The age-old question of whether you should grab a Lyft or Uber just became much easier to answer, at least if you’re traveling to or from the airport. Starting today, those ordering a Lyft at select airports can preorder their ride as soon as their flight lands, eliminating the stress of perfectly timing your ride request while juggling bags and navigating airport terminals. It’s called the Lyft Preorder Experience, and it’s currently available at a select airports in the U.S., with expansions to other hubs planned for the coming months.
At a press event this morning, Lyft’s newly appointed CEO, David Risher, explained how the preorder process works. Once you land, pull up the Lyft app to order a ride, note if you have bags to collect, and then request a car. Lyft handles things from there.
“As you start walking through the airport,” Risher said, “we’re paying attention, and as you get close to your car, your car arrives.”
The preorder feature works by matching riders with a driver as they get closer to the pickup spot, and you can use the feature even if you checked bags. As of today, preordering is available at some of the largest travel hubs in the country, including Los Angeles (at LAX) and Chicago (at O’Hare and Midway airports). The feature will roll out later this month at Austin-Bergstrom International, New York’s JFK, and Seattle-Tacoma International airports as well. Lyft plans to expand the feature to more cities in the coming months.
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To use the new feature, simply open the Lyft app and select the “Airport Preorder” option. Then select your desired airport, date, and time. Lyft will then provide you with a price estimate for the ride. Once the ride is confirmed, you can track the progress of your driver in real time.
Frequent flyers can also take advantage of another newly released Lyft feature, which allows iOS users to connect their Apple Calendar to the Lyft app to get reminders about booking airport rides. Flight and terminal info will automatically appear in the Lyft app to make the ordering process even easier. For Android users, Lyft can connect with Google Assistant to provide travel notifications, including a nudge to book a ride at the right time by using traffic predictions.
“It’s sort of our first big product launch, by the way, since ever—so that’s kind of exciting,” said Risher.