• Taxicab Cultural Clash at the Minneapolis-St Paul Intl. Airport. Driven by Faith or Customer Service? Muslim Taxi Drivers at MSP Refuse Passengers wit

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Steve Wareham is the Director of MSP Operations at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the largest of seven airports owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission.)


When Steve Wareham heard that there had been another complaint about taxi service at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP), it came as no surprise. As Airport Director, Wareham had been working for years to improve customer service in this important ground transportation arena. Beginning in 2002, Airport Staff became aware that some passengers who were carrying alcohol – often visible in the plastic bags from duty-free shops — had been refused taxi service. The drivers, many of whom were Muslims from Somalia, explained that their faith did not permit them to consume or transport alcohol. Drivers who refused a fare for any reason were sent to the end of the line, and had to wait two to four hours for another fare. Losing fares represented a significant economic and practical hardship; for the drivers, this was an issue of religious accommodation, and they requested special accomodations that could allow them to refuse customers with alcohol without "losing a fare". How do faith issues relate in the customer service driven taxicab industry?

MATERIAS: MSP Airport, Muslim Taxi Drivers, alcohol, refusal of service