Can I take Uber or Lyft from the (fill-in-the-blank) airport?
It’s a question travelers across the country ask over and over these days as the affordable car services and a handful of competitors gain in popularity and encroach on the airport turf once reserved for taxis, limos and shuttles.
Tech-savvy travelers love the services because they can order a ride from an app on their smartphone or tablet after they land, meet the driver outside and bill the fare to their account. The fares are generally cheaper than taxi or sedan service and drivers usually arrive quickly.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the nation’s 10th busiest airport by passenger boardings, on June 18 became the latest major airport to allow the ride-hailing services to pick up passengers. A day earlier, Tucson International Airport introduced Lyft service. (Drop-offs have long been allowed in Phoenix and at many other airports because they aren’t regulated like pick-ups are.)
The ride-hailing roundup
Here’s a look at the ride-hailing landscape at other top 10 airports and select cities.
HARTSFIELD-JACKSON ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL
Available: Not yet. Rules were expected to be in place by July 1 but talks have been delayed over discussions on driver background checks.
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Available: Lyft since December 2015. Uber since January.
Airport surcharge: $4 per pick-up and drop-off.
Estimated fare to downtown Los Angeles: $23-$33.
CHICAGO O’HARE INTERNATIONAL/CHICAGO MIDWAY INTERNATIONAL
Available: Since November 2015.
Airport surcharge: $5.50 per pick-up and drop-off.
Estimated fare to Millennium Park: $28-$35 from O’Hare with Uber, $28 with Lyft. $23-$30 from Midway with Uber, $23 with Lyft.
Details: flychicago.com/ohare, flychicago.com/midway
DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL, DALLAS LOVE FIELD
Available: Since August 2015.
Airport surcharge: $2 per pick-up and drop-off at DFW. $2.50 per pick-up at Love Field.
Estimated fare to downtown Dallas: $25-$32 from DFW with Uber, $16 with Lyft. $11-$14 from Love Field with Uber, $13 with Lyft.
Details: dfw.com/transport, dallas-lovefield.com
NEW YORK: LAGUARDIA AND JFK
Fee: None. Unlike at most major airports, New York does not have a separate agreement with the services. They register like cabs and limos.
Estimated fare to midtown Manhattan: $30-$39 from LaGuardia with Uber, $27 with Lyft. $49-$64 from JFK with Uber, $48 with Lyft.
Details: laguardiaairport.com, panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airport
DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Available: Since late 2014.
Airport surcharge: $2.15 per pick-up and drop-off.
Estimated fare to downtown Denver: $29-$39 with Uber, $33 with Lyft.
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Available: Since the fall of 2014.
Airport surcharge: $3.85 per pick-up and drop-off.
Estimated fare to Union Square: $29-37 with Uber, $26 with Lyft.
CHARLOTTE-DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Available: Since February.
Airport surcharge: $1 per pick-up and drop-off.
Fare estimate to downtown Charlotte: $10-$14 with Uber, $13 with Lyft.
MCCARRAN LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Available: Since late 2015.
Airport surcharge: $2.45 per pick-up and drop-off.
Fare estimate to Caesars Palace in the center of the Strip: $13-17 with Uber, $9 with Lyft.
Available: Since summer 2015.
Airport surcharge: $2.76 per pick-up.
Fare estimate to downtown San Diego: $8-11 with Uber, $6 with Lyft.
Note: The debut dates are generally when agreements between the airports and the companies took effect and UberX and Lyft began picking up passengers. In Phoenix and many other cities, pricier Uber rides, including Uber Black, Uber Select and Uber SUV, started earlier because those drivers have commercial permits like traditional ground-transportation providers.
Source: Arizona Republic research.
Tips for potential riders
• The fare estimates are just that — estimates. They’re from Uber and Lyft websites and are for up to four passengers. Lyft has a tip option on its app, Uber does not. Uber says tipping voluntary but not expected or required. Uber drivers, though, welcome cash tips.
• The surcharges are in addition to the fare. The money goes to the airport.
• Looking for information or fare estimates at other airports? Check out Uber’s airport lineup and Lyft’s airport lineup. Need fare estimates for other routes? Go to uber.com/fare-estimate or lyft.com/cities and scroll down to the fare calculator, or get an estimate from the services’ apps before you reserve a ride.
• Independent sites also offer fare estimates, and some provide real-time information on traffic, surge pricing (heftier fares when demand is high) and recent fares on a variety of routes. Try uberestimate.com, lyftcalculator.com or lyftrideestimate.com.
• Don’t forget about public transportation. Details on all your options are on airport websites under Ground Transportation.