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The 7 Worst U.S. Airports for Uber and Lyft (and tricks on how to find your ride!)

Posted by: RideGuru Nov 29, 2018
Updated May 14, 2019

1 comment

Uber and the Airport

Rideshares have become a main staple in our transportation economy over the last few years and we tend to take them for granted. Most of the time it is easy to hail an Uber or Lyft, simply pull out your phone, tap a couple of buttons, and voila you have a personal driver at your command. However, some airports have been slow to adopt rideshares, forcing travelers to pay exorbitant fees or walk over 15 minutes to a parking garage.

The Ride Gurus have rounded up the worst U.S. airports for rideshare transportation and while we cannot fix the issues, we are giving some insider tips on how to score your ride from these 7 US airports.
Need a ride? Requesting one is just a tap away

1. Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

Recently, Austin changed their rideshare pick up policy, moving the pick-up and drop-off location to the ground floor of the Rental Car Facility. Not only do travelers have to walk further now, it is also very confusing as to where you are meant to go.

"It's not very clear where you're going, and the app doesn't help you either," said traveler Vinay Palagar.

"I went around four times, but I blame the company for that, they didn't tell us," said Uber Driver Wilfred Broussard.

"Aside from just being personally embarrassed that I couldn't find the thing, everything else was fine," said traveler Joey King.

On the bright side the AUS rideshare pickup/dropoff fee is only $1!

Guru Tip

Look for signs starting from baggage claim pointing toward the parking garage closest to the main pickup area.  Walk across the main pickup area then take the stairs up one floor and walk through some orange cones. The final location is in a section towards the back of the rental car parking garage.

Estimate your fare from AUS Airport.


2. McCarran International Airport (LAS)

The McCarran Airport in Las Vegas deserves a spot on our list of worst US airports for rideshares as the designated pickup location is located in a parking structure. Not only is this highly inconvenient for travelers, it also can be a bit chaotic. At least the airport fee for rideshare pick up and drop off at McCarran is pretty standard at $2.45.

Guru Tip

this is a pick up point for uber ride at LAS

Terminal 1: Cross the street into the separate parking garage, then walk up to Level 2M. The wait here can be quite long so prepare some extra time into your schedule!
Terminal 3: Again, head to the parking garage outside and walk down to the valet level to meet your ride. Crowds tend to be smaller at this pickup location.

Estimate your fare from LAS Airport.

3. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

SFO is a hot spot for Uber and Lyft rides and while this may sound like a good thing it has created some infrastructure chaos for Uber/Lyft pick ups and drops offs. To give some context, Uber and Lyft rides to SFO went from 4% of drop-offs in 2014 to nearly a third (29%) in 2017!

At San Francisco’s SFO, even the online instructions for getting a rideshare can be confusing, and differ for each terminal and each type of ride. Definitely not what you want to deal with after a long flight.

Guru Tip

Unfortunately, all you can really do at SFO is follow this guide when it comes to hailing and finding your rideshare. Good Luck!

SFO Uber/Lyft Pickup Locations


Estimate your fare from SFO airport.


4. La Guardia Airport (LGA)

While some airports make our list because of the long walks to the designated rideshare pickup locations, La Guardia takes things to a new level by making many passengers take a shuttle to an entirely different location to catch their Uber ride!

On a positive note, La Guardia did just update their policy for Terminal B, improving the experience slightly for passengers by building a temporary covered walkway to a separate parking garage where the new Uber/Lyft pickup spot is located.

Guru Tip

Terminal B Travelers: All rideshares will pick you up on the second level of the new terminal B parking garage. Once on the departures level of the airport you will see a covered walkway that connects to level 2 of the garage. Once inside the garage you must wait in a designated section lettered E through L.

Estimate your fare from LGA airport.

5. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Pity upon the traveler who journeys through LAX this holiday season, which a recent survey found is the US airport with the lengthiest (and priciest) travel options! A trip from Terminal 1 to the exit can alone take half an hour! The airport rideshare fees to and from LAX are also some of the priciest fees in the country at $4 for uberPOOL, uberX, uberXL, uberESPAÑOL, uberASSIST, and UberSELECT and $5 for UberBLACK, UberSUV, UberLUX, and UberWAV.

Guru Tip

this is uber pickup point at LAX
On the bright side LAX has recently added new, standard signage to direct all passengers to their rideshares. It is actually quite simple, so long as you are comfortable battling the crowds!

Estimate your fare from LAX airport.


6. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

ATL takes the cake for the longest walk from baggage claim to the rideshare pickup zone at any airport in the US. The walk to the pickup area (if you’re a decently fast paced walker) can be a solid 20 minutes. ATL is also on the higher side for rideshare pickup fees at $3.85.


Guru Tip

The best tip we can give for Atlanta International Airport is to try heading to Terminal F, the only terminal where drivers are allowed to pick up near the taxi zone. This can be a trek from terminals A, B, C, and T but in our opinion it is still quicker than the above!

Estimate your fare from ATL airport.


7. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

ORD is a confusing place for rideshares. There are only three ride-share pickup points in the entire airport and the directional signs differ dramatically. Some signs combine an image of a taxi with a phone which others simply say “Uber” or “Lyft”. On top of the confusing nature of ORD, there is also a high rideshare surcharge of $5.

Guru Tip

Pack light! With 5 terminals and only 3 pickup points you can guarantee that you are going to be walking quite a ways to your ride.

Estimate your fare from ORD airport.


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    jttech
    3 Rider Driver
     2 days ago  (edited 2 days ago)

    The pickup point(s) for standard ride share pickups at the O'Hare domestic terminals for Uber-X/XL/Select and Lyft have changed.

    I noticed a pickup change as a passenger on 07/02/19,  even though I am also an Uber and Lyft driver.

    From the one of O'Hare's websites,  and my matching Lyft passenger app giving me NEW choices that don't match most information being posted:

    "Loading zones for Rideshare services are at the following locations:

    Terminal 2 - waiting area Upper Level between Door 2A and Door 2D 

    Terminal 5 - waiting area Lower Level Door 5C"

    https://www.flychicago.com/ohare/tofrom/taxi/pages/default.aspx

    To be clear, there are NO Rideshare pickups from Terminals 1 and 3 anymore(although they were always closer to Terminal 2 anyway).

    From Terminal 1, go upstairs and walk out of Door 1G, turn right and keep walking until you see the different colored Rideshare loading zones near Door 2A

    From Terminal 3, go upstairs and walk out of Door 3A, turn ...

    Read more...

    The pickup point(s) for standard ride share pickups at the O'Hare domestic terminals for Uber-X/XL/Select and Lyft have changed.

    I noticed a pickup change as a passenger on 07/02/19,  even though I am also an Uber and Lyft driver.

    From the one of O'Hare's websites,  and my matching Lyft passenger app giving me NEW choices that don't match most information being posted:

    "Loading zones for Rideshare services are at the following locations:

    Terminal 2 - waiting area Upper Level between Door 2A and Door 2D 

    Terminal 5 - waiting area Lower Level Door 5C"

    https://www.flychicago.com/ohare/tofrom/taxi/pages/default.aspx

    To be clear, there are NO Rideshare pickups from Terminals 1 and 3 anymore(although they were always closer to Terminal 2 anyway).

    From Terminal 1, go upstairs and walk out of Door 1G, turn right and keep walking until you see the different colored Rideshare loading zones near Door 2A

    From Terminal 3, go upstairs and walk out of Door 3A, turn left and keep walking until you see different colored Rideshare loading zones near Door 2D

    Expert TIP:  If you are claiming bags, you have to walk outside first to get to Terminal 2.  If you are NOT getting baggage, stay inside the secured area to walk to Terminal 2, then walk outside from the upper level of Terminal 2.

    In the area outside of Upper level 2A through 2D doors, look for signs and the painted lines on the roadway, starting with BLACK, BLUE, ORANGE, and GREEN.  All 4 color zones are literally right next to each other and can hold about 6 cars each for pickups.

    Expert Tip:  Choose ORANGE when its busy at O'Hare for a much easier pickup, especially Sunday and Thursday nights or when flights are delayed due to overcrowding and excessive traffic in the pickup areas.

    Super Expert Tip:  When crazy busy with bad traffic(like all Thursday nights) AND you are going towards downtown Chicago or the Lakefront with fewer, lighter bags, forgo the $5 extra ride share pickup tax and long wait for a car.  Instead pay $5 per person to take the Blue Line(CTA Train-follow signs near baggage claim) to any stop East of O'Hare and then get a much faster ride share car from one of those stops. All stops from Rosemont through Addison are Expressway stations and are in safe neighborhoods. You are also likely to be whisked away from the so often O'Hare surge price zone as well.

    Please check the above link as the pickup points may change again in the future. (Posted 07/15/19)

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