By Jay Hamilton
July 23, 2006
But there were tourist related problems in Ketchikan! The first ambassadors of the city in many cases are taxi drivers. We found all of the Taxis were dirty inside... just inexcusable. We were ripped off once and refused transportation another time. The two culprits were Yellow Taxi and Alaska Cab. Alaska Cab charged just under $12.00 to go from Eagle Heights B&B to Annabelle's. On the return trip using Yellow Taxi the fare was under $6.00. The Yellow cab driver was nice enough to explain the discrepancy. He charged a mileage base fare and that is what they charge local residents. Alaska Cab charged a mileage and a time fare. I was advised when calling for a cab ask for a point to point trip with the timer off. I did what he said and called for another yellow cab, but a different driver showed up. He was unkempt and when I repeated my conditions of the point to point fare he said "who are you!" and refused service and drove away. I understand a time based additional fare is justified when the patron asks the driver to show them around. I understand time based fares in large cities with heavy traffic conditions all hours of the day, but you are not a BIG city.
The other unpleasant experience
was with Alaska Rain Forest Sanctuary located south of town.
We pulled into visitor parking in front of a large artifacts
store and went in. At the coffee bar, I asked the girl if we
could walk behind the store and view the Eagles along the river.
She said yes and we did for about 5-10 minutes. On our return,
a man with an operation's managers badge aggressively confronted
us and stated this is private property and we must leave or pay
$69.00 per person like cruise customers and take their tour.
We told them we were staying at a B&B. We saw the gated tour
entrance and were not going to enter that section. We stated
we just wanted to look at the Eagles and had permission. I am
surprised he was not smart enough to say OK we will charge you
10 bucks for that privilege. The store is most inviting and the
property signage we observed was "visitor parking"
and "guests only". The manager has no people skills
and would be terminated if working for me.
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