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Information for driver-partners

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

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

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 first vehicle in is the first one out (FIFO) system at DCA. 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.
  • The Uber vehicle decal (trade dress) must always be displayed on the rear passenger window facing outward. Driver-partners can obtain this Uber decal at their local Greenlight Hub.

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.

Pickups at the airport

How pickup requests work

It is easy to receive trip requests from riders leaving DCA 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 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 2799 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202. Please enter the lot from S Eads Street (see map below).

If the TNC lot is full, you will need to leave airport property to receive requests. Waiting on the main road—or in the surrounding neighborhoods—to enter the lot is strictly prohibited. You can check to see if the staging lot queue is full in your app.

When exiting the lot, left turns only are permitted in an effort to reduce traffic congestion along S Eads St.

Some things to know about FIFO queues:

  • Proximity to the terminal within the FIFO zone does not create an advantage for drivers or move you closer to the top of the queue
  • If there are no drivers 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)

Picking up your rider

Terminal A

At Terminal A, riders will be waiting for you curbside. Always check that your rider’s first name matches what’s in the app.

Terminal B/C

At Terminal B/C, riders can get picked up at doors 3 or 6 of the upper Departures (Ticketing/Check In) level or doors 6, 7, or 8 of the lower Arrivals level. Once you accept a trip request, you’ll get a notification letting you know the pickup location where your rider will be waiting. See the map below for more details.

Rental Car Garage

Please note that there is a dedicated pick up and drop off area located across from the Garage A/Rental Car Bus Stop located on National Avenue. Pick up and drop off inside the rental car area is not permitted.

Airport Cancellation Protection

Airport Cancellation Protection is a feature designed to save you time at the airport. With Airport Cancellation Protection, if you get a rider cancellation when you’re already on your way to the terminals, you will be eligible to receive another trip request without returning to the waiting lot.

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 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.

DCA pickup maps

Uber partners may wait for ride requests at the designated staging lot only. You will not receive an airport request outside of this lot (and may be issued a citation).

Follow the signs and enter the Waiting Lot. Keep in mind:

  • Updated signage will direct you to the new lot. Please avoid using the Cell Phone Waiting Area, which is located at the bottom portion of the lot.
  • The lot is located at 2799 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202.
  • If you are waiting in the lot, you must do so in a parking space. Failure to observe this rule may result in a citation from police.
  • The lot is "first in, first out"; upon entering the staging line, you will be placed in line for the next trip request.
  • Staging at terminals or elsewhere on airport property is prohibited and may result in a citation.

Pro tips

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 Reagan National Airport can help you maximize your earnings with information about when flights will be landing at the airport and when it will be busiest.


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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