Uber Airport Rules: A Basic Guide (Spring 2016)
Many people ask the questions: Can I take Uber to the airport? Can Uber pick me up from the airport? What are the Uber airport rules?
While Uber is a great way to travel around most major American cities, airport transfers are (sometimes) a bit more challenging.
Uber’s relationship with Airport Authorities is complicated — and currently evolving — depending on where you live, and where you intend to use Uber.
What are the Uber airport pick-up and drop-off rules?
As a direct alternative to taxi cabs, Uber functions reasonably well for pick-ups and drop-offs at some airports, but there are some significant obstacles to be aware of.
Below is a basic Uber Airport Guide (Spring 2016) in a variety of major American cities.
Uber San Francisco Airport Rules (SFO)
San Francisco is one of the best spots for using Uber as a means of accessing San Francisco International Airport. In the past two years, Uber has implemented a series of “flat rates” for San Francisco’s top three major destinations surrounding SFO:
- San Francisco = $65
- Palo Alto = $86
- Oakland = $81
SFO has also sectioned off an area where Uber (and other rideshare companies) can park their cars and wait for passenger pickups.
When someone gets off a plane and hails an Uber, they can just go meet their scheduled Uber at a designated departure area.
Uber Miami International Airport Rules (MIA)
Miami International Airport is much less receptive to Uber traffic. Getting dropped off at MIA isn’t a problem — rather, it is actually currently illegal for Uber to pick up passengers at Miami’s various arrival terminals.
I honestly cannot recommend you try to hail an Uber car at Miami’s largest airport — once an airport has officially made rideshare options illegal, it’s best to stick with other modes of transportation.
Uber Austin-Burgstom International Airport Rules (ABIA)
Austin-Burgstom International Airport in Texas charges a $1 fee for both picking up and dropping off passengers via rideshare. This applies to both Uber and Lyft.
Currently, this arrangement between companies and Uber and Lyft is done be special (temporary) permit-based rules, giving cars free access to departures and arrivals. But make sure you check the current status of this arrangement before you head off to the airport (to make sure it’s still in effect).
Uber NYC Airport Rules (JFK, Laguardia, and Newark)
Newark, Laguardia and JFK are notorious for having extremely long wait times when hailing an Uber — but, at least for the moment — all three airports are currently rideshare accessible for dropping off and picking up passengers.
There is talk of the Port Authority instituting an “access fee,” but currently (as of Spring 2016) there is no fee.
Uber Boston Logan Airport Rules (BOS)
Logan Airport in Boston is harder to manage with Uber than other cities on this list. Unfortunately, there is an $8.75 fee for dropping off and picking up passengers via rideshare (for which Uber is currently in litigation).
A Massachusetts State Law prohibiting private vehicles from obtaining fares from the Boston airport has meant that Uber cars are technically required to be registered as livery vehicles (or else be in violation of this law).
Uber Los Angeles Airport Rules (Uber LAX)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California is currently rideshare accessible.
As of late January 2016, UberX finally received full access to LAX’s arrivals and departure terminals. Up until January ’16, all low-cost rideshare options were officially banned from Los Angeles International Airport altogether — with absolutely no exceptions.
However, at least for now, Uber at LAX is legal. There’s only one current caveat — picking up and dropping off via rideshare comes with a $4 fee.
Uber Chicago Airport Rules (O’Hare and Midway)
Midway Airport and Chicago O’Hare are now rideshare-permitting.
Uber is now able to pick-up and drop-off passengers legally at either of these Chicago airports.
Uber D.C. Airport Rules (Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport)
At both Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport — namely, the two major airports in the Washington D.C. Area — currently have a $4 fee, but are otherwise completely accessible for Uber passengers (either leaving from, or arriving at, both airports).
Uber Seattle-Tacoma Airport Rules (SEA)
At Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington State, only UberBlack and UberSUV are currently allowed to pick up arriving passengers. Each of these services has a flat rate from the airport to downtown Seattle.
- UberBlack = $55
- UberSUV = $65
Drop offs (by UberX and Lyft) are allowed.
Uber Portland International Airport Rules (PDX)
Portland International Airport (PDX) is another airport that has made its arrangement an Uber (recently granting the company a permit to drop-off and pick-up passengers).
However, there is currently a $2 fee, and riders are supposed to meet their Uber cars on the lower roadway (near PDX’s baggage claim area).
Uber Las Vegas Airport Rules (McCarran International Airport)
McCarran International Airport in Nevada (the closest airport to Las Vegas) now allows Uber access to all arrivals and departures.
The fee is only $2.45.
Taking Uber to the Airport: Final thoughts
Most, if not all, airports currently have some level of Uber access. However, it’s always best to check with your local airport authority before relying on Uber (or any other rideshare service) to get you to your flight on time.