Airports have been the thorn in the side of Uber ever since it began the UberX service. Uber was able to spread UberX to just about every major city with very few limitations, but strict guidelines and longstanding agreements at airports have barred Uber drivers from one of the most important and lucrative places to give rides. But over time, Uber has been able to work out agreements with airports and municipalities that allow drivers to pick up and drop off passengers as long as they follow regulations.
For example, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) allows Uber drivers to pick up and drop off passengers. Uber drivers who want to receive pickups at LAX have to follow special rules and display a placard. I’ve outlined some of the LAX guidelines in this post to give you a sense for the kind of rules you may have to follow at your own local airport if it starts allowing Uber pickups.
Here’s a link to the LAX airport guidelines for drivers. To take airport quiz, open the Uber driver app and look for a section about airports on the home screen. If there is nothing there, contact Uber and ask them to enable the airport quiz in your app.
Uber drivers in Los Angeles have to pass a quiz to drive at airports
Pickups at Los Angeles airport aren’t like any ordinary pickup, and most other airports that allow Uber pickups follow similar rules. Strict rules regulate the way passenger requests are circulated among drivers, and airports require drivers to wait in designated areas. They system is very similar to the one that governs licensed cabs at airports.
- Uber drivers have to wait in a designated lot
- Requests are given to drivers on a first-come, first-served basis
- If you miss a request or cancel a request, you move to the back of the line
- You have to display a special LAX placard on your windshield
- The Uber app will give you an estimated wait time until your passenger request
- Uber charges a $4 fee for pickups, charged directly to the passenger and handled by Uber
Uber drivers must display a LAX placard to pick up and drop off riders at LAX
After you pass the quiz for LAX, Uber will send you an LAX placard that you must display on your windshield when you drop off or pick up passengers. Important: You can only display trade dress from one company when you’re picking up or dropping off at LAX. It’s against airport policy to display both Lyft and Uber trade dress at the same time while you’re on airport property.
How to take the Uber quiz for LAX
If you have not yet taken the Uber quiz for driving at LAX, you can find it on the home screen of the Uber driver app. Scroll down and look for a section about the airport quiz. Tap it to launch the quiz, which first contains information, then ends with a brief quiz.
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What to do if you can’t find a link to the airport quiz
A lot of readers have sent me emails and comments asking where to find the airport quiz. That the only way to take the airport quiz is inside the Uber driver app, on the home screen. If it isn’t there, you have to contact Uber and ask to receive the quiz.
The airport quiz for Uber drivers asks these questions
Note: I can’t give you answers or help you pass the test! If you watch the instructional videos and pay attention you’re guaranteed to pass.
- Where do you place the LAX permit on your vehicle?
- What level of the airport are you permitted to pick up riders on?
- Can a TNC driver circle in the terminal area?
- In which area can you wait for pickup requests?
- When picking up, what rules and laws must you obey?
From those questions, you can see the rules that Uber wants drivers to focus on the most: Display the proper permits, pick up passengers from the correct level, don’t circle the terminal area, wait in the proper waiting area, and follow all rules and laws.
Rules about giving rides to passengers with disabilities
The airport test contains a special section that focuses on driving people with disabilities. It’s part sensitivity training and part practical training. The biggest take-home point from the video is that you should always ask a disabled person how they would like to be treated instead of assuming they want something done a certain way.
Is it worth it to drive for Uber at airports?
Most drivers are accustomed to getting requests at random, as they come in. With airport pickups, there’s a clearly defined waiting area, a line, and a big potential wait time. You may have to wait up to an hour to take your turn at an airport. Is that worth it to you? It’s worth trying a few times, but if you get one too many passengers only going a few miles from the airport, you might find that the long wait for a <$10 fare isn’t worth it. Airports pickups are a big win for Uber and hopefully they can be a big win for drivers too.