I’ve spent the past week on the gorgeous island of Bali, Indonesia. I simply love it there – gorgeous beaches and a relaxing atmosphere. Yesterday I flew from Bali to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, but before that, I requested an uber to the airport and when we arrived at the airport.. the uber driver wouldn’t let me get out of his car.
Uber is an incredible way to get around new places – it is simple and works the same across the world. I’ve easily taken over 300 uber rides by now and have a high rating. I never make uber drivers wait for me, I’m always polite, I respect them, etc. Yesterday’s ride was no different.. that is until we arrived at the airport and the uber driver wouldn’t let me get out. Oh and not to mention, the driver also asked me where I was going before he picked me up (something they can’t do since then they cancel if they don’t like the destination). I should have cancelled this driver and ordered another one, but since traffic in Bali is awful and I was somewhat late, I told him I’m going to the airport and he arrived 5 minutes later.
It starts when we arrived at Bali airport from the hotel I was staying at. You know how some airports make you take a ticket and go through a “gate” with your car whether or not you are actually parking? Bali is one of them. Usually, if the driver is just dropping someone off, they will return the ticket ten minutes later and not have to pay anything. I figured this was the case with Bali and didn’t think much of it until we pulled up to the terminal and the uber driver wouldn’t let me get out of his car until I paid him the parking fee. I told him I shouldn’t as I believed that he wouldn’t have to pay anything if he is just dropping me off (I don’t exactly remember if they do or do not have to pay something upon exit).
He said he would have to pay. I agreed to pay him for the airport entrance fee except that I didn’t have any Indonesian Rupiah with me and I only had U.S. Dollar. He wouldn’t take it. I told him I could give him a tip in the uber app instead. He wouldn’t take that either. Instead he just kept raising his voice telling me to pay him and the doors were locked from the outside. Like in the child-protection way. They wouldn’t open from the inside even if they were unlocked. I remained calm and said that I can go inside and exchange the dollars for the local currency (even though he would have to probably pay less than a dollar since Bali is cheap). He didn’t like that.
“You pay me now for ticket.”
This conversation continued for another 30 seconds or so at which point he got out, threw my Rimowa carry-on on the ground and at that point I was finally able to get out of the car. Naturally, I ran inside the airport quickly and made it past the first security check as fast as I could.
The worst part of this? Uber doesn’t give a $#!t. The driver rated me 1 star and obviously I did the same, but I messaged uber about this and the response I got was “someone will call you”. Nobody called me from uber or sent me any follow-up messages after I later messaged uber three times about this.
Is uber safe? I generally tend to think so – everything is being tracked in real time and the exact path the driver is taking is being uploaded to the company every second – however that doesn’t stop drivers from doing stupid $#!t as happened here.