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New procedures pose inconvenience for drivers, passengers of ride-hailing apps at Saigon airport

Sunday, November 15, 2020, 18:14 GMT+7
New procedures pose inconvenience for drivers, passengers of ride-hailing apps at Saigon airport
Car drivers of ride-hailing apps wait for their turn to exit the parking lot after picking up their passengers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on November 14, 2020. Photo: C.Trung / Tuoi Tre

People now have to pay a higher fare and may face more troubles when booking a car via such ride-hailing apps as Grab and be at a major airport in Ho Chi Minh City, as the airdrome has implemented new procedures for passenger pick-up at its domestic terminal.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport began rearranging traffic in four automobile lanes at its domestic terminal on Saturday.

Accordingly, Lane A, located next to the terminal, is reserved for passenger drop-off only. Vehicles entering this lane are only allowed to park for a brief period to drop off passengers and their luggage.

Lane B and Lane C are for automobiles that are not taxis or vehicles of transport businesses to pick up passengers.

Drivers of local taxi lines and contracted transport businesses are required to pick up their passengers in Lane D, which runs through the airport’s multi-story parking lot.

Meanwhile, drivers of such ride-hailing apps as Grab and be are instructed to wait for their passengers on the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the parking lot.

Each driver must also pay a VND25,000 (US$1) fee to be able to enter the parking garage, and the fee is later added directly to the fare of their passengers.

Aside from a higher overall fare, passengers of these ride-hailing apps also face a hard time walking from the domestic terminal to the upper floors of the parking lot, especially when they travel with bulky baggage.

“I first walked to Lane D and could only book a taxi operated by such lines as Avigo and Song Viet. I didn’t choose them as I was not able to know how much the trip would cost,” said N.Q.T., who lives in Phu Nhuan District.

T. booked a GrabCar and was asked to meet her driver on the third floor of the parking lot.

“The elevators were crowded and took a lot of time, while climbing up the stairs with suitcases is also a challenge,” she stated.

“My trip cost VND70,000 [$3], but I had to pay an additional VND25,000 fee.”

Nguyen Van Tien, a GrabCar driver, also complained about the inconvenience caused by the new rules.

Before this new procedure was implemented, drivers of ride-hailing apps were allowed to pick up their passengers in Lane A, Tien elaborated.

The additional fee passengers needed to pay was only VND10,000 ($0.4), which was for drivers to enter the airport.

Now with the much higher charge, some passengers refuse to pay as they are unaware of the new rules, the driver added.

According to an official of the airport, the new procedure is aimed at better controlling traffic at the domestic terminal, as it was quite chaotic before.

This new arrangement is appropriate and ensures fairness for passenger transport businesses that have already signed deals with the airport.

Following the negative response from many drivers of ride-hailing apps on Saturday, a representative from the municipal Department of Transport said the agency would step in to deal with the issue.

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