I live in Malden and it's not a long trip from the airport. I was apologizing to my driver (hey I am a thoughtful person), and he said he can probably rush back and get back in front of the queue. Is this frickin' true?
Is it true if the driver gets stuck with a short ride from the airport, he can go back and skip the queue?
The Guru Take
Yes, in some cities. Uber allows the driver to skip the queue. They'll hold the spot for x hours.
Yes, this is a new offering Uber started to offer drivers proactively last year.
First the basics. Airports are popular pickup places, as there are consistent volume of customers and fares are usally bigger with longer trips. Now, because they are so popular, Uber implemented a virtual "queue", where the driver upon arriving at the staging area. Then the drivers are matched with passengers on a first-come-first-serve basis. Drivers can wait 30 minutes or even an hour for their turn to come around.
When they are matched with a customer who requests a very short ride (and it happens), the driver may not get a good enough payoff to justify the time spent in queue. As a new policy introduced in 2017, Uber decided to offer these unfortunate drivers a chance (or a specified window) to re-enter the queue with a favorable position.
Uber does not define what a "short trip" is, and the number of hours they keep this window open can be different. It can be 6 or 12 hours.