Information for drivers
For driving at SJC, learn how to receive airport trip requests and get in on the action.
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 San José 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.
- As an independent contractor, you may be required to register and hold a Business Tax Certificate. The City of San Jose Finance Department has more information on the rules for registration.
- 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.
- 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.
How pickup requests work
It's easy to receive trip requests from riders leaving the San Jose 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 FIFO zone covers all airport grounds, northeast of the airport between the Bayshore and Guadalupe Freeways.
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 this airport:
- The Terminal A pickup area is located at the former taxi pickup area at Stop 1. Stay to the left of the island and continue through baggage claim. Stop 1 is directly outside of baggage claim.
- If you drop off a rider and immediately receive a pickup request from Terminal A, the airport requires drivers to drive safely and obey the rules of the road. This includes crossing lanes safely and looping around the terminal instead of U-turns. SJC police may issue citations for unsafe driving.
- The Terminal B pickup area is located curbside, just past baggage claim at Stop 8. As you arrive, stay to the right and continue past baggage claim. Stop 8 will be on your right-hand side.
- If the airport is crowded, consider contacting your rider to confirm their exact location.
In addition to regular requests, we've also launched the Prematch feature at this airport. Prematch will prompt drivers in the staging lot to begin heading toward the airport terminal a few minutes before an anticipated ride request. That way, drivers can get as close as possible to the terminal before receiving a pickup request, which minimizes idle time.
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 outside the ticketing area. It's important to keep the Driver app on until you exit airport property. 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.
We've also launched the Rematch feature at this airport. To qualify for Rematch, drivers must first complete a dropoff at the airport. Rematch then allows any driver 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 waiting lot, you may receive a Rematch request. Airport regulations prohibit loitering in the terminal area. Idling at the curb may result in a citation from airport authorities.
SJC pickup map
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 San Jose 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 SJC 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.