For the millions of Britons heading off this summer to holiday destinations around the world, or for those who go on regular weekend breaks to mainland Europe, taking a taxi from the airport to a city centre hotel is usually the most convenient and fastest way to travel. But how much or little are Brits paying for this convenience?
New research from travel money specialist Moneycorp looks at the cost of a taxi ride – not booked in advance – from some of the major international airports in Europe and the rest of the world, to the city centre. Moneycorp looked at the most popular destinations for British holidaymakers, and results were ranked by cost per kilometre, as some airport to city centre transfers were more expensive due to the journey distance. The results revealed huge differences in price, even within mainland Europe, with taxi fares potentially adding hundreds of pounds onto the cost of a holiday or weekend break.
European destinations fill six of the top seven places for most expensive airport to city centre taxi transfers. But top of the pile is Tokyo. A taxi ride from Tokyo Narita airport to the centre of the city, 66 km away, will set tourists back almost £200, or a cost per km of £2.90. That’s in spite of sterling strengthening against the yen since last summer by more than 24%. Take a taxi both ways, and you could be looking at an eye-watering £400 additional expense on top of all your other holiday costs.
Ranking by £ per km, Copenhagen (Denmark) is the most expensive airport-city centre taxi transfer in Europe. Although the taxi journey from Copenhagen airport to the city centre is only 8km, the average fare is £34.08, which equates to £4.26 per km. The next most expensive is Geneva (Switzerland) to centre of Geneva. Again the journey is short, only 6km, but will set holidaymakers back an average of £22.63 or £3.77 per km.
On price alone, the 45km taxi ride from Oslo’s Gardermoen airport to the city centre costs an eye-watering £73.45. That means a round trip will set people back almost £150 (£146.90). Oslo is closely followed by Milan Malpensa airport to the centre of Milan, which will leave holidaymakers out of pocket by the princely sum of £70.25.
In terms of the cheapest airport-city centre taxi rides, Delhi’s Indira Ghandi International to the centre of Delhi, will set you back just £2.69 for the 16km journey, or £0.17 per km. This is closely followed by Thailand’s Suvernabhumi airport to Bangkok central, where a 30km taxi ride costs just £5.63 or £0.19 per km.
The next three cheapest destinations are in Europe; Sofia airport to city centre (£0.22 per km), Istanbul Ataturk airport (£0.24 per km), and Ottopeni airport (£0.28 per km), which is 17km outside Bucharest. On price alone, Sofia airport-city centre transfer works out cheapest at £2.17, followed by Bucharest (£4.79), Istanbul (£6.01) and Warsaw (£8.11).
In terms of distance, the international airports which are furthest from the city centre are: Tokyo Narita (66km), Reykjavik Keflavik (48km), Milan Malpensa (46km), Oslo Gardermoen (45km), Stockholm Arlanda (43km), Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini (35km) and Hong Kong (34km). The closest are Geneva (6km), Copenhagen (8km) and Lisbon’s Portela airport (9km).
Tracey Tivnan, head of marketing for Travel Money at Moneycorp, comments: “Taking a taxi from the airport is not the cheapest option compared to taking the train or bus, but it is usually the preferred option because of the sheer convenience of being taken from right outside the terminal to a hotel. For those arriving late at night in unfamiliar territory, the last thing any of us want to do is navigate foreign transport systems. We want to get to our hotel as quickly as possible, with no hassle.
“What our research into airport taxi costs reveals is the wide variation in taxi fares depending on which country you’re visiting. And this extra cost could make a large dent in your holiday budget if you’re not careful or prepared. If the airport to city centre taxi ride is particularly expensive, like in Tokyo, then taking the bus or train may be the only option – so it’s worth checking out the local transport system in advance. Alternatively, you might be able to book a taxi before you travel, which could be significantly cheaper than flagging down a taxi outside the airport.
“It’s interesting that some of the biggest variations in taxi costs are in mainland Europe. For example, the taxi fare from Milan Malpensa airport to the city centre will cost you more than £70. This compares to just £2.17 from Sofia airport to the centre of Sofia. And with sterling more than 6% weaker against the euro since last July, taxi fares will be even more expensive in Europe this summer.”