Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is an epic airport. Not only is ATL the busiest airport in the US, but it has the been the most heavily trafficked airport in the US since 1998. More than 104 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2017 and traffic has just continued to grow since then.
This is great news for rideshare drivers, as this means a TON of opportunity to earn a lot of money by working the airport.
However, you’re not the only person that understands the value of the airport, every rideshare driver does.
So if you’re going to maximize your earnings , you’re going to need to make sure that you are permitted to work at the airport, know how to navigate the airport, and have a solid airport strategy.
Well, we want to make sure every rideshare driver maximizes their earnings when driving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, so we’ve put together a guide to help rideshare drivers be successful when driving at ATL.
See the topics covered in this blog post below:
- What do I need to know or do before arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
- Do you need any permits to drive at Jacksonville Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Internationall?
- Where is the rideshare waiting area at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International?
- What are the passenger pick up rules at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International?
- What are the passenger drop off rules at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International?
- When is the best time to drive at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International?
- What is the best Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International driving strategy?
Let’s dive in!
What do I need to do before I arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and enter the airport queue?
Step #1: Get your trade dress
If you’re driving anywhere in Atlanta, you need your trade dress and that goes double for the airport. If you are seen picking up passengers with no trade dress, be prepared to receive a ticket!
So before you do anything you must make sure that you have your Uber or Lyft 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.
Step #2: Get your free airport vehicle decal:
At ATL, not only do you need your trade dress, but you also need a permit to be able to pick up passengers. Luckily, it’s very easy to obtain. All you need to do is contact your local Uber Greenlight Hub or Lyft Hub to receive a ATL airport placard.
Once you obtain your placard, you should hang it from your rear view mirror.
Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport?
There is one major staging area at ATL where rideshare drivers from all TNC’s can wait. This lot is located at 1586 Sullivan Rd, College Park, GA 30337.
For directions, simply click on the blue area in the map below and you’ll be routed to Google Maps.
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 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)?
Each terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has a designated zone where rideshare drivers should pick up their passengers. When you receive your ride request, you’ll be directed to go to the correct designated area depending on your terminal where your passengers will meet you.
Check the map below to see where these designated areas are located.
The Uber/Lyft app will automatically direct the rider to go to the designated area depending on their terminal. It is a good idea to send your passenger a text confirming their location before you leave the waiting area.
How should Uber and Lyft drivers drop off passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)?
Dropping off passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is easy as can be. You can simply drop passengers off at their requested carrier and that’s it! No special rules here.
Uber does offer rematch at ATL, which means that if you are dropping a passenger at the airport you could receive a request without having to go wait in the staging lot. This improves pickup times for Uber while also helping drivers avoid a long queue.
But remember, you cannot wait at any time at the airport, even for a rematch. So once you’ve dropped off a passenger, begin to head to the waiting area to see if you get rematched.
When is the best time to drive at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)?
As we said at the beginning of our guide Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the busiest in the world and there are thousands of passengers traveling through every single day no matter the season. However, 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 ATL 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 the Saturday before big basketball games (Go Hawks!!), however, the best way to understand rider demand at your airport is with Gridwise.
You can also use Gridwise airport alerts to remind you when rider demand is increasing. You can simply set up alerts that will remind you when demand at the airport is at a certain level so you don’t need to continuously check.
What airport strategies should I use?
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 ATL and actually earn money instead of snacking on candy from Sunoco. I’m not the only one who does that, right?