So on wednesday evening I dropped a fare at The Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge. There was just one cab on the temporary rank so I put on behind. After around ten minutes the point cab got a ride so I moved up leaving myself just enough room to clear the merc people carrier with a phv licence parked in the loading bay.
The merc soon moved off and almost immediatly another pulled up and backed in but really too close to me now the be able to pull out, still I thought I'll wait until I get a fare then ask him to pull foirward a bit.
Soon enough I got a fare two guys and a lady wanting to go to st james, I sounded my horn to get the merc to move forward but the driver was actually standing on the pavement so I very politely asked him to pull forward a foot or so then I could get out without having to have a few attempts at it. He though took exception and insisted I could get out which there was no way he'd parked too close. With that one of the guy's in the back said please open the door which I did he then in no uncertain terms (but very politely) told the merc driver to move!
Turned out he was Nigel Bowen (Head Concierge) of the Mandarin. Throughtout the short ride he said that we the London Taxi Trade have his and the hotel's full support, they never use anything other than black taxis the only exception is their own mercedes driven by regular drivers for those guests that request them.
He went on to say that he was happy for me to share his details and that if I or any of you cabbies out there ever have any issues with his door staff or any of their drivers to inform him. He is also a regular cab user (everyday).
I thanked him for his support and needless to say waived the fare, it was refershing to get the approval from him and a busy hotel such as the Mandarin he also added that the refurb will soon be finished and the normal three taxi rank will be back in use from July.
I've not published Mr Bowens details here but will be happy to share privately or if anyone has a complaint happy to take up on your behalf. Just contact me email: email@example.com twitter: @taxidriverapp ...
Be Lucky and let's support The Mandarin and hopefully get a lot more hotel's on our side...