Last updated: 04:02 PM ET, Wed June 24 2015

Taxi Driver in Italy Charges Obese Passenger for Flat Tire

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | June 24, 2015

Taxi Driver in Italy Charges Obese Passenger for Flat Tire

There has been heavy scrutiny recently about how people in other countries treat foreign tourists, but one taxi driver in Rome, Italy, didn’t get the memo to be nicer, even to a local.

According to Italian website The Local, the taxi driver in Rome charged an overweight passenger double the normal price and blamed him for the car’s flat tire. The patron did not reveal his identity, but reported that he weighed in at around 336 pounds.

The overweight customer was en route to a local health care clinic last Friday when he was picked up by the driver at Rome’s Termini Train Station. He claims the fare usually runs about €30 ($33) but after one of the tires on the taxi went flat during the ride, the temperament of the driver changed and so did the bill.

When the taxi arrived at the destination, the patron was charged an additional €50 ($56) and the driver blamed him for the flat tire. The unnamed man told The Local, “I felt humiliated. It wasn't fair. This is also a kind of discrimination. It was obvious that he was mocking me because I am obese.”

Once the unsatisfied customer returned to his home in Lecco, Italy, he sought out help from an association for obese people and filed a formal discrimination complaint against the taxi driver.

According to, the City of Rome has a plethora of licensed taxis — identifiable as white vehicles with a taxi sign on the roof and a SPQR crest on the doors — but most of the complaints about tourists getting overcharged comes from the unofficial taxis.

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