Deja vu?

A few weeks ago I had to get an early Sunday morning flight from Heathrow. Since it was early Sunday morning, the trains weren’t running at that time so I had to get a taxi to the airport.

The taxi driver pulled up at 6am as requested and one of the first things he said was “my card machine is broken, are you able to pay cash?” That wasn’t a problem, it was a fixed price journey (so I knew he wasn’t trying to rip me off) and I had the money. I had put my credit card number into the website when I had booked but the website is terrible, so I didn’t really think too much about this request to have to pay. (That’s not where this story is going, but it comes back later.)

One of the next things the taxi driver said was “didn’t I take you to Heathrow last month?” Now this was my first flight in almost two years and probably my first taxi in an even longer time period. So I told the driver that it wasn’t me, but he was insistent that he had been to my address recently.

He went on to say, multiple times in fact, that he remembered all of his customers and people were often surprised when he said that he had driven them before. Now I definitely have had the same driver twice before (it was only about a month apart so much easier to remember), but I couldn’t remember having this driver before.

Maybe he realised that he hadn’t had me that recently, but he then said he had driven me to Heathrow a few years ago (and again a comment that he remembered all his passengers). He specifically remembered that I had been flying out of Heathrow but back into Gatwick. I generally fly to/from Gatwick as that’s slightly easier to get to than Heathrow (at the moment due to reduced flights I had to go from Heathrow). I couldn’t remember ever having got a taxi to Heathrow (I would normally get the tube if the times were sensible). I do vaguely remember one time going from Heathrow and back into Gatwick [Addendum: Checking my emails shows this was in March 2019] but it’s still not proof I had this driver before.

As we pulled into Heathrow terminal 2, I had a vague recollection of the drop-off area so it’s possible I have got a taxi there before. I paid the driver with cash and then headed off to find the check-in desk. As I walked across the concourse, my phone rang. It was the taxi driver telling me that I had actually already paid by credit card when I had made the booking so I could come back and get the cash from him.

When I got to the driver he said “don’t you remember this happened last time? I’ve definitely driven you before.” And I kind of do vaguely remember getting a phone call as I’ve walked into the terminal and having to go back to the drop-off area. But I don’t remember anything for definite. And I can’t remember having that driver before, but it seems like he may remember me.

And I’ve now written it down so if it does happen again I have something to refer to.