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San Diego International Airport

Instructions for driver-partners

Riders at SAN can request Uber when leaving the airport. Learn how to receive these trip requests and get in on the action.

SAN regulations for driver-partners

Per SAN regulations, driver-partners must adhere to the terms below. Failure to do so may result in the receipt of a citation or even restriction of access to airport trips. Please note that Uber will not pay for any citations that driver-partners may incur.

  • When on airport property, the Uber driver app must be open at all times (driver-partners must not go offline until exiting the airport area)
  • We’ve instituted a special first vehicle in is the first one out (FIFO) system at San Diego International Airport. The FIFO system only works within the designated, geofenced area and driver-partners waiting elsewhere will not receive trip requests through the Uber Driver app unless there are no drivers in the geofenced queue.
  • The Uber vehicle decal (trade dress) must always be displayed on the front passenger windshield and rear passenger windshield facing outward. Driver-partners can obtain this Uber decal at their local Greenlight Hub.
  • Rideshare vehicles must be less than 10 years old to be eligible for airport pickups.
  • Please be aware that feeding the birds is not allowed as it can cause disruptions to airport flight procedures.

Pro tips

  • Driver cancellations: Trip cancellations can take away from the great Uber experience that both riders and driver-partners expect. * Please remember that driver-partners who improperly use the app and intentionally disrupt the service, including excessively canceling rides or asking riders to cancel rides, may lose the ability to receive trip requests to and from the airport through the Uber Driver app.
  • Ground transportation and airport security staff: Airport rules are as important as traffic rules. Airports expect driver-partners to follow the instructions of the airport staff.
  • Commercial vehicle restrictions: Some parking restrictions may be posted around the airport. Please note that commercial vehicle restrictions apply to anyone displaying the Uber trade dress or signed in to the Uber Driver app and waiting for trip requests. Uber does not reimburse citations for disobeying parking restrictions.
  • Accessing your waybill: You may be asked to show your waybill. To access it, tap the “info” button that appears in your app.

Pickups at SAN

How pickup requests work

It is easy to receive trip requests from riders leaving the airport. However, these trips work a little differently than other requests.

Waiting for requests

At SAN, Uber’s technology uses a first-in-first-out (FIFO) queue. This means that, in order to receive a trip request, you need to enter the designated waiting area, located within a “FIFO zone.” You will then be placed in a virtual queue where the first driver-partner to enter will be the first to receive a trip request.

Based on the operating agreement with SAN, the waiting area is located behind the Airport Cell Phone Lot near North Harbor Drive (see map below).

Some things to know about FIFO queues:

  • Proximity to the terminal within the FIFO zone does not create an advantage for driver-partners or move you closer to the top of the queue.
  • If there are no driver-partners in the FIFO zone, trip requests will go to Uber driver-partners in the area - outside of the FIFO zone - based on proximity and other factors.
  • You can lose your place in line if:
    • You go offline on your Uber Driver app
    • You drive outside the FIFO zone
    • You do not accept multiple incoming trip requests in a row
    • You cancel a ride (if the rider cancels, you will remain at the top of the queue)

Picking up your rider

Once you accept a trip request, the pickup locations at SAN are located at the designated zones at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 (see map below). When entering the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 pickup areas, you will need to pull a parking ticket to enter and park. While in the lot, the first 10 minutes are free. After 10 minutes, a non-refundable parking fee is charged. We do not pay for parking. You are allowed to leave the pickup area before 10 minutes is up and re-enter with a new ticket if you wish. We recommend not driving towards the airport until you have confirmed with the rider that they are ready for pickup.

Only partners responding to UberBLACK and SUV with a TCP permit and a SAN airport permit should pick up curbside.

Dropoffs at SAN

How dropoff requests work

Uber is a reliable option for travelers heading to the airport.

Based on the operating agreement with SAN, riders can be dropped off at their requested terminal on the departures level. If you’d like to receive a trip request afterward, you’ll need to keep the Uber Driver app on to maintain your place in the FIFO queue.

TNC Staging Lot at SAN

You can receive airport pickup requests at the SAN Airport Rideshare Staging Lot (located behind the Airport Cell Phone Lot near North Harbor Dr).

Pro Tips:

  • Be on the lookout for signs that will help guide you to the lot.
  • Park in the designated rideshare spots—you could be fined if you are not.
  • If no spaces are available, please immediately exit the lot.
  • Stay with your vehicle at all times—you could be fined if you leave your vehicle.
  • The cell phone lot and other parking lots surrounding the Rideshare Staging Lot are not part of the rideshare staging lot—you could be fined if you wait for a trip request in these areas.
  • Please note the FIFO queue/zone is still in place.
  • Please be respectful of the lot and dispose of all trash properly. It is a shared space and our responsibility to ensure it stays clean and presentable.

Designated pickup zones at SAN

Terminal 1 pickup and dropoff zone

The pickup and dropoff area for Terminal 1 is located at the transportation island closest to the terminal. As of January 11, 2018, you should not enter the short-term parking structure for pickups, and you will be responsible for any fees to exit.

Terminal 2 pickup and dropoff zone

To pick up and drop off at Terminal 2, go to the transportation island furthest from the terminal (Lane 2) on the arrivals level. As of January 11, 2018, you should not go to to the departures level for Terminal 2 pickups.

We recommend you confirm your rider’s name before starting the trip—it never hurts to double check.

Pro tips

Helpful tips for airport trips

1. Getting your car ready

Air travelers can have lots of luggage with them, so you may need to free up trunk space to fit it all in.

2. Helping with luggage

It may take some time for riders to load their luggage into your vehicle. The airport is a busy place, so an extra set of hands can speed things up and help get your riders to their destination faster.

3. Identifying your riders

Asking your riders for their names before starting a trip can ensure that you’ve picked up the right person out of the crowd.

4. Checking the arrivals schedule

Checking the arrivals schedule at San Diego International Airport can help you maximize your earnings with information about when flights will be landing at the airport and when it will be busiest. See SAN ARRIVALS SCHEDULE.

5. Making music optional

While tunes are nice to cruise to, riders may prefer silence after an early morning or late night flight. Asking them what they prefer can go a long way and help provide a great experience!

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