Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
SEA regulations for commercial driver-partners
Per SEA 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 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. If you fail to appeal or pay the citation invoice, these will be sent to Uber to pay the Port, however you will receive email communication and the corresponding amount will be deducted from your earnings.
- Commercial partners may fulfill requests for uberBLACK and SUV and may opt-in to fulfill requests for SELECT and uberXL.
- 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 trip requests through the Uber driver app.
- The Uber sticker (trade dress) must always be displayed on the vehicle’s windshield. Driver-partners can obtain this Uber sticker at their local Greenlight Hub.
- Driver-partners must have a valid Sea-Tac Airport permit (Gatekeeper).
- Driver-partners must have a valid business license.
- Driver-partners must have valid commercial vehicle insurance.
- Driver-partners may not wait longer than 10 minutes in the loading areas.
- Driver-partners must keep headlights on at all times.
- Driver-partners must not exceed the posted speed limit of 10mph.
- 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.
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
At SEA, Uber’s technology uses a first-in-first-out (FIFO) queue. This means that, in order to receive a trip request, driver-partners need to enter a designated waiting area, located within a “FIFO zone”. Driver-partners will then be placed in a virtual queue where the first driver-partner to enter will be the first to receive a trip request.
At SEA, the FIFO zone covers all airport grounds, as shown in the map below. Commercial driver-partners are welcome to wait at our new holding lot located at 2902 S. 171st Street SeaTac, WA 98188.
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 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 SEA is located on the lower level Arrivals drive (see map below).
Additionally, riders requesting from the garage can be picked up on the 3rd Level. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport asks that driver-partners first check in at the Ground Transportation booth. This booth is orange and is also located on the 3rd level of the garage.
How drop-off requests work
Uber is a reliable option for travelers heading to 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.
Re-Match 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 Re-Match, 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 drives.
If you don’t receive a Re-Match 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 Re-Match trip, follow the route and use the south entrance to reach the pickup location on the Arrivals drive. You may want to call your rider to let them know that you are on your way!
Frequently asked questions
Can I just drive to the terminal to qualify for Re-Match?
No. Partners will only be eligible for Re-Match after dropping off at the airport.
Does Re-Match increase my wait time in the FIFO queue?
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.
What is the fastest way to go from Departures to the pickup location?
SeaTac Airport has requested that drivers use the Airport Expressway and the return to terminal loops to reach the pickup locations. Please do not exit on 170th street as those intersections can become very congested.
I’d like to know more about Re-Match.
You can learn more about the Re-Match program by listening to this podcast.
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.
4. Checking the arrivals schedule
Checking the arrivals schedule at Seattle-Tacoma 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 SEA 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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