Airport taxi prices almost sky-high

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Lakes Hayes Estate builder Stu Clark is steaming about local taxi prices – and he’s got the evidence. 

His Jetstar flight from Christchurch last week cost $43 – yet the Queenstown Taxis receipt in Clark’s other hand is for $37 for a ride home from Queenstown Airport. 

How could his cab ride cost almost as much as his flight, Clark wants to know, when Christchurch is almost 500kms from Queenstown yet Lake Hayes Estate is only about seven kilometres from the airport. 

“I was gutted about the bill and asked the driver three times about it,” Clark says. 

The cabbie told him $37 was a discount rate for locals. 

“No one’s going to use a cab from the airport if they’re going to start charging like that,” Clark, 33, says. 

“Local people are going to ring friends or relatives to pick them up instead.” 

Last week, a Mountain Scene price check of Air New Zealand Taxis, a new online booking service, revealed airport-to-CBD cab rides in Queenstown are markedly more expensive per kilometre than airport-CBD trips in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. 

The resort’s per-kilometre rate is almost twice that of Auckland’s. 

Queenstown Taxis said cab fares are higher here because running costs are more expensive and the flag fall is higher. Cabs also pay Queenstown Airport a $6 levy on each fare they pick up.