When I return to Egpyt, I likely won't go back to Luxor. (Let the flaming begin! Ha!) Our 36 hours in Luxor started out badly and never improved. The sites however (VOK, Karnak, etc,) were breathtaking and awe-inspiring in ways that words cannot describe.
We arrived via Egypt Air from Cairo around 8pm on May 10th. The flight was fairly empty and we disembarked and quickly got our luggage. We were fully prepared for the throng of taxi drivers as we had already spent 4 days in Cairo. What we were not prepared for was their aggressiveness. We were the only ppl on the flight needing a taxi and they clearly knew it. One guy forcefully grabbed my husband's suitcase from his hand and started walking away with it, I smacked the hand of a man who tried the same with me. My husband then went after his suitcase and pulled it away from the man. I had done my research and knew what a fare to the Sheraton should cost, we were quoted LE80 by the drivers but I firmly stuck to the rate we were willing to pay. The drivers surrounded us, there were probably 6-8 of them and started loudly stating that they would not take our fare unless we paid the LE10 parking ticket for the airport lot in addition to the fare we offered. I politely explained that I would not in fact pay the LE10 that is the cost of their doing business and that in the US I have to pay for parking at my job and I am not reimbursed. Most of the men went away at that point but one man got very loud, stepped into my personal space and started yelling "What is 10 pounds to you?!? Just pay it, it is nothing to you!" To whit, I called the Sheraton, and got a driver who would take us to the hotel for the rate we were willing to pay (plus tip of course). The whole 30 minute ordeal nearly had me tears. Not surprisingly when we were dropped off at the airport for our return, the parking sign clearly states (we took a photo) that the parking fee is LE5. Suffice to say that our airport experience was a microcosm of our entire 36 hours in Luxor - rude, aggressive, unfriendly. I know that tourism is bad and the people are hurting for money but that type of behavior isn't conducive to encouraging the tourist trade.
Our Cairo and Dahab legs of the trip were the complete opposite, thank goodness. I understand that each person's trip and experience is their own, in fact we met a lovely Aussie couple at the Luxor airport on our return flight to Sinai who had had a miserable time in Cairo and loved Luxor. So, please don't take this report to be condeming, it was merely our experience.