We met friends who had arrived in Rio the day before us. They went to the yellow taxi kiosk at the airport and got a ticket with a price for their ride to Copacabana. But, after being escorted to their waiting taxi the price was crossed out and a new price written on the ticket. The man who had escorted them to the taxi then handed the ticket to the driver who crossed that price out and added his own price! Essentially they ended up paying 95 Brazilian Reals,(US50) for a journey that should have cost a lot less. Of course, like us, they don't speak any Portuguese which makes it very difficult to argue in these situations.
We had read about these sorts of problems on a few different travel sites and my husband booked our transfers to Copacabana with Rio Airport Transfer, who he had seen comments about on this site, and paid 50 US for a smooth journey to our hotel in a very nice car.
I'm sure everyone has different experiences and there's always a few people who get conned by opportunists, but for the sake of convenience we prefer to book in advance and know what we're getting for our money. We would recommend Rio Airport Transfer for those like us who prefer less stress.
I know some people think that pre-booked transfers can be a waste of money, but I guess it depends how adventurous, or exhausted, you feel when you arrive at the airport.
We'd previously seen Rio Airport Transfer 'tipped' on this site and thought we'd give them a go as we'd never been to Rio and didn't know what to expect.
Although getting a yellow taxi from the airport doesn't look like it's too stressful, we're still happy that we booked our own private transfer as it meant we were whisked away to a nice car, with air-con, and didn't have to worry about speaking the language or being ripped off - which I'd heard happens often to tourists arriving at the airport.
We only got a one-way transfer to our hotel, and the hotel then organised a yellow taxi to collect us and take us back to the airport. The yellow cab was ok, but the car Rio Airport Transfer used was certainly nicer, and cooler, although of course we did pay a little more for the pleasure.
We were very happy with the service they provided.
In my experience, airport taxis in Rio are a complete con!! The first time my husband and I arrived in Rio we bought tickets from one of the 'proper' taxi desks. However, by the time we actually got into the taxi our little ticket stub,with the price on it, had been crossed out 3 times and the price had increased by R$20!!! While I realise this is not a huge amount of money to those of us travelling from Europe it's still not a great feeling knowing someone is essentially robbing you!
Since this first trip, 3 years ago, we have used Rio Airport Transfer, who offer an unmarked, private taxi service between the international airport and anywhere you want to go in Rio de Janeiro city.
We have found them to be absolutely splendid, their customer service is impeccable, and they typically offer additional travel advice, particularly on hotels and the location of our hotel - very helpful.
I would highly recommend their service.
After a recent journey to Rio de Janeiro I would recommend pre-booking your airport to accommodation transport BEFORE arriving at the airport - from past experience tourists get pounced on the minute they leave the main concourse. At least we did!
This time around we found a company online called Rio Airport Transfer, they're a UK registered company so I felt a little more comfortable about booking through them.
We had booked a trip with them and one of their drivers meet us on the main concourse at the airport and delivered us safely to the hotel in air-conditioned comfort.
The service is around £10 more than getting a taxi at the airport, but made me feel a lot more secure. Highly recommended for those who prefer a little less stress and haggling.
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