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Information for driver-partners

San Francisco International Airport

When driving at SFO, Learn how to receive these trip requests and get in on the action.

Rules and regulations

Airport regulations for driver-partners

Per airport 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 system where the first vehicle in is the first one out (FIFO) at San Francisco 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
  • TNC driver-partners may wait for airport requests at the Staging Lots located at the corner of E Millbrae Ave and S McDonnell Rd. Driver-partners can wait there for trips, except 3am - 5am nightly
  • The Uber vehicle decal (trade dress) must always be displayed on the front passenger windshield and rear passenger windshield facing outward. The unique airport placard must be displayed beneath the front trade dress. Driver-partners can obtain this Uber decal at their local Greenlight Hub.
    • Driver-partners will receive the airport placard upon signup
    • Airport officials will recognize all existing airport placards–including those with a written expiration date of June 30, 2018–as valid through December 31, 2018
  • For Terminals 1-3, riders can be dropped off on either the Departures Level or Arrivals Level. For the International Terminal, riders can be dropped off at the center island between Zones 14 and 17.
  • All UberX garage pickups, as well as UberPool and Express Pool pickups (Terminals 1-3), must occur at Level 5 of the Domestic Garage. The only exception is for UberPool or Express Pool pickups from the International Terminal.
  • All other pickups (UberX, Select, SUV, etc.) can be curbside on the Departures Level for Terminals 1-3, or at the center island for the International Terminal.
  • You may be asked to show your waybill. To access it, tap the “info” button that appears in your app.

    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
  • When picking up passengers, be sure not to wait for too long of a time at the terminal. Unlike in the case of civilian drivers, airport officials will not tap on your window and ask you to move. They will write a citation, send it to Uber, and we will be forced to collect
  • Please also be mindful of crosswalks at the airport. Any vehicle that stops in a crosswalk (even briefly) is liable to be cited

Pickups at the airport

How pickup requests work

How pickup requests work

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

Waiting for requests

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 the airport, the waiting area is located at the corner of E Millbrae Ave and S McDonnell Rd (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 multiple rides (if the rider cancels, you will remain at the top of the queue)

Pre-Match feature

In addition to regular requests, we've also launched the Pre-Match feature at this airport. Pre-Match will prompt driver-partners in the staging lot to begin heading towards the airport terminal a few minutes before an anticipated ride request. That way, driver-partners can get as close as possible to the terminal before receiving a pickup request, which minimizes idle time.

Picking up your rider

Once you accept a trip request, the pickup location for UberX garage pickups, as well as UberPool and Express Pool, is located at Level 5 of the Domestic Garage for Terminals 1-3. Once you get to the garage entrance:

  • Use the far left lane–labeled "Limo / Lyft / Uber Only"—to enter the garage; the bar at the entry will be lifted and no ticket is needed
  • Head up to Level 5 of the garage, where you will find the pickup area
  • Note that one pickup area will be adjacent to skybridges for each terminal
  • You can wait for your rider in any of the stalls dedicated to driver-partners; each terminal will have its own parking stalls

Riders requesting trips on all other ride options can be picked up curbside on the Departures Level for Terminals 1-3, or at the center island for the International Terminal.

The International Terminal pickup location for all riders is located at the center island between Zones 14 and 17. If the airport is crowded, consider contacting your rider to confirm that they are at the center island.

Dropoffs at the airport

How dropoff requests work

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

Based on the operating agreement with the airport, riders can be dropped off at their requested terminal on the Departures Level, or on the Arrivals Level at white zones, for Terminals 1-3. For the International Terminal, riders can be dropped off at the center island between Zones 14 and 17. Be sure to leave your app on until you exit the airport property. 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.

Re-Match feature

We've also launched the Re-Match feature at this airport. To qualify for Re-Match, driver-partners must first complete a dropoff at the airport. Re-Match then allows any driver-partner who just completed an airport dropoff to temporarily receive a pickup request without having to go to the Staging Lot. Once you drop off at the airport, if you wish, you can head toward the Staging Lot to wait in the FIFO queue for an airport request. Upon navigation to the Staging Lot, you may receive a Re-Match request. Airport regulations prohibit loitering in the terminal area. Idling at the curb may result in a citation from airport authorities.

SFO pickup maps

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 Francisco 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 SFO 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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