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Information for drivers

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

For driving at SMF, learn how to receive airport trip requests and get in on the action.

Rules and regulations

Airport regulations for drivers

Per airport 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 drivers may incur.

  • When on airport property, the Driver app must be open at all times (drivers 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 Sacramento International Airport. The FIFO system only works within the designated geofenced area; drivers waiting elsewhere will not receive trip requests through the Driver app.
  • The Uber vehicle decal (trade dress) must always be displayed on the front passenger windshield and rear passenger windshield facing outward. Drivers can obtain this Uber decal at their local Greenlight Hub.
  • It is illegal under state and federal law for anyone, including rideshare drivers, to engage in price fixing. This includes agreeing or coordinating with other drivers (in airport staging lots or elsewhere) on pricing and surge pricing. The law requires that drivers must make decisions about pricing and surge pricing on their own.

Pro tips

  • Driver cancellations: Trip cancellations can take away from the great Uber experience that riders and drivers 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 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

How pickup requests work

It's 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 to enter will be the first to receive a trip request.

Based on the operating agreement with the airport, the waiting area is located north of I-5, just off Crossfield Drive near the Cell Phone Lot on airport property (see map below).

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 drivers 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 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

Once you accept a trip request at the airport, you can use Lindbergh Drive to head to designated pickup areas at:

  • Terminal A, located at the West Curb at the northwest corner of the terminal
  • Terminal B, located at the West Commercial Curb, north of the short-term parking 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 at their requested terminal on the Departures level. If you’d like to receive a trip request afterward, you’ll need to keep the Driver app on to maintain your place in the FIFO queue.

SMF 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 want 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 help ensure that you’ve picked up the right person out of the crowd.

4. Checking the arrivals schedule

Checking the arrivals schedule at Sacramento 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 SMF 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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