UBER DRIVERS GIVEN THE THIRD DEGREE AT JKIA IN NAIROBI AS KAA DENIES HARASSMENT
(Posted 20th February 2017)
(Forced payment extracted from an UBER driver by the Kenya Airport Authority)
The Kenya Airports Authority has come under sustained criticism over allegations that sections of the staff are colluding with Yellow Taxi drivers to keep unwanted competition out of the airport’s lucrative taxi business. This was further underscored when KAA issued a statement in the face of consumers and travellers strongly recommending the use of Yellow Taxis to which social media reacted with anger and derision.
Questions are now being asked if KAA would also clamp hotel limousines or other limousine services picking or dropping passengers from the airport when booked by said passengers or if the allegedly illegal act of clamping was only aimed against UBER drivers and vehicles.
This correspondent, given rather negative experiences with Yellow Cab drivers over pricing, regularly uses hotel limos or regular limo services for transport into the city and, not mincing words, resents any attempt to compel him or anyone to use specific service providers in this age of liberalized trade and services.
The proverbial s***storm on social media now also brought Kenya’s competition watchdog, the Competition Authority of Kenya on the scene, looking into allegedly restrictive, uncompetitive and broadly illegal measures by KAA. It is hoped the airport managers are put in their place and travelers are able to use service providers of their choice and according to tariffs they can afford and not be subject to extortion.
Said one regular contributor from Nairobi: ‘Such bad publicity, again to do with the airport where periodically issues have arisen with immigration, customs and security officials behaviour, is the last thing we need. They have a new boss who should know better how to improve the image of KAA and this was a low blow by them. They should not even try to mitigate this away, it was just a very bad move and got them into the cross hairs of our vocal local social media scene‘.
Another expressed his anger in words not fit for repeating that every time it rains passengers of vehicles are getting soaked when they have to leave the cars and walk across to the passenger check point outside the airport perimeter, as KAA has failed to put up extended roofs which could be uses by passengers to reach the building in dry condition and then afterwards also wait under a roof for their cars to pick them up.
This correspondent’s suggestion to travelers is to bring an umbrella, just in case though similar problems also exist in Entebbe where, when it rains, departing and arriving passengers can expect to be soaked, like it or not. Not the welcome or Kwaheri we ought to give to our visitors.