Taking an Uber or Lyft ride is one of the most convenient ways to and from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). If you are new to rideshare services at SFO, this guide may address most of your questions.


If you’re taking an Uber or Lyft ride to SFO, simply tell your driver the airline you are taking, then you will be dropped off at curbside on the departures level (upper level) in the area serving your airline. Please inform your driver if you are taking an international flight so that your driver can take you directly to the international terminal.

UberX or Standard Lyft is the best option for most travelers. With these services, you are not sharing the ride with anyone but still paying a low fare. The driver will take you directly to SFO. This is especially important if you’re on a time constraint. The last thing anyone wants is an unexpected delay on the way to a flight. If you are traveling with a group, you may consider an UberXL, which seats up to four riders. Although it costs more than UberX, it is still a rather low cost option for a group with several pieces of luggage. Alternatively, an UberSUV or Lyft Plus with slightly higher cost can seat up to six passengers and comes with a high-end black vehicle driven by a commercially licensed driver.

UberPOOL or Lyft Line is not recommended for trips to the airport. This is because these services work line a van pool and usually take much longer than UberX or Standard Lyft and may experience unexpected delays. The systems match you up with other passengers going in similar directions. Unfortunately, there are may be two or three pickups and drop-offs along the way. This can cause significant delays in your trip to the airport. Unless you have a lot of extra time to spare, avoid taking UberPOOL or Lyft Line to SFO.


All Uber and Lyft passengers are picked up curbside on the departures level (upper level), not the arrival level (lower level).

After you have collected your luggage, head to the departures level. When requesting a ride, confirm your terminal and door number when prompted by the app. If you are unsure of your terminal and door number, check the signs posted curbside on the departures level.

There are four terminals at SFO.

Domestic (Terminals 1-3): the departures level is located on the second floor.

International (Terminal 4): the departures level is located on the third floor.

SFO Uber/Lyft Pickup Locations

Uber and Lyft passengers are picked up at TNC (Transportation Network Companies) locations.


If the airport is crowded, consider contacting your driver to provide additional information about yourself to help the driver identify you in the crowd. Calling your driver is better than texting because the driver cannot respond to text messages while driving. In the meanwhile, refer to Uber or Lyft app to note the driver’s name and license plate number, and be on the look out for your driver as he or she approaches.

Terminal 1 Renovation

Beginning on October 28, 2016, terminal 1 will undergo a $2.4 billion renovation. Parts of the roadways will be un-accessible for two years.

  • Closure begins on Friday, October 28th at 1:00am
  • No curbside pickups or drop-offs from Door 1 through Door 6
  • Terminal 1 departure-level curbside access for Southwest, Delta and Frontier begins at Door 7

Ride Options

Please consider your luggage size when requesting a ride. The following options are available at SFO.

UberX Low-cost; ideal for 1 to 2 passengers with luggage
UberXL High capacity vehicle for a larger group with multiple bags
UberSELECT Mid-tier luxury sedan for 1-2 passenger with luggage; a step above UberX
UberBLACK High end luxury sedan driven by a professional driver
UberSUV High-capacity version of UberBlack for up to 6 passengers.
UberASSIST UberX or UberXL with drivers trained to assist passengers with accessibility needs
UberPOOL Lowest cost option; split cost with other riders; Not recommended if under time constrain

Standard Lyft Low-cost; ideal for 1 to 2 passengers with luggage
Lyft Plus High-capacity vehicle for up to 6 passengers.
Premier High end luxury sedan or SUV
Lyft Line Lowest cost option; split cost with other riders; Not recommended if under time constrain


Fare Estimates for Popular Destinations

SFO → Downtown San Francisco UberX: $25-32 Lyft: $24-33
SFO → Union Square SF UberX: $27-34 Lyft: $23-32
SFO → Palo Alto UberX: $34-44 Lyft: $31-42
SFO → Downtown San Jose UberX: $52-68 Lyft: $53-65
SFO → Downtown Oakland UberX: $42-54 Lyft: $38-50
SFO → UC Berkeley UberX: $46-59 Lyft: $42-54

Fares to and from SFO vary depending on vehicle options and travel time. Please use Uber Fare Estimator or Lyft app to get a more accurate fare estimate. For all SFO rides, Uber and Lyft also collect a $3.80 drop-off or pickup surcharge. This surcharge will be paid directly to San Francisco International Airport.

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