Drivers And Your Luggage
When you arrive in Changi Airport after a long flight, nobody will blame you if you just want to dump your heavy luggage in a cab and get home ASAP.
But are the drivers of taxis or private-hire services like Grab required to help you load your luggage in the boot, just because you’re paying for them to bring you somewhere?
Nope! At least not according to both cab companies and private-hire firms.
The debate was triggered by a Grab driver whose Facebook post of an experience with a young couple went viral.
Ms Cassandra, a GrabShare driver, picked up a shared ride from Changi Airport Terminal 2. It was a young couple with a full trolley of luggage — 3 large and 5 small.
She popped the boot open for the couple, but they just merrily got into the car with their backpacks — and expected her to load all 8 pieces of luggage into the boot without lifting a finger to help.
The driver asked the couple about their bags, to which the man replied: “You the driver right? Put in for us la.”
So what did the Grab driver do? Read a screenshot of the story, which was posted to a private group, to find out:
Drivers, Not Porters
The Straits Times asked cab companies Premier Taxi and Trans-cab, and private-hire firms like Uber and Grab, and they all said that their drivers are not obliged to help load luggage, and they will not enforce such a rule.
Taxi/private hire car drivers are not porters; their job is to drive you to your destination, not to carry our bags. Those who do it, do so out of pure niceness, but they should not be taken advantage of.
Neither should we take for granted that a driver will help you load your luggage, like that young couple who expected Ms Tan to load their luggage into the boot.
We ought to spare a thought for drivers who are senior citizens and might not be able to carry heavy items.
And even if the driver is young and strong, what happened to a little kindness and consideration? The luggage is yours, shouldn’t you at least help to carry it?
However, some taxi drivers see the benefits of helping their customers with their bags; Mr George Lim, who makes it a habit to help, told The Straits Times that he seizes the opportunity to get some exercise.
Cabbie Ong Koh Chee, 56, who helps his passengers load their items into his taxi, told The Straits Times
“I still have enough strength to handle it. Maybe if I were 60 or 70, I wouldn’t be able to, but since I still can, why not?”
But other drivers say that driving their passengers to their destination is all that is required of them. Anything else is not mandatory and an extra service that they will not get compensated for.
Full-time Uber driver Vivian Ong told The Straits Times that she is happy to help the elderly and disabled, but not those who look like they are capable of carrying their own things.
But Ms Ong admits that because she needs the five-star rating from her customers, she would acquiesce and carry their luggage as drivers with low ratings have a chance of getting their account deactivated.
Another Grab driver Bronson Lee says he doesn’t help passengers if they’re travelling short distances.
“It’s also about morals. The fare is already so low and you still expect the driver to carry your things for you? We are not movers,” Mr Lee told The Straits Times.
Act Of Service
Netizens were generally divided over this, with a limo driver stating that he thinks it’s all about hospitality:
But those who say it’s not the driver’s job point out that there are elderly drivers who can’t be expected to carry heavy things:
Many said that showing the drivers that you appreciate their acts of service will go also a long way:
We think it all boils down to consideration for your fellow human beings. It doesn’t matter if you are paying them.
You may think a simple act like getting out of the driver’s seat to carry items into the boot is insignificant, but for some elderly, sick or female drivers, it may prove difficult.
And even if they are obliged to do it, some help and appreciation from you, the paying passenger, is still something that a decent human being should do. Be nice, and people will do things for you even when they don’t want to.
If you’re able-bodied, expecting a driver to lift your heavy bags into the boot while you’re relaxing in the back seat and not helping is a classic example of self-entitled behaviour that needs to be eradicated from Singaporeans.
Some taxi/private-hire car drivers are behind the wheel for very long hours, it wouldn’t hurt to make their lives a little easier.
Featured image from The Daily Mail