Uber at SFO: Pickups, Drop Offs, Pricing, & How it Works

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guide to uber sfo pickups dropoffs and pricing

With more than 56 million passengers per year, San Francisco Airport is the second busiest in California, right behind Los Angeles International Airport and is the seventh busiest airport in the US.

San Francisco Airport is located within the Bay Area 13 miles (21 km) south of Downtown San Francisco, California. The SFO airport offers both domestic and international flights to major destinations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It has four terminals, linked together by the AirTrain, a fast and free train.

To ensure passengers arrive promptly, navigate the airport, and board their flights quickly, it is critical to have information about traveling to and from SFO, since many passengers choose it to arrive or depart.

In this guide we'll explain to you how Uber works at SFO airport. We'll cover pickups, drop offs, pricing, and more. So whether you're a first-time rider or an experienced Uber user, this post will have everything you need to know!

How Uber Works At Sfo

The City and County of San Francisco, through its Airport Commission, controls the general conduct of the public, employees, and commercial users of San Francisco International Airport in their activities related to the use and operation of the airport.

The commission established rules and regulations, which are intended to ensure the safe, secure, and efficient operations of San Francisco International Airport.

These regulations should also help to find a solution to the increased SFO airport congestion.

Whether you are an Uber driver or an Uber rider, you must know and follow these regulations.

Find below a complete breakdown of how Uber works at the San Francisco International Airport for passengers and drivers.

What Are The Pickup And Drop-Off Zones For Uber At SFO

To make things easy for riders and drivers, Uber has designated pickup and drop-off zones at SFO.

SFO Uber Pickup

If you're arriving in San Francisco and need a ride, Uber is the perfect option. However, you have to know how the SFO pick up works.

Uber pickups at SFO are not anymore available on all terminal levels. Indeed, the San Francisco Airport transportation airport authority gradually banned taxis, Uber, and Lyft from the arrivals curb and ordered them in a rideshare pickup area.

After you've collected your luggage, simply follow the in-app instructions to request a ride to your next destination.

For pickups, your driver will meet you at the Uber zone for your terminal. You can find these zones by following the in-app instructions or by checking the signs in the airport.

Domestic Terminals SFO: The Uber pick-up is located on the Level 5 of the Domestic Garage.

International Terminal: All pickups at the international terminal are on the 2nd curb on the Departures Level (3rd floor, international).

Uber Black, Uber Black SUV, and WAV pickups are permitted to occur at the curbside of Terminals 1-3.

Summarizing: The SFO rideshare pickup zone is an easy 8 minutes walk after the baggage claim. You can follow the sign to the parking garage. Once you get there, find the loading zone corresponding to your pick up area.

The pickup area in the garage core are as follows:

  • Terminal 1 – B & C
  • Terminal 2 – D
  • Terminal 3 – E, F & F/G

SFO Uber Drop Offs

If you're new to Uber, here's how it works: first, you'll need to download the app and create an account.

In the United States, Uber offers an entirely cashless experience. This means that you have to enter a payment method to be able to request a vehicle.

Once you've done that, you can request a ride to the airport. Using the schedule option will not save you money but can help you reduce travel stress.

If you do not know how early you should arrive at SFO, our suggestion is that you check with your airline directly for its recommended arrival time.

Keep in mind that generally, for domestic flights, most airlines suggest arriving two hours before departure.

For drop-offs, your driver will take you to the Departures level of your terminal more specifically:

  • Domestic Terminals: Level 2
  • International Terminal: Departures level, at the designated drop-off location along the outer curb (Zones 14)

Practical Information For Uber And Lyft Drivers At SFO

  • You are required to have an airport placard in addition to your two rideshare emblems.
  • The SFO Airport placard should always match with a valid vehicle license plate
  • You should always wait for ride requests in the staging area. You are not allowed to wait for requests anywhere else on the airport property and you cannot use any other parking lots while in the driver mode.

What Is The Process For Requesting An Uber Ride From Sfo?

Follow our step by step tutorial:

  • Collect your luggage from baggage claim. If you just have a carry-on luggage jump to the next step.
  • Open the Uber app and request a ride by entering your destination.
  • Follow the in-app instructions to confirm your pickup location. Your driver will meet you at the designated Uber pickup zone for your terminal.

Remember: always follow the signs and instructions in the app, so you can be sure you're getting picked up or dropped off at the right place!

SFO Terminal Map

To make it clear, please find below the map of the airport pickup zone. If you have more questions or need more information about getting around SFO, you can also consult the FlySFO website.

sfo terminal map

What Are The Different Types Of Uber Vehicles Available At SFO

The ridesharing industry is among the most disrupted by COVID. Hower Uber is still working and offers a wide range of transportation services. Before you request your ride, it is really important that you have a clear idea of all the available options. This will save you time and money since you will avoid cancellation fees.

