The Miami-International Airport (MIA) has over 1,000 daily flights and 40 million passengers. It’s the 3rd busiest airport in the US by international passenger traffic and plays an important role in US aviation history. Florida’s biggest airport by total aircraft operations and an American Airlines hub to boot, this is all to say that the Miami air hub is no joke.
This is great news for Uber and Lyft drivers, because millions of passengers means major earnings as riders commute back and forth to the airport.
The Miami airport allows Uber and Lyft vehicles at the pick-up and drop-off terminals, but before heading that way, there are a couple rules you’ll want to know. To maximize earnings (and avoid a ticket), it’s important to understand how to navigate the airport, join the queue, and legitimize your vehicle.
To help rideshare drivers be successful at the Miami-International Airport, we put together this blog post to serve as a guide. The following topics are covered:
- What do you need to know or do before arriving at the Miami-International Airport?
- Do you need any permits to drive there?
- Where is the rideshare waiting area?
- What are the passenger pick-up rules?
- What are the passenger drop-off rules?
- When is the best time to drive at the airport?
- What is the best driving strategy?
Let’s dive in!
What do I need to do before I arrive at Miami-International Airport and enter the airport queue?
To pick up passengers at MIA, you’ll need your trade dress: the Lyft or Uber decal that goes on the windshield of your car.
Uber mails this decal to drivers when you sign up. If you’ve lost yours since then, there’s a couple 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 closures), or print out a temporary version at home.
Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area?
The Miami-International Airport has one staging area for rideshare drivers, located on the northwest corner of McLaughlin Road and Northwest 20th Street.
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 Lyft or Uber app. Unfortunately, if the lot is full you will have to leave the airport, and the lot closes nightly from 1:30-3:30 am. Rides will be dispatched by proximity before the lot closes.
While waiting for requests and depending on which app you use, you may get a “pre-dispatch” message directing you to head to the terminal. While on route to the terminal, you’ll get a ride request– and if no requests pop up, circle back to the lot. You’ll be near the front of the line when you return.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers pick up passengers?
The driver who has been waiting the longest time in the staging area gets the next rider request. Make sure not to enter out of driver mode while you wait, or you’ll lose your spot in line!
Once you get a ride, a pin will be placed at the pick-up spot for you to meet them. This will be at Terminal D, either at the Arrivals lower level or on the upper level between Doors 8 and 33.
It can get tricky, so keep an eye on Google Maps and don’t hesitate to reach out to your rider.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at the Miami-International Airport?
Luckily, dropping off passengers at MIA is a lot easier than picking them up. Just head to the Departures level at the passenger’s carrier of choice. And if you’re doing a drop-off at Terminal D, make sure you’re past Door 5 before stopping your car to avoid traffic from building up.
The Miami airport also offers a “Rematch” service, so that you can match with additional passengers after completing a drop-off without having to return to the staging area.
When is the best time to drive at the Miami-International Airport?
Turn to your Gridwise app for information about all arrivals and departures at MIA, as well as delays and cancellations.
Typically, midday is the best time for airport driving; most passenger arrivals and departures occur sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
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.
What airport strategies should I use?
Pick up a passenger on the way to the airport
Count on Gridwise to let you know when there’s 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 that if it’s a short ride, some companies let you jump back in line after you’ve dropped that passenger off.
Be ready to present your waybill and keep your app updated
A waybill is essentially a receipt of the last trip you completed. Be prepared to present this to airport officials or law enforcement while waiting for arrivals.
Keeping your app updated is the best way to take advantage of features like Rematch that could mean bigger earnings in the long run.
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.
Congrats! Now you’re all set to make some pick-ups and drop-offs at the Miami-International Airport—and maybe sneak a trip to the beach in between.