Can you get an Uber or Lyft at the airport? It depends where you are.

Can you hail an Uber or Lyft from your favorite airport? Photo: Uber.

Can you hail an Uber or Lyft from your favorite airport? Photo: Uber.

I recently had a labor intensive assignment for the Los Angeles Times travel section. Los Angeles International Airport will soon implement new rules that will permit UberX and Lyft drivers to pick up passengers on the airport roadway, and the Times wanted to know how LAX will compare with other major international airports. 

I contacted about 25 airport worldwide, most in the United States. I asked them three questions:

  • Does your airport permit rideshare drivers to drop off passengers? If so, what are the policies and fees?
  • Does your airport permit rideshare drivers to pick up passengers?
  • Will your policies change soon?

I learned most airports permit UberX and Lyft drivers to drop off passengers. Some have rules allowing it, and others simply allow it because they know enforcing a no Uber policy is difficult. How can airport police determine the difference between a driver dropping off a family member and one dropping off a fare?

Pick ups are more controversial. More airports have no pick-up rules, and most do a decent job of enforcing them. For now, until LAX changes its guidelines, UberX and Lyft drivers can't pick up passengers at the airport. Over the past couple of years, LAX airport police sometimes would pull over Lyft and UberX drivers and give them citations. 

For the Times, I created a handy chart detailing the polices at major airports. Be sure to check it out, though remember rules change often for this sort of stuff.