Lyft Will Test Turning Its Airport Pickups Into Taxi Lines

Apr 16, 2019

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Ending a trip is an exhausting process. You’ve been in transit for hours, you still need to collect your bags and belongings and then there’s the tedious commute to your home or hotel.

Well, Lyft believes that “leaving the airport should be the simplest part” of reaching your destination. The popular ride-hailing app is debuting a new feature with taxi stand-style pickup service, where riders queue up and connect with their drivers using a unique code upon pickup.

The beta launch will take place at Terminal 2 of the San Diego International Airport (SAN) beginning mid-May, and Lyft plans to expand to other airports down the road depending on how well the new feature is received. Select Lyft riders may also be invited to test out the service before the May launch date. 

The service will direct all travelers to a clearly-marked Lyft pickup area in Terminal 2 where riders will wait in line to be connected with a Lyft ride.

It’s a bit ironic that Lyft, which’s seen by many as an innovative technology company that’s disrupted the cab industry, is essentially creating its own taxi line. However, it’s fair to say that this could be a useful feature at crowded airports like New York JFK, where it can sometimes take more than 15 minutes for a ride-hail vehicle to reach your location.

Here’s how the new Lyft pickup format will work:

First, enter your destination and request a standard Lyft ride.

If available, you’ll see the above screen pop up in your app. Tap “Get code” to receive your unique four-digit code. Then follow the directions to Terminal 2 and join the Lyft pickup area line, where a Lyft ambassador can answer any questions.


Once you reach the front of the line, show your code to the driver. After your accounts sync up, you’ll be on your merry way.

As of now, Lyft has not disclosed additional airports slated for future roll-out.

Lyft has other incentives to make airport ride more rewarding, including its partnerships with JetBlue and Delta where you can earn rewards points with both airline’s loyalty programs. Mastercard also just launched a program where cardholders can earn $10 in Lyft credit each month when using a World Elite credit card for Lyft purchases.

Featured photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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