- Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, apologized after a new plan moving Uber and Lyft pickups to a lot far from the central terminal area resulted in delays.
- LAX-it launched Monday as an attempt to get people using ride-hailing apps out of the airport in 30 minutes, cutting the normal time in half.
- But there were “long waits for shuttles, congestion for shuttles to get to LAX-it, and long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at the lot,” LAX said on Twitter.
- Passengers vented their frustrations at LAX on social media, with some saying it took them an hour to get an Uber or Lyft.
- Uber had warned LAX in advance that it expected its “service to be poor” as a result of the new scheme.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, has apologized after a new venture banishing Uber and Lyft drivers from pickups in the central terminal area resulted in “carmageddon.”
A new pickup zone called LAX-it was introduced several hundred meters from Terminal 1 on Monday as a way to ease congestion.
But passengers arriving in Los Angeles and drivers working for ride-hailing apps said the system, which had customers either walk or take a shuttle to the new pickup spot, was slow and confused and resulted in long delays and traffic jams.
“We have seen significant challenges at peak time this evening,” LAX’s official Twitter account said.
“Those challenges included long waits for shuttles, congestion for shuttles to get to LAX-it, and long wait times for Ubers and Lyfts at the lot. Taxis have over-performed all day long, picking up more passengers than usual.”
—LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) October 30, 2019
“It was carmageddon,” Nicole Moore, a Lyft driver, told the UK newspaper The Guardian.
Erik Newlin, a Dallas resident visiting Los Angeles for business, told the Los Angeles Times that three Ubers canceled on him as he waited at LAX-it on Monday.
“This has been a complete cluster,” he said. “It cost me 25 minutes I didn’t have.”
—Melissa Rosenthal (@MelisOnCheddar) October 30, 2019
“Once you get to the lot, there’s no direction really,” a passenger told ABC 7. “There’s a line to get an Uber. What sense does that make?”
The celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted: “If you thought Trump’s impeachment strategy was bad, you haven’t seen the new s— show at @flyLAXairport relating to Uber/Lyft.”
In the run-up to the launch, Uber had told airport officials it expected “service to be poor” and for them to expect traffic jams and long waits.
LAX had said the shuttle buses from the terminals to LAX-it would come every three to five minutes during peak hours. Officials on Tuesday said the average wait was 10 minutes, the Los Angeles Times said.
LAX-it is designed for pickups only; Uber and Lyft drivers can still drop off passengers in departures.
LAX said it would take 25 to 30 minutes to get out of the airport after leaving the terminal under the new system, but passengers reported it taking far longer.
“It’s our first day doing this and we know we’ve got improvements to make,” LAX tweeted late Monday.
A Lyft representative said: “We’ve been working closely with LAX airport leadership, and we have an experienced team on the ground making real-time adjustments to improve our operations for both riders and drivers.”
—Nate Enthusiasm (@enthuxiasm) October 31, 2019