Picking out KLIA touts is no easy task

  • Letters
  • Friday, 08 Apr 2011

I REFER to “Dead mileage reason for KLIA touts” (The Star, April 7) and wish to point out that touts operating at KLIA are not opportunistic taxi drivers as commonly perceived.

Those who often meet passengers arriving at KLIA have noticed that the touts are usually the same group of people.

Since its opening, KLIA has been plagued by unscrupulous touts. They come in many different forms and are indistinguishable to the unsuspecting public.

I have seen one wearing a jacket and name tag operating with impunity inside the arrival hall. Ironically, at the same time, the police were putting up posters inside the arrival hall warning of touts.

Those who have tried tackling the menace believe that these touts could be working in cohorts with some airport security personnel.

To reduce touting, the airport authorities had wisely got rid of the many counters outside the arrival hall operated by travel, tour, transport and car rental companies and hotels.

Many people masquerade as being attached to these counters and pick on lucrative targets, pretending that the passengers are their pre-booked customers.

Such activities may be carried out directly or indirectly by the more enterprising staff without the knowledge of their employers.

Touts have no qualms charging exorbitant fares and will not waste precious time driving those they have just fleeced.

They make use of a pool of pirate taxis and whenever these are in short supply, they approach licensed taxi drivers dropping off passengers at the departure level.

These taxi drivers are paid no more than the normal fares but run the risk of being caught by enforcement personnel while the touts get away scot-free.

Taxi drivers sometimes throw caution to the wind, especially when they have bills to settle or Ah Longs breathing down their necks.

Y.S. CHAN, Kuala Lumpur.

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