How can you get a taxi reliably and quickly during the fair?
It pays to book in advance! Definitely book in advance! For example, if you have to go to the fair at the same time every day, you can pre-order a taxi for all of them. If you only order on the day itself, it will be tight - from about an hour before the desired departure time, the booking lists are usually already full. Otherwise, just like New Year's Eve, just go to a busy street and flag down a taxi. In the morning, everyone wants to get to the fair at the same time - but meanwhile there are fewer taxis available than before Covid and the pandemic has unfortunately meant that there are fewer taxi drivers. Traffic capacities are also limited. In the evening, it's best to leave the fair a quarter of an hour before the others and the big rush arrives. Another tip: download and order via the Rheintaxi app - you can also pre-order, see exactly where the car you have booked is and when it will arrive. You can deposit your credit card and pay directly with the app, it's very convenient. [Note. This app is intended for German residents and may not be available to visitors from other countries.]
Is it faster to use public transport?
You're usually faster in a taxi, despite the traffic. But comfort is much more important to most people - especially if you're travelling with luggage or wine tasting, you don't want to squeeze into a train that can fit 100 people - while there are 400 people on the platform.
What about the hygiene rules in taxis in Düsseldorf?
Masks are no longer compulsory. So everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to wear a mask. At the moment, I'm still wearing one as long as the wave of colds continues, in order to protect myself and my guests as best as possible. We at Rheintaxi Düsseldorf have efficient air filters in every car to keep the interior as virus-free as possible, and there are still the separators between passenger and driver.
Do you often have to deal with drunk passengers at ProWein?
No, but I once asked a passenger why all the people were in such a good mood (laughs). He explained to me that no one at the fair gets drunk - even though a minimal amount of alcohol is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth despite spitting it out. Usually the ProWein visitors are already in such a good mood in the morning, it's just a nice crowd overall. And also a very diverse one! Not like at other trade fairs when it's about technology, for example, where there are only men in suits. At ProWein there are young, old, men, women, Germans, foreigners and everyone is obviously happy! It makes working a lot of fun!
Is Düsseldorf bursting at the seams with traffic at ProWein?
No, you wouldn't say that. I've driven taxis in Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne when there was a trade fair, and Düsseldorf is not at the top of the traffic jam rankings. What I can understand, however, is the annoyance about the very high hotel prices.
Taxi prices for ProWein - will it be more expensive then?
The prices are exactly the same as always, nothing is added just because it's a trade fair - I can say that quite clearly for our company at least. Of course, I can't speak for the entire industry.
How much is an appropriate tip?
Basically, it is always good to round up. But I don't want to prescribe anything, I always say that you should tip as much as the service was worth to you. If the driver is very friendly, holds open the car and hotel door, loads your suitcase - everyone should reward this service with a tip at their own discretion.
What would you like your ProWein guest to do?
One thing very clear: Please do not "steal" taxis in front of hotels! If you order a car, you should also take the car that was ordered for you, because you get a car number or order it in your name. I can understand that people get impatient when it takes longer, but I appeal to all passengers not to just jump into the first car that comes along. A wrong turn is the worst thing that can happen to a taxi driver if he then arrives at the hotel three minutes later and the passenger has already left.
Are you happy when ProWein is over?
Not at all! As I said, the guests are very nice, the fair is always the start of the year for the trade fair business, and especially now after three years we are all happy that ProWein will take place again in March. If it were up to us, the fair could easily be a day longer. We often hear this from guests, especially international guests, who regret that it is only three days. Many would like to stay longer.
The interview was conducted by Alexandra Wrann