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Toward a zero-wait future: airport Prematch

March 3, 2020 / US

A decade ago, requesting a ride with the tap of a smartphone was viewed as a magical experience, even in cases when it took a bit of time for a car to arrive. Today, passengers have grown to rely on the use of the Uber app for everyday travel, and anything greater than a few minutes of waiting for a vehicle can result in frustration and disappointment.

Building the best possible passenger experience is especially important for airport riders, who already face the stress of rushing to catch a flight or navigating an unfamiliar terminal after landing. As part of its commitment to a zero-wait future, the Uber Airports team is excited to roll out the latest iteration of its Prematch feature to keep airport passengers moving.

What is Prematch?

Prematch is a feature that invites drivers waiting for an airport trip request to begin driving toward the terminal just a few minutes before a pickup request is anticipated. By anticipating demand, Prematch matches a driver already on the way to the pickup point with a requesting passenger, resulting in significantly reduced rider wait times.

Benefits of Prematch

In addition to quickly connecting riders and drivers, Prematch smooths out the wait-time difference between trips dispatched from the waiting lot and trips connected through Rematch (another Uber feature). Plus, airports where Prematch is enabled have seen fewer rider cancellations and a corresponding reduction in the number of drivers looping through the roadway empty.

In airports where Prematch has been deployed, Uber has seen no negative impact on congestion when measuring average roadway segment speeds. Passengers enjoy significantly reduced wait times with no observable impact to roadway operations.

Uber is committed to improving the customer experience for passengers, airports, and drivers alike. Through innovations like Prematch, a zero-wait future in which all airport trips involve perfectly timed matches between drivers and riders is one step closer to reality.

The Uber Airports team loves tackling tough challenges and working together to achieve operational goals. For more information, reach out to us at or