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Driving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Airports can be complicated places, especially for drivers. But knowing the basics, and getting information in advance about your local airport, can help make sure you’re prepared for your first pickup or dropoff.

Airport regulations

Per SEA regulations, drivers 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 you may incur. If you receive a citation, the Port will allow a 10 day period for appeals if you believe the citation was unjust.

  • 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 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The FIFO system only works within the designated, geofenced area and driver-partners waiting elsewhere will not receive airport trip requests through the Uber driver app.
  • The Uber sticker (trade dress) must always be displayed on the vehicle’s windshield (get yours here).
  • Drivers must have a valid King County For-Hire Permit (FHP) and display a King County TNC decal on their vehicle.

Pro Tips

Driver cancellations:

Trip cancellations can take away from the great Uber experience that both riders and driver-partners expect. Please remember that drivers 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 drivers to follow the instructions of the airport staff.

Pickups at the airport

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 SEA, Uber’s technology uses a driver queue zone. This means that, to receive a trip request, you need to enter the designated waiting area within a zone. You will then be placed in a virtual queue where you will be able to receive a trip request.

At SEA, the FIFO zone covers a broad area near the airport, as shown in the map below. The designated waiting lot is located at 3037 S 160th Street SeaTac, WA 98188, but drivers can wait anywhere within the waiting area to join the queue and receive airport trip offers.

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 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)

Environmental requirement

The Port of Seattle is committed to sustainable operations at the airport. To comply with the Port’s environmental regulations, vehicles on Uber’s platform must have a blended MPG rating of 45 or higher to join the SEA airport FIFO queue in the waiting area. You can check your vehicle’s MPG rating here. If your vehicle does not meet this MPG minimum, you will not be added to the queue and will not receive airport pickup requests.

Does your vehicle not meet the 45 MPG (blended) requirement? * You can still complete dropoffs at SEA airport * You are eligible for ReMatch trips after completing a dropoff (see ReMatch section below)

Picking up your rider

Once you accept a trip request, the pickup location at the airport is located at the “TNC/Rideshare” zone on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. The entrance to the parking garage is on the left hand side of the drive right before entering arrivals. Look for the sign for Ground Transportation to enter the garage, then follow “Rideshare/TNC” signs to the pickup area.

When you arrive at the pickup area and park in a stall, message or call your rider to let them know which stall you are in.

Dropoffs at the airport

Based on the operating agreement with SEA, riders can be dropped off at the upper level Departures drive. If you’d like to receive a trip request afterwards, you’ll need to keep the Uber driver app on to maintain your place in the FIFO queue.


ReMatch allows all partners who just completed an airport dropoff to temporarily receive a pickup request without having to wait in the FIFO queue.

To qualify for ReMatch, partners must complete a dropoff at the airport. If you’re in the terminal and do not receive a request after a few moments, it means there was no pickup available to rematch and you need to leave the terminal drive.

If you don’t receive a ReMatch trip, you can still wait in the FIFO queue for an airport request. Please do not loiter in the terminal, as idling at the curb can still result in a citation.

If you do receive a ReMatch trip, follow the route and use the south garage entrance from the Arrivals drive to reach the pickup location.


While waiting in the queue, drivers might receive an alert to proceed to the garage pickup area. Drivers can choose to accept the alert, or can remain in the queue. After accepting the alert, they are matched with a rider on the way or once at the pickup area.

Frequently asked questions

  • No. Only driver-partners with cars that meet 45 MPG or above can join the SEA airport FIFO queue and get trips. However, cars that don’t meet the MPG restriction will be able to pick up if they receive a ReMatch trip after completing an airport dropoff.

  • No. Partners will only be eligible for Re-Match after dropping off at the airport.

  • During times when there are many drop offs the opportunity for Re-Match is higher. At these times the wait times in the FIFO queue may increase. However, Re-Match usually reduces the number of cars in the FIFO queue such that overall wait times generally remain about the same as before.

  • No. Drivers are only allowed to wait in the waiting area. Drivers should only be in the garage if they have accepted a trip or an ExpressMatch offer.

Airport map