Uber and Lyft Driver Instructions for John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)

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In 2018, John Glenn International Airport saw more than 8 million people travel through its doors, up 7.5% from 2017. That means there are millions of opportunities for smart rideshare drivers to find long, profitable rides.

But if you’re going to maximize your earnings at airports, you’re going to need to know how to navigate CMH and you’ll need to have a solid airport strategy.

Well at Gridwise we want to ensure that all rideshare drivers in the Columbus area maximize their earnings, so we put together this instructional guide to help Uber and Lyft drivers be successful when driving John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

See the topics covered in this blog post below:

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

Let’s dive in!

What do I need to do before I arrive at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) and enter the airport queue?

Step #1: Get your trade dress

First things first. Gt your trade dress.

Every rideshare driver in the Columbus area needs to have the decal or sticker of Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company displayed on your windowshiled at all times. Especially when driving at John Glenn Columbus. 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.

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

One of the nice things about CMH is that you don’t need a specific airport decal to drive there, however, there are a few key rules and regulations that you must follow.

  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. Keep the staging lot clean! Don’t do any maintenance on your car here or dump trash on the ground
  4. Be prepared to show your waybill. You can access it through your Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare app
  5. There is a one hour wait time in the staging area at CMH. Drivers dwelling in the staging area for more than an hour risk a citation.

Where is the Uber/Lyft waiting area at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)?

Currently, all rideshare drivers share the staging lot that is located at 3156 E. 17th Avenue. This is NOT the cell phone lot. Click on the blue area on the map below for instructions.

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 John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)?

Picking up passengers at CMH is incredibly easy.

When you receive and accept a trip request, you just need to head to the middle aisle of the terminal roadway to find your passenger.

See the pink section of the map below for directions.

The Uber/Lyft app will automatically direct the rider to go to the designated area.

You should also note that Lyft has launched their “pre-dispatch” feature at CMH 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 John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)?

Dropping off passengers at John Glenn Columbus International Airport is simple. Simply drop your passengers off at their requested area on the departures level.

When is the best time to drive at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)?

As we said at the beginning of our guide John Glenn Columbus International Airport is one of the busiest in the world and there are tons 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 CMH 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 Buckeyes!), however, the best way to understand rider demand at your airport is with Gridwise.

What airport strategy to use at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)?

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 CMH 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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