It’s no secret that ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have quickly become standard means of transportation for many travelers. Their prevalence has shaken up the industry, and many cities are debating exactly how to deal with the new companies.
A few cities, such as Barcelona, Spain and Buffalo, New York, have attempted to prevent Uber and Lyft from operating altogether. Others have tried to restrict access to ride sharing or impose additional fees.
One of the most problematic restrictions for travelers is at airports. It’s easy enough to take a ride share from your home or hotel to the airport—Lyft even allows users to schedule their rides in advance. However, when you arrive at your destination, it’s not always possible to rely on ride sharing. Logan International Airport in Boston, for example, fines ride share drivers who aren’t certified as livery services and registered with Massport. While Uber has obtained this certification, Lyft has not.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, began allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to pick up passengers at the beginning of this year. Passengers will pay an additional $3.85 fee in order to cover security, maintenance, the building of an additional waiting lot and other costs.
Some airports have restrictions allowing some ride sharing companies, but not others. For example, Kansas City International Airport allows Uber, but not Lyft.
With regulations constantly in flux as cities, airports and traditional taxi companies try to determine how to maintain control of licensing and pickup, it’s wise to confirm you’ll be able to take your preferred ride share before your departure. Otherwise, you may have to find a way around regulations, such as taking one of the shuttle buses to a rental car lot and meeting your ride share driver at the entrance. While an exciting way to subvert the law, at that point you might as well take a taxi.
According to Uber and Lyft’s websites, the following are the busiest airports in the U.S. that do not allow ride share company pick-ups.
The following do not accept Uber or Lyft: Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF), Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), Kahului Airport (OGG), Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
These airports accept Uber, but not Lyft: Bradley International Airport (BDL), Kansas City International Airport (MCI), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), St. Louis International Airport (STL), Tampa International Airport (TPA), Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Logan International Airport (BOS), Orlando International Airport (MCO), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
These airports accept Lyft, but not Uber: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Ontario International Airport (ONT)