Travel Tip of the Week: Save on Rideshare Fares at San Francisco International Airport (UPDATE)

Update May 1, 2019:

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced yesterday, that all rideshare (TNC) pickups for the domestic levels will be relocated to the top level of the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage beginning June 3, 2019. SFO tries to shift 45% of rideshare pickups away from terminal roadways. The $3 discount for the optional pickup at the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage shifted only 21%. International pickups will continue to be at the center island of the departure level.

Rideshare drop-offs are not affected by this change and will continue to be at the designated areas at the departure level for all domestic flights.


I have a little money saving tip for rideshare users using UberX or Lyft departing from the San Francisco International Airport. There is a discounted fare if you decide to get picked up in the Airport’s Domestic Hourly Garage.

The pickup location is the top level (Level 5) of the Garage across from Terminals 1-3.

  • Open your Uber or Lyft app and select the garage pickup option. Only UberX is available for Garage pickup.
  • Choose your pickup area: “Garage Level 5, Terminal 1, Zone B,” “Garage Level 5, Terminal 2, Zone D,” or “Garage Level 5, Terminal 3, Zone F”
  • Confirm your pickup location and take the sky bridge to the parking garage. The Uber app will give you navigational prompts. The walk takes about 2-3 minutes.
  • Meet your driver at the selected location inside the garage.

You will save $3 USD if you choose to get picked up inside the garage rather than the curb. This change went in effect on March 1, 2019.

I never used rideshares from SFO as I usually use the Skytrain to get to the rental car facility or hotel shuttles.

“We’re focused on making SFO easier for travelers to access, and we’ve implemented premium pricing at our curbsides to alleviate traffic congestion around our terminals,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero.

“We’re focused on making SFO easier for travelers to access, and we’ve implemented premium pricing at our curbsides to alleviate traffic congestion around our terminals,”
Ivar C. SateroAirport Director

I found this quote on the official blog of the San Francisco International Airport.

But if I have to interpret this statement. I would say that the airport just charged Uber and Lyft more to pick up customers curbside and you don’t actually save money by choosing the garage pick up. You pay what you used to pay before SFO implemented premium pricing for curb pick up. It seems that only UberX is available for garage pick up and none of their other options like UberXL.

SFO used to be my favorite airport but it seems the airport tries to position itself in the same class as the surrounding “Silicon Valley”. Getting more expensive every day. Do they want to be only the airport for the rich and wealthy? I get their point of removing congestion at the airport drives. Also I wasn’t very impressed when the airport stole my picture and used it on social media without giving credit at all. I even notified them and they still didn’t add any credit. That’s the least they should do, if they don’t even ask for persmission.

Have you used the Garage Pickup yet and what was your experience?

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