Nearly two years ago, this editor was waiting to be picked up by a family member after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport. I was standing near the curb at Terminal 1, which like most areas of LAX was a madhouse.
Some passengers (we suspected International fliers from nearby Terminal 2) had their luggage stacked up impossibly high on those SmartCarts, and were blindly pushing them through a crowded sidewalk filled with other passengers — mainly those from Southwest, who were simultaneously rolling their luggage while looking for rides from family, friends or the taxi line.
Suddenly, I noticed a small silver Prius pull-up. A young-ish man hopped out of the driver's side, went to the curb where another young-ish man was standing, and grabbed his luggage. The second young man then took a seat in the back while the driver was putting his luggage in the backseat.
But before the driver could return to the wheel, he was busted by LA Airport Police.
The driver was an Uber driver; the young man was his passenger who had called up the ride via the Uber app, which was apparently illegal. Here's my tweet from that incident:
As an Angeleno who flies frequently, I've been using Uber more and more for my airport rides. Typically, a taxi from where I live (in between Santa Monica and Malibu) is about $65, including a decent-sized tip. But when I take UberX, my ride never costs more than $28. That's a huge difference. And like most Uber users, I prefer the newer and cleaner cars they have to the beat-up yellow taxis. But I've never taken Uber home from the airport because I'm always afraid the airport police will pull us over.
That may soon change. If all goes well, similar Uber-dependent passengers like myself could start taking an Uber home from LAX in September. Last week, Los Angeles World Airport officials voted to allow Uber to do airport pick-ups. The proposal still needs to be signed off by the city attorney, but the airport's approval is a good sign.
LA Magazine says there are a few things to know, namely that Uber drivers will have to pay $4 to the airport for each pick-up and drop-off, a cost that riders will have to pick up — but that will still be far less than the taxi costs. And we won't have to agree to meet the Uber in a secret part of the airport and sit in the front seat.
Reprinted from Jaunted.com