A ride share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield in downtown Los Angeles.
Photo: Richard Vogel (AP)

There are few things I dread more when getting off of a long-ass flight than getting back onto a train and waiting another hour or more to make it home—particularly when I fly a red-eye, which is often if I’m flying between the coasts.

In these situations, typically following flights clocking longer than five hours or ones that land in wee hours of the morning—when public transit can be less frequent or reliable—I will take an Uber or a Lyft. But frantically scanning license plates in a multi-lane sea of passing vehicles can present its own challenges—especially at a huge airport like John F. Kennedy International Airport, where location tracking can be spotty and finding your driver without holding up traffic can feel like a hopeless pursuit.


Lyft, evidently understanding that this final leg of your journey is often a uniquely frustrating experience, announced Monday in a blog post that it’s launching a pilot program in May for a designated pickup area and physical line for Lyft riders at San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2.

With this system, after ordering a standard Lyft, users will receive a unique four-digit code to present to their driver once it’s their turn for a car, in they’ll climb, and off they’ll go. Sounds pretty good, right?

Image: Lyft

I certainly think so, but let’s not forget that taxi lines are also not without their headaches. Long wait times can sometimes run 30 minutes to an hour at the extreme. Some of the Gizmodo staff expressed that waiting in a line for a car is worse than the confusing process of finding your Uber or Lyft, particularly during peak hours, when everyone is just trying to book it the hell away from the airport as fast as possible.


Lyft may have more opportunity to work out the kinks here, provided it can shift more resources to the airport when demand is high. According to its announcement, the company will also have “Lyft ambassadors” on the scene to shepherd waiting riders to something hopefully resembling order. Still, some of the Gizmodo staff remain skeptical—which, fair!

So let’s talk about this. Which of these bad experiences is the reigning king of airport nightmares? Should we cab it at all? Is it better to just take the bus or train, if possible? What is the best way to make it home with the least amount of trouble and relative ease?! Let us know down below.



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