Hey, no fare!: Taxi driver tries to drive passenger back to airport after dispute over change

Screengrab via Apple Daily video.
Screengrab via Apple Daily video.

Police were called in to settle a dispute between a cab driver and a passenger after the former tried to take the latter back to the airport because she didn’t have the right change.

According to Apple Daily, the incident took place in the early hours of yesterday morning when a cab driven by a 24-year-old man surnamed Tsang picked up two female passengers at the airport.

He dropped off the first passenger at Yau Ma Tei, then took the second to Ma Hang Estate in Stanley. The entire trip cost about HK$400 (US$51), but when the passenger tried to pay the fare with a HK$500 (US$64) note, Tsang told her that he had no change.

The passenger asked Tsang to take her to a convenience store so that she could break up the note, but he refused, telling her that he needed to return to the airport straight away.

With that, instead of settling the fare, Tsang decided to drive the woman back to the airport.

The passenger repeatedly asked Tsang to turn back, ultimately calling the police, who stopped the car on Repulse Bay Road at 2am, about a 10 minute drive away from Ma Hang Estate.

Tsang claimed to officers that he was beaten by the female passenger, but according to Ming Pao, police at the scene found no one was injured.

Police were able to get the pair to settle the matter, and no arrests were made.

This is not the first time a taxi driver and a passenger got into a fight over a HK$500 bill. In July, a passenger tried to pay for a HK$24 fare with a HK$500 note only to be told by the driver that there was no change and that he should just fork over the whole HK$500.

An audio recording of that exchange, which went on for at least 30 minutes, went viral, and finally ended when a police officer was called in.

According to the Transport Department’s guidelines on taxis, it isn’t a criminal offense if a driver cannot break a HK$500 or HK$1,000 note, though the department doesn’t lay out a recommended course of action in that event. Gee, thanks guys.

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