There is a good variety of taxi companies in Calgary. Some do well with telephone reservations
(the favorites among the business crowd are Checker and Associated), others
have stands at major shopping malls or hotels. Calgary has taxi drivers
from all parts of the world (You'll be amazed at what you can learn in a short
conversation during a ride!).
Taxis these days are non-smoking (its the law). If you have a driver who smokes, you may ask him to stop. If you really need to smoke, call the cab company, and they'll assign a smoker-friendly driver (what you do in the car is up to you...).
Rates for taxi are $3.40 to start (including the first 135 metres) + $.20 for each additional 135 metres. You can usually get around downtown for under $7, and around the central area for about $9. Trips between downtown and the airport are about $35. Trips leaving the airport have a $2 additional airport levy.
The cheapest way between the airport and downtown? Go along Barlow Trail ($2 cheaper than Deerfoot/McKnight, and not any slower except possibly "rush hour" when Barlow gets a lot of traffic). Be sure to TELL your driver when you get into the cab or he/she will take you the more expensive Deerfoot/McKnight route. Coming from the airport, you get a bonus: the view along Memorial just above Deerfoot Trail gives a beautiful "Welcome" view of the city.
Fastest way between the airport and downtown: along Deerfoot via Airport Road (about $2 more than Deerfoot & McKnight, and about ten minutes faster)
By the way, if you are catching a cab at the airport, you can request a car from your favorite cab company from the airport dispatcher (chances are they are dropping someone off the level above). You do not have to take the cabs in the order they are lined up, and you may refuse a cab for any reason ("wrong company" is a safe reason).
Special note on Airport Sedans: These are services that provide transportation to & from the airport, for a flat rate. They are a little more expensive than taxi, but are a nicer ride. And for those travelling on business, looks nicer than a taxi when you arrive at your meeting, but less pretentious than a limo might.
Oh, yes, and if your driver was courteous and helpful, it is the custom to tip him (or her)! Tips on tipping.
Find Local Taxi cab companies.