I’ve heard from multiple readers that there are really long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at LAX and at other destinations around the country. And if the wait times aren’t bad enough, their rates are also surging. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do.

1. Take a taxi. From what I’ve heard and seen at LAX (like my photo above from May 2021) and JFK, is that there are no lines for taxis and their rates are now actually cheaper than rideshares.

2. When traffic is bad at LAX or other airports and the Uber/Lyft waits are long, travelers are doing what I used to do before rideshares were legally allowed to do airport pickups. Hop on the first hotel shuttle (generously tip the driver) that arrives and then Google/GPS the address of the destination. Then, plug that address into Uber while on the way, and by the time the shuttle arrives, your Uber driver will be waiting.

3. The easiest but most expensive way to get picked up at LAX is by ordering a car service. I use Blacklane because I work with them and get paid in credits. But they’re always on time, have clean, comfortable cars and professional drivers.

I know most people can’t afford the luxury of a car service and that these days, most prefer rideshares over taxis (myself included). That’s because rideshares are usually cheaper, cleaner, more comfortable, friendlier drivers (since they get rated), easier to pay (no cash), more convenient (you just tap a couple of buttons to summon one) and you don’t need to know the local language. But for the time being, it might be worth acting like it’s 2012 and not 2021.


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7 Comments On "The Trick to Getting Out of LAX and Other Airports During Rideshare Shortage"
  1. Ken VanTassell|

    Why do they hate Manhattan Beach ?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Because it’s a short ride and they have to wait in a long taxi line to wait for arriving passengers.

      1. Dan Nainan|

        It’s luck of the draw. Sometimes you get the elevator, and sometimes you get the shaft. It all evens out in the end, stochastically. It’s wrong for the taxi driver to take it out on the paying passenger. If I’m going to short distance, I understand the issue and will tip a taxi driver handsomely but if he gets angry about the short distance then forget it.

        This is precisely why Uber is so great. The drivers do not know how far you are going in advance. And if they are unhappy with it, if they show their displeasure then you can give them a low rating. Because of the technology, there’s no need for Uber drivers to wait in a line. They just need to hang out somewhere near the airport.

  2. Dan Nainan|

    This is one of the many things that are wrong with the old-fashioned taxi business model…drivers getting angry because they don’t feel that you are going far enough. Hey, I’m a customer, and I don’t deserve to be yelled at because I’m not taking a taxi from LAX to some point far away.

    Ever try to take a taxi in New Jersey? The driver will just make up a price. I was quoted $20 to go from the Princeton New Jersey Transit rail station to a hotel two miles away! So the next time I was at the same rail station, I ignored the long line of cabs and called Uber. The Uber driver told me that he and some friends decided to take a cab instead of walking two miles to a bar. The cab driver refused to give them a price up front, and at the end of the ride he charged them $80!

    This scenario is repeated time and time again around the country. Goodbye taxis, hello Uber. Despite their flaws, I will continue to use Uber.

  3. Christina @ ChristinasCucina.com|

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. TA Anderson|

    Another great way to get out of LAX is to rent a vehicle. I generally use Avis or Enterprise for a one day, one way rental, from LAX to Orange County. This generally runs between $75 and $125 depending on which vehicle is selected as long as you return the vehicle the next day.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Have you done this in 2021?

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