In San Francisco Uber offers the following ride option:

How Is Pricing Calculated For Uber Rides From SFO

When you ride with Uber the number of passengers in a ride doesn’t affect the price. However, when calculating the fare for an Uber rides from SFO airport, you should take the following factors into account:

  • Base Fare: The Base fare at SFO for an UberX is $5.73. It is a flat fee that you pay on every Uber ride that covers the pickup price
  • The minimum fare: The minimum fare is the minimum amount you have to pay for any Uber ride, no matter the distance. In San Francisco, the minimum fare for an UberX is $24.34
  • Per-minute fare: The per-minute fare for UberX is $0.52. Basically it is the cost per minute of your ride. You will be charged for every minute you spend in the vehicle from the time the driver picks you up to the time they drop you off
  • Per-miles fare: The per-mile fare for UberX is $0.56. This is how much your fare will be based on the distance the vehicle traveled during the trip
  • Surge pricing: Uber uses a system of dynamic pricing that helps balance the supply of Uber drivers and riders
  • Airport fees: There is a $4 exit surcharge added by SFO
  • Tipping: On the Uber platform, tipping is optional. However, if you leave your driver a tip, it will be added to your total fare

If you want to learn more we suggest you read our complete guide on how Uber calculates the price of a ride, you will also learn how to get an estimate for your next trip.

What About Lyft at SFO?

Lyft Pickup At SFO

Lyft pickups are available at all terminals at SFO and are located at the same designated area as all the other rideshare companies.

Once you arrive, you'll see a large Lyft sign and a waiting area.

To request a Lyft ride, open the Lyft app and enter your destination. Lyft will then provide you with an estimate of how much your ride will cost. When you're ready to go, just tap "request" and your driver will be on their way.

Lyft Drop-Off at SFO

Lyft drop-offs are available at all terminals at SFO. Once you arrive, your driver will drop you off at the terminal of your choice.

If you're departing from San Francisco, Bay Area and need a ride to the airport, Lyft is a great option.

Do not forget to schedule your Lyft ride in advance!

💡 PRO TIP: Lyft Pink members get priotity airport pickups

How to Find your Uber, Lyft, or Wingz ride-app pick-up in the Domestic Terminal

SFO rideshare pickup information in the Domestic Terminal

Taxi At San Francisco Airport And Other Sfo Rideshare Options

Taxi

If you haven’t done it yet, we suggest you consult our complete guide with all the taxi options in San Francisco.

Taxis are available 24/7. They will allow you to make the journey to downtown San Francisco in 30/40 minutes (depending on traffic of course). You will have to pay about $50. Again, this price is only an example for the city center. This price will change depending on where you want to go.

Wingz

Wingz is a high-end car service that connects drivers with people who need pre-scheduled rides to and from the airport.

If you are new to the platform you can give it a try and save money with our Wingz promo code. If you are looking for ways to make extra money, take a look at our guide on how to become a Wingz driver.

Alto Rideshare

COMING SOON! Alto is a new car service option available in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is Uber From San Francisco Airport To Downtown?

The price of an Uber from San Francisco airport to downtown depends on multiple factors including when you are picked up and the kind of vehicle you choose. Roughly, consumers can expect to pay around $30 with UberX and $45 with UberXL for a trip from the airport to downtown.

If you are an Uber One member, you can get discounted rates and save money on your transportation service.

How Much is Uber from San Jose to SFO Airport?

Here are the estimated costs of an Uber from San Jose to SFO airport in June 2022: Uber X $54.91, UberXL $97.46, Uber Comfort $78.83.

Is Uber Cheaper Than A Taxi In San Francisco Airport?

Assuming you're asking if Uber is cheaper than a taxi in San Francisco’s airport, the answer is sometimes. It depends on the specific fare prices at the time you're requesting a ride. In general, Uber tends to be cheaper than a taxi, but there are exceptions. If you're looking to save money on your ride, it's best to compare the fares of both options before requesting a ride.

If you want to read more airport guides, you might also be interested in reading up our guide to Uber at LAX, Uber at Denver’s International airport and Uber at Las Vegas airport.

The Journey Not The Arrival Matters

If you’re traveling to, or from SFO and need a ride, Uber is the way to go. With seamless pickups and drop-offs, as well as affordable pricing, it’s no wonder that Uber is one of the most popular ways to get around town. Now that you found out how Uber works at SFO, you can be prepared before your next trip. Have you used Uber at SFO? Let us know about your experience, by sending us an email!

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