After my delay clearing immigration, I went to the ATM to withdraw shekels for the taxi. Unfortunately, there was an issue with my Schwab account in which the overdraft from my investment account to my checking account was blocked. I asked the airport information if the taxis took credit card and the employee confirmed they did. Of course, when I reached the Hotel Indigo – Diamond District, the driver was very upset when I didn’t have cash. Fortunately, the hotel gave me a cash advance at no charge and I paid the 140 shekel ($38) trip.
I asked the hotel if there was Uber in Israel and was told that Uber is illegal but there is Gett. As a former New Yorker, (see TPOL in NYC) I used Gett a couple of of times until Gett acquired Juno for 200 million, though Juno is still the name of the app.
Gett in Tel Aviv works differently. Unlike Uber, Gett is not separate rideshare program. Some taxi drivers choose to allow passengers to book rides using the Gett app. The passenger still pays the metered rate but doesn’t have to deal with cash because a credit card is required to sign up for the app.
The cashless component and the ability to book taxis when there is not a taxi stand nearby, as was the case after I dined at The Old Man & The Sea, is a great reason to download the app. Be advised however that trying to book a Gett taxi to go out or to come home after partying in Tel Aviv is a tall order. It’s better to ask your hotel concierge to contact a taxi or hop in a random cab and hope that you get a free ride back to your hotel like I did. (see You’re From New York? I Won’t Charge You for the Taxi) For all the times, including going back to the airport, better get Gett.