Mar 7, 2023 - News

Uber launches airport guides to help cut pickup confusion

Passengers arriving at SFO

Passengers arrive at SFO. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

We've all been there before — at an airport, tired after a long flight and searching for the rideshare pickup area. Uber now hopes to simplify that experience.

What's happening: The rideshare giant announced Tuesday that it's adding step-by-step instructions within its app to navigate travelers from the plane to their Uber pickup zone.

  • The handy feature — which will include directions and accompanying photos — will be available at more than 30 airports worldwide to start, including San Francisco International Airport.
The new feature tells riders where to go to find their car. Image: Courtesy of Uber

Why it matters: Trips to and from the airport represent around 15% of Uber's total rideshare bookings. And with competition emerging from driverless services like Waymo and Cruise, the company will need to continue to hone its user experience to maintain a foothold in the market.

Details: As part of the announcement, Uber also said it'll soon roll out "walking ETAs" at more than 400 airports, so travelers can more accurately know when to call for a ride and cut down on their wait times.

  • The company's expanding its reservation feature in several cities as well to include more ride types.

What they're saying: "Travel is already so unpredictable and such a load on people's minds, especially when traveling with family and kids," Jen You, head of product for rides at Uber, told Axios. "We want ride logistics to be the easiest part of your day."

My thought bubble: The Wall Street Journal recently rated SFO the best large airport in America, and I totally agree. It's clean, the food's great, and for the most part, it's easy to navigate.

  • My one beef is its rideshare pickup area. Or, the lack of instructions for getting there. No matter how often I travel, I'm always slightly confused.
  • I'm looking forward to finding that random, bottom-level passageway easier next time I fly!

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