During 2019, more than 9 million passengers filtered through the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). As the primary airport serving Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, if you’re a rideshare driver in the Cleveland area, there’s a good chance you’ll end up at this airport at some point.
If you know what you’re doing, those 9 million passengers can be a great source of income for you.
To maximize your earning potential (and avoid a citation), you’ll have to know some baseline rules. That’s why we put together this guide to help rideshare drivers navigate the airport, join the in-app queue, and put the proper stickers on your vehicle.
We’ll cover the following topics:
- What should you do before arriving at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- Do you need any permits to drive at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- Where is the rideshare waiting area at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- What are the passenger pick-up rules at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- What are the passenger drop-off rules at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- When is the best time to drive at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
- What is the best Cleveland Hopkins International Airport driving strategy?
Let’s dive in!
What should you do before arriving at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and entering the airport queue?
To pick up passengers at CLE you’ll need your trade dress, which (as you know) is the Lyft or Uber decal that goes on the windshield of your car.
Uber sends out this decal when drivers sign up. If you’ve lost yours since then, there are a few easy ways to replace it. You can request that a new one be mailed to you, pick one up at your local Greenlight Hub (be wary of recent Hub closures), or print out a temporary version at home.
Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
CLE has one staging area for rideshare drivers to wait, located at 20001 Brookpark Road. Once this stage lot is full, you must leave the airport (or face a citation).
Once you get to the staging lot you’ll automatically be entered into the airport queue. You’ll be able to check your place in line in the app.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers pick up passengers at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
The driver who has been waiting the longest in the staging area gets the next rider request. Once you accept a passenger, you’ll be shown in your rideshare app the exact door/location to meet them.
This will be at the arrivals level outside baggage claim. As of 2020, passengers can be picked up at both the upper and lower terminals at CLE.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
Drop-offs at CLE are a breeze! Just head to the departure level at the passenger’s carrier of choice.
With some driving companies, you’ll be quickly re-matched with a waiting passenger without having to get back into the staging lot.
When is the best time to drive at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport?
For this, check your Gridwise app. You’ll find the information you need, including all arrivals and departures at CLE.
It looks like midday is the best time for airport driving; somewhere between noon and 1 p.m. sees the most passenger arrivals.
With Gridwise Plus you’ll be able to see airport data 24 hours in advance, so you can lock in a solid airport strategy the night before you head out. You’ll also be able to create custom alerts for arrivals and departures
What are some good airport strategies?
Pick up a passenger on the way to the airport!
Gridwise lets you know when there is a peak in airport departures, so you can hang around near hotels at that time to maximize your chances of an airport ride.
Do not cancel on a passenger after you’ve accepted a fare
If you do, you will be bumped to the bottom of the queue and your wait starts all over again. The good news is, if it’s a short ride some companies let you jump back in line after you’ve dropped that passenger off.
Always be prepared
As always, you never know when law enforcement will show up. Keep your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration handy, and don’t forget to have your placard displayed.
Now you’re off and ready to make some pick-ups and drop-offs at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Happy driving!