Uber and Lyft Driver Instructions for Memphis International Airport (MEM)

If you’re a rideshare driver working in the Memphis area, then you’re bound to end up at Memphis International airport at least a couple of times each week. That’s because there are more than 4.1 million passengers that travel through the airport each and every year, making it one of the busiest rideshare driver hotspots in Memphis.

But if you’re going to maximize your earnings while driving Memphis International, you’re going to need to understand the rules and regulations of the airport, know how to get around the airport, and have a solid airport strategy.

Well we ant to make sure you maximize your earnings as a rideshare driver in Memphis, so we’ve put together this instructional guide to help Uber and Lyft drivers be successful when driving MEM.

See the topics covered in this blog post below:

  1. What do I need to know or do before arriving at Memphis International Airport?
  2. Do you need any permits to drive at Memphis International Airport?
  3. Where is the rideshare waiting area at Memphis International Airport?
  4. What are the passenger pick up rules at Memphis International Airport?
  5. What are the passenger drop off rules at Memphis International Airport?
  6. When is the best time to drive at Memphis International Airport?
  7. What is the best Memphis International Airport driving strategy?

Let’s dive in!

What do I need to do before I arrive at Memphis International Airport and enter the airport queue?

Step #1: Get your trade dress

If you’re a rideshare driver in Memphis, then you already know that you NEED to have your trade dress to drive anywhere, especially the airport. Without it, you are at high risk for a hefty fine.

So before you do anything you must make sure that you have your Uber, Lyft, or whatever TNC you use decals. You can easily pick these up from one of the rideshare companies.

To get your Uber Decal you can visit the local Greenlight Hub.

To get your Lyft Decal you can place an order on your dashboard. You can also print a temporary decal if you lose yours or are waiting for one to come in the mail.

Step #2: Know the airport regulations

Many airports have specific permits that rideshare, but Memphis International Airport is not one of them! So as long as you have your trade dress, feel free to pick up passengers here. There are a few rules and regulations that you’ll want to follow, however.

  1. Always keep one of your rideshare apps on at all times while on airport property
  2. Don’t wait in any other areas except the designated staging areas (see the map below). Not only is this against regulations but you also won’t be added to the queue. So if there is no room in the staging lot you must leave.
  3. Follow all traffic and parking rules. Meaning don’t stop or pull over in crosswalks and don’t park in red zones or taxi/shuttle areas.

Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area at Memphis International Airport?

The waiting area at Memphis International Airport is essentially the rideshare cell lot. Use the below Google Map to find the lot by clicking on the pink area.

Once you get the staging lot you’ll automatically be entered into the airport queue. It will be up to you to find a spot to wait.

This lot is small, and if you don’t find a spot you’re going to need to leave.

Once you get the staging lot you’ll automatically be entered into the airport queue. It will be up to you to find a spot to wait.

How should Uber and Lyft drivers pick up passengers at Memphis International Airport?

Pickups at Memphis International are very straight forward. There is one terminal, so rideshare drivers can pick up their passengers from the departures section on the upper level.

The airport can be busy, and sometimes passengers can get confused, so we recommend messaging your passenger early and confirming they are meeting you on the departures level.

You can find the pick up area on the map below marked in blue.

The Uber/Lyft app will automatically direct the rider to go to the designated area depending on their terminal.

You should also note that Lyft has launched their “pre-dispatch” feature at MEM that basically tells drivers to start heading toward the pickup area before you have actually received a ride request.

A pre-dispatch message looks like this:

If you receive this message, head towards your pick up point but keep an eye on your app as you may not receive a request. I know, that’s annoying, but just drive back to the TNC staging lot and you’ll keep your place in line.

Please also note that Lyft has been turning this off at airports around the country, so this feature may disappear at any time.

How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at Memphis International Airport?

Dropping off passengers at Memphis International Airport is easy as can be. You can simply drop passengers off at their requested carrier and that’s it! Just be sure to use the outer lane (commercial vehicles) to drop your passengers off.

When is the best time to drive at Memphis International Airport?

Memphis is a buzzing city year round, and so is its airport. So at any given day of the year you’re going to find a significant amount of rider demand at MEM. That being said, you’re not the only driver that knows that. So there is also usually a ton of drivers at the airport.

So the best time to drive at MEM is when the ratio of passengers to drivers is at its absolute highest.

To understand when this ratio is highest, check your Gridwise app and compare queue times to passenger arrival times.

There are of course certain times of year that receive more passengers like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and big sporting events, however, the best way to understand rider demand at your airport is with Gridwise.

What airport strategy to use at Memphis International Airport?

Pick up a passenger on the way to the airport!

Don’t just be a driver that picks up passengers at the airport! Also pick them up when they are heading to the airport. Gridwise does a great job of telling you when there is also 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.

Look out for your short ride bump

After waiting for some time at the airport for a passenger, there is nothing worse than getting a ride that’s 5-minutes away. That’s why the major rideshare companies have some form of a short ride bump that allows you to jump back into the front of the line if you get a very short ride request.

To take advantage of a short ride bump, simply complete your short ride and look out for a text message or in-app message that gives you the option to head back to the TNC lot for a preferred spot in the queue.

Always be prepared

You never know when law enforcement will show up, so always keep your driver’s license, insurance card, and registration handy. And don’t forget to have your placard displayed.

Now you should be ready to make that drive to MEM and actually earn money instead of snacking on candy from Sunoco. I’m not the only one who does that, right?

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