Most taxis in Egypt do not have meters – these are the black and white cabs zooming all around the city. The best method is to negotiate the price before getting in a cab. Taxis are plentiful in Cairo, so you can always walk away and find another cab that has a better price. Also, talking to more than one will help give you a general sense of the market price is for your destination. Lastly, try to avoid calling for a cab in front of a luxury hotel as prices will obviously be skewed. Compared to when I was staying at a hostel, I had to pay twice the cab fares when I relocated to the Four Seasons hotel.
The cheapest method to get around is to call for a local yellow taxi called a “City Cab”, which DOES have a meter. These cabs don’t roam the city like the normal black taxis do; they only provide service for those who call and you must arrange a pickup in advance (a couple hours) to guarantee a ride. Highly recommended for planned routes to farther destinations beyond just around downtown Cairo.
From within Cairo dial 0104343438 – 19155.
Downtown to Airport = 40-50 EGP