Boston’s Logan Airport begins transition to new centralized Uber and Lyft location

Nov 9, 2019

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Catching an Uber at LAX with its new pickup process is trying, but thankfully that does not seem to be the case at Logan Airport (BOS) in Boston. Last week, Logan began phasing in a centralized drop-off and pickup system for all ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft. For the most part, the reports are largely positive.

Eventually, almost all pickups and drop-offs will be at a specific location within Central Parking which is, as one would guess, very central to all four terminals — A, B, C and E. There is no shuttle needed and there are covered walkways to get to and from the terminals.

Related: Planning a family trip to Boston

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yellin / Deals We Like.)

Pickup process at Logan

As of right now, only rides leaving the airport are affected by the ride-share changes. Regardless of the terminal in which you arrive, you need to go to the Central Parking garage to pick up your Uber or Lyft.

Previously, travelers had to wait outside. With the unpredictable Boston weather, especially in winter, staying inside can be a big win. The new waiting area at Central Parking is covered and will even be heated in the winter. Of course, Central Parking might be a longer walk, which can be problematic with many bags in hand and kids in tow. I personally would prefer a slightly longer walk with my kids versus listening to them complain about the cold.

Related: Best credit cards for Uber

Massport expects that passengers will experience shorter wait times. Based on conversations with travelers who have flown out of Logan this past week, that seems to be true. The only problem at the moment is that some Uber drivers who haven’t used the Central Parking pickup area are not sure where to go.

The other issue is that during peak times, there can be a backlog for the elevators to get to and from the pickup area. Stairs are an option, but that isn’t always feasible with luggage.

If the longer walk out to the pickup area is too much for you and your family, you can look into taking a taxi or a pre-arranged car service. Taxis and other hired-car services, such as Groundlink, are still allowed to pick up you at the curb beside Arrivals — there is no change there.

Nonetheless, an Uber or Lyft might be your most cost-effective option. When I priced out fares from the airport to my house in the suburbs west of Boston, an Uber was significantly less expensive at $48.37 than the yellow taxi estimate of $71.13 and GroundLink price of $79. (Although with the current GroundLink Amex Offer, you could save money if you are eligible).

There are plenty of signs and arrows to guide you to Central Parking. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yellin / Deals We Like.)

Drop-off process at Logan

For those taking an Uber or Lyft to Logan in the next few days, nothing has changed. drop-offs will take place at the Departures curb. The new process for drop-offs will begin to go into affect on Nov. 11 as a two-step rollout. On Nov. 11, travelers being dropped off between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. will be dropped off at the Arrivals location (the lower-level terminal curb). At other times, drop-offs will still be at Departures.

Starting on Dec. 9, all drop-offs between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. will still be at Arrivals, but at other times they will go to the Central Parking location. The only disadvantage of being dropped off at Arrivals is that you’ll have to take take a few extra steps (or an elevator) upstairs to the Departures area. 

Fortunately, if you are flying domestically and are dropped off at Central Parking, there will be Sky Cap service that can check your bags and not require you to lug them to the terminal.

(Image courtesy of Massport.com)

New fees and discounts

Taking an Uber or Lyft home from the Boston airport is about to get more expensive. On Dec, 9, 2019, you’ll be charged an additional $3.25 fee. On the flip side, if you share a ride with another passenger, you’ll actually receive a $1.50 discount.

Related: Best credit card to use for your Uber trip

ANKARA, TURKEY - AUGUST 31: Uber and Lyft application logos arae seen on a screen in Ankara, Turkey on August 31, 2018. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)

Bottom line

The new process for ride-hailing at Boston Logan seems to be working, other than congestion for elevators. However, it only applies to travelers being picked up at the new Central Parking location until Nov. 11. Since the new drop-off process does not go into affect until next week, we will not know if the changeover is a true success until then.

I appreciate waiting for an Uber or Lyft at Central Parking in an enclosed area. However, I’d prefer to be dropped off right at the curb when trying to catch a flight, especially if I am pressed for time. Based on your flight time, it might make sense to coordinate your Uber or Lyft to arrive at the airport in the morning and avoid the Central Parking location.

Featured photo courtesy of iStock/Getty Images.

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