's also common at Gare du Nord (and lots of other places all over the world). Not unique and not confined to CDG.
Very well known and continues to be allowed to operate...
Glad you brought this up as others have alluded to this. Prior to our 1st trip to Paris a number of years ago we were warned about this. Some friends had previously inadvertently took the "scammed" taxi and paid €110.
It's nice to have this reiterated from time to time to avoid being taken advantage of. Good information.
Thanks for the tip. Also, you just reminded me I have to hire a car for airport pick up for our next trip. So many details to attend to, but I love it.
I did fall for. Read on this site about it, knew about it and still got "robbed". Lack of sleep can take you off your game. With a return next year I won't fall for it again.
I first heard about when planning a trip to Cancun years ago, before going to Europe. Our hotel provided free pickup but warned us that some drivers would try to divert us then charge us.
So when planning our first trip to Italy, I asked the hotel there about taxis from Termini in Rome. They told me the same thing and directed me to how to find the official taxi line. I am very careful now, even in the states.
Glad you avoided it and hope you had a great trip!
Unfortunately, we experienced this a year ago:( We went to Paris for the first time and didn't know about the flat rates. For a trip to our hotel we paid almost 100 euros. We found out we had been ripped off only after coming back to the airport. On the way back, we used this transfer service https://kiwitaxi.com/en/france/de+gaulle+airport, and, of course, their prices surprised us (logically, a private transfer should cost more than a normal taxi, but in our case it was twice cheaper!). We asked the airport staff about this, and they told us there were flat rates of only 50-55 euros, and what had happened to us was just a usual scam.
“The flat fare to the city is 55 euros”
Actually... Flat rate to/from CDG:
50 Euros Right Bank
55 Euros Left Bank
NOT to cause a fight (physical) but is the official rate...an official rate for all cabs coming in from CDG or just cabs in the official line?
I've always used the RER into Paris and never thought of the cab issue (but aware of the set fee).
Thus wondering if you can scam (so to speak) a scammer....go with one of the scammer cabs, nod your head when they mention the fee but then hand them 50/55 Euro upon hotel arrival along with a thank you and no tip.
I don't know the legalities, but the "taxi" driver is more or less in the driver's seat since he has your luggage in the trunk of his car.
We just fell for this scam. If you follow the official taxi sign in blue at door 11 you will see the line and then someone there will redirect you to the scammers. It is frustrating that the local authorities are not protecting the turists and preventing the scammers from taking victims from the official taxi line. Use Uber to be on the safe side.
Here's an article that may be helpful... https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebertobias/2018/04/19/avoid-being-overcharged-by-taxi-drivers-in-paris/#13a8fc1c1fcf
I've had this happen before in Paris, and just followed the signs and was fine. However, I was just in Paris in June and had a similar, but slightly different, experience at CDG. In this instance, we were following the taxi lines and when we exited the door for the taxis there was a man saying if you were going into central Paris you should go to the left (not following the taxi signs) and that you should only go to the right (following the taxi signs) if you were going to the suburbs. I wasn't sure if he was legit or not, so ignored him (even though we were going to central Paris) and got into a taxi in the actual taxi queue and went straight to our hotel on the left bank for 55 Euros. This was different insofar as this direction was occurring at the door for taxis. Does anyone know if this is/was legit or not - I thought perhaps given the flat rates maybe they had a separate queue for the City center, but figured that if we weren't supposed to follow the taxi line for central Paris, our cab driver would tell us. I'm curious if we had followed the man's advice and gone in the line for "central Paris"if we would have been charged extra. Has anyone else experienced this?
You would have been scammed, Louise.
The big loosers in this are the honest drivers who not only have to wait longer and longer to pick uo a fare but also lose future customers who have been scammed. At CDG the line of taxis waiting to pick up customers is two hours long. They have a waiting area below the airport where they spend the time visiting, playing cards, eating while waiting their turn to pick up customers.
Oops, we almost got caught last night in our 11:30 PM jetlagged brain fog. We arrived at the new, to us, terminal 1 baggage area and carefully studied their large signs directing people to Door 24 for Official Taxis. When we walked outside at door 24 we saw the rope and long glass enclosure for a taxi stand but there were no people or visible taxis. A well dressed man stepped up and asked if we were looking for a taxi to the suburbs or central Paris. He said the taxi stand we were looking at was for the suburbs. He said the stand for central Paris was at door 24 downstairs. We followed him back into the building, down the elevator and out the door to a bunch of waiting people. He started to walk over to a plain black car and move things around in his trunk. At that point our fraud meters went off in our sleepy heads and we turned around and went back upstairs to the empty glass enclosure. At the end of the glass area an attendant stood and directed us to one of the 2 taxis which were parked further down to the right. I mentioned the person who was waiting at door 24 redirecting people to the lower level and the pirate taxis and she just shrugged her shoulders and said “I know”. I think 2 attendants are needed in this area at certain times of the day. Surely the cost of an additional door attendant would pay for him/herself in increased taxi customers.
Oh well, thanks to the experiences of others on this forum (ourselves included at Gare du Nord a couple of years ago) we arrived safely, happily and on budget in Paris very late last night. Let the celebrating begin!
A small point, since these "scammers" operate as private transfers, they are likely not subject to flat fare. In the example of the OP, they did state their fare ahead of time, so no surprise or being "forced" to pay. Perhaps a bit of misdirection or failure to note where to go for the flat rate taxis, but not really their job I suppose. Further, according to one respondent, the line for the flat rate cabs was long, the others not...so sounds like if you are willing to pay twice the price to skip the line, then maybe it is an option.
That said, lesson is to know your options, be aware of rates, ask questions.
Just a note that this scam is not unique to Paris. Similar ones operate all over. As someone who got scammed at a Tel Aviv train station, I agree with Acraven - once your luggage is in the trunk, you lose a lot of leverage.
We almost fell for this several years ago at CDG. We arrived at 7:30am, sleepy and not thinking clearly. We walked toward the taxi door and a guy with an official looking ID around his neck said traffic was heavy and he could get us to our hotel quickly or whatever. We agreed and walked with him to some elevators. When the elevator arrived my brain activated and said, "no way Jose . . . or Jacques". We turned away and walked to the taxi stand and got into a cab. I was relieved thinking we may have been killed and our bodies never seen again. When we go to our hotel, I had the feeling the cabbie "took us for a ride . . . a long one around Paris." Well, at least he didn't kill us!