ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contacts

A Sydney man who recently returned home after a trip to our cosmopolitan inland port city was left with a tricky decision to make after he collected his bags off the carousel.

It took 40 minutes for the luggage to finally make it off the Jetstar plane, something Damien Huxley told The Advocate was something he feared when he decided to check his bag.

“They had one of those scale Nazis there checking everyone’s carry-on weight,” he said.

“Obviously, I had more than 7kg, so I was in trouble. So I had to pay a further $49 to check my 10kg bag. Anyway, it was nearly 11 pm, and I was tired after traveling all day, but I had an important decision to make,”

“Did I want to be ripped off by a taxi driver? Or do I want to be ripped off by the train? There aren’t many other options when it comes to leaving the airport. Sure, I could’ve walked to Mascot or got the regular bus to somewhere, but time was running out on that.”

Damien told our reporter that he ultimately decided to join the cab rank and put his trust in Sydney’s notoriously bad Sydney cab industry.

“I hate Uber. It’s a cancer on our democracy, and I think it should be outlawed. That being said, someone needs to do something about the taxis in Sydney. It’s not once, it’s every time I catch one,” he added.

“So I told the driver, who was dressed for bed, that I wanted to go to Hurlstone Park. The driver let out a long sigh and said I needed to pay $50 cash because the fare was so close to the airport. I told him to drive me to the nearest police station. With the meter on. The driver just went, ‘OK, OK, brother. I will take you home!’ and put the meter on. Then he called some mate of his and chatted for 10 minutes. All the while, he’s got a giant drink bottle in front of the meter to obscure the view. He looked nothing like the bloke in the license photo,”

“Then, when we finally get to Hurlstone Park, the meter says $49, but the EFTPOS machine says $68.45. I ask him what the go is, and he goes, ‘Airport fee and tolls, brother,’ like I’m some sort of dumb fuck that has no idea. We didn’t use any toll roads. He took me down Gardners onto Canal, down the Princes, through Sydenham, along Marrickville Road, and up Wardell. Where’s the toll road?”

“He said sorry and it was a mistake. Mess me up. Then he took off with my bag in the boot, and I had to run after him. The worst is I reported him, and the bloke on the other end of the phone just told me to get the train next time.”

More to come.


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