Business taxi etiquette – Tips for good seating protocol

From calling a taxi to the driver’s tip, taxi trips have their own protocol. Whether you are a host, junior executive, or guest, creating favorable impressions when traveling in a taxi is all about knowing where to sit, how to get into the vehicle, and how to exit. The way you conduct yourself in these situations is only part of this positive image that you have to project into the world.

When traveling with a group of associates, the rank and hierarchy of your travel companions determines the priority of the seats. Customers are the most important members of the group, standing above the top executives of the company. Junior executives should sit after the others, in the least desirable seats, or ask the group leader where you should sit. (In taxis, the central rear seat is the most uncomfortable and the front passenger seat is the most dangerous.) The junior executive, and not a guest, should sit in the front seat if they are there is too little room in the back seat. Women follow this professional rank and status label rather than the social gender label, and sit down accordingly.

When two people are traveling in a taxi, the junior person asks the senior manager where to sit, then first enters the curb side of the cabin, sliding if necessary.

A taxi driver may or may not open the doors for passengers. If a man and woman are traveling together on business, good manners always require him to hold the door for her and let her in first. The woman is seated on the rear passenger side; the man walks behind the taxi and takes a seat behind the driver. On arrival at the destination, if the two passengers share the fare, the woman gives her share to the man while they are still in the taxi. The man goes out first, leaves the door open for him, then pays the driver from outside.

It is customary to pay for a taxi fare in cash; however, if you prefer to pay by credit card or check, clear it with the driver before getting in the taxi. Tips depend on the length of the trip and whether or not the driver provided additional service. The usual tip is 15 to 20 percent of the fare, or more if the driver helped with luggage or made extra stops.

When you travel on business, you represent your company and everything you do is reflected in you and the reputation of your company. Improving your taxi etiquette will ensure that the impressions you make on others say the right things about who you are.

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