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Uber Airport Pickups Pays For Livery Plates

Uber Airport Pickups Pays For Livery Plates

There have been a few articles recently about Uber Airport Pickups. I wrote a related post a few months ago about how there was a bug in Uber’s software that was allowing any UberX drivers to pick up at Boston Logan airport.

Buried in that article, I mentioned how Uber passengers could always request an UberX at any airport by just moving the pin outside the airport and then calling in immediately to tell your driver that you’re at which terminal inside the airport. So many Uber passengers do that so I thought everyone knew of this little trick. Many Uber Drivers in Boston have been a beneficiary of this trick.

In addition, some passengers think that they can a get around the airport surcharge by doing this, but that is not the case. The Uber system charges for when the drivers start the trip so if he starts it inside the airport, you get charge the airport pickup surcharge. This surcharge is for airport pickups and dropoffs, but the surcharge varies by city (see below). I don’t believe many cities even have a surcharge but in Boston, a toll is involved and due to its remote location, Uber is generous to pay drivers $8.50 as they know most UberX drivers won’t be able to get another ride so it pays for their wasted time driving back into the city.

How Does Airport Pickups Pay for Livery Plates?

In some cities (see below), Uber charges a surcharge for either dropping someone off at the airport and/or picking them up. In most cities, airports require livery plates and some special airport permits to official pick up at the airport. Drivers without these permits and plates are blocked by Uber from picking up within the confines of the airport. In cities without surcharges, it just doesn’t make sense to get livery plates and permits just for airport pickups.

However, in some cities (as seen below) it could be financially feasible to get livery insurance and plates in the increased chances of getting airport pickups and getting that surcharge from the airport. The two cities that pops up at me are Boston and Toronto.

PickupDropoff
Boston8.58.5
Denver4.154.15
Providence3None
Los Angeles44
San Francisco44
Toronto15None

Some drivers in Boston drive the graveyard shift so they can get more airport dropoffs. Just a few airport dropoffs in Boston in an 8 hour shift can increase a driver’s earnings up to $30 an hour, factoring in that there is no Uber 20% commission on that $8.50 surcharge.

In some cities, airport pickups can be lucrative not for the surcharge but for the long distance trips. Pickups at SFO can result in a 10 mile trip into San Francisco and this is the reason why there is so much competition for those airport pickups in San Francisco. There was a story recently about how hackers were gaming the system to increase a driver’s odds of getting a pickup at SFO

Uber Drivers ‘Cheating’ The App To Gain Fares At SFO

This strategy is only effective if you are a full time driver. Livery insurance is on the order of $500 a month for the lowest value car or van allowed to drive on UberX up to $1000 a month for UberSUVs. It may be financially viable to get an UberXL vehicle with livery plates for airport pickups. You run the chance of getting an UberX ride out of the airport, but the surcharge in your city may make it financially feasible to get livery plates.

Full time Drivers: Would you consider getting livery plates for the increase likelihood of airport pickups?

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