The Port of Bellingham has consistently increased fees without providing any benefits to riders and drivers coming through those locations. Today, these fees are 400% higher than fees in comparable locations across the US.
Additionally, these high fees disproportionately target riders and drivers on TNC platforms and hold drivers to different policies compared with other modes of commercial transportation. Uber has expressed these concerns to BLI’s leadership, but they unfortunately are not willing to lower their fees or provide improvements to the rider and/or driver experience. We hope to resume operations at BLI, Bellingham Cruise Terminal, and Fairhaven Station once the Port is willing to modify their policies.
Information for driver-partners
When driving at BLI, 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 Bellingham 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.
- The Uber sticker (trade dress) must always be displayed on the vehicle’s windshield. Driver-partners can request this Uber sticker here.
- 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 including by respecting parking signs.
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
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, drivers cannot stage in the “No waiting Area” (see map below). The “FIFO zone” includes the Hampton Inn and gas stations near the intersection of Bennett Dr and Airport Dr.
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 the 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
Once you accept a trip request, the pickup location at BLI is located on the curb outside of the terminal, behind the taxi and shuttle zone. (see map below).
How drop off 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 the curb in front of the terminal. 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.
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.
- Checking the arrivals schedule Checking the arrivals schedule at Bellingham 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 BLI 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!