Airport Travel Technology

These 5 Airports Are Ending Uber and Lyft Curbside Pickup

Rely on Uber and Lyft when you land in a new destination? You might want to reconsider, as many airports are ending curbside pickup for rideshare apps admid construction and traffic woes.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one example. As of October 29, 2020, if you want to catch a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other ride-hailing service from LAX, you’ll no longer be able to catch your ride on the arrivals level roadway of any individual terminal. Instead, in order to be matched with a rideshare car you’ll you have to take a 15-minute shuttle ride (shorter to/from terminals 1 and 7; longer from terminals 4, 5, and the international terminal) to a singular pick-up area dedicated to app-based rides.

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For now, taxi, Uber, or Lyft can still drop you off at each terminal. The central idea is to reduce the congestion on the lower (arrivals) roadway that circles the terminals—a roadway that is, in fact, often a traffic nightmare for busy LAX. And other airports are making similar moves:

Airports Pulling Curbside Pickups for Uber and Lyft

  • Austin moved the pickup area for taxis and ride-hailing services to the ground level of the rental car facility.
  • Boston will move both pickup and drop-off for ride-hailing services to a designated area in the central parking facility.
  • San Francisco has set up a special section of the central parking garage for ride-hailing services.
  • Seattle set up a designated area in the airport parking garage for ride-hailing services.

This kind of solution is a temporary fix to traffic problems. At LAX, it’s until the pending 2022 completion of an automated LAX transit system that will connect terminals with a new ground transportation center. That center will combine rental car operations, taxi, ride-hailing, and the new light rail line.

And you can expect similar moves from still more airports as terminal congestion worsens and use of ride-hailing increases while many hubs are simultaneously working on updating airport facilities. The airport-help pages one Uber and Lyft’s websites are the places to go for the most current information about exactly how to arrange pickups and drop-offs in a given hub. If you’re planning to use a ride-hailing service for airport pickup, be sure to check there for the latest information.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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