Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Taxi driver at Lambert airport say Uber isn’t playing by the rules

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Play by the rules or do your business elsewhere. That's what some frustrated cab drivers at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are telling some Uber drivers to do.

Bob Glynn, a driver with Laclede Cab said it's because Uber drivers are taking away their business, as in picking up passengers at the airport when it's a practice that's not allowed.

"Uber X would like to pick-up, up here at the departures area at the airport," Glynn explained, "it's easier and you don't have to pay the $4 fee that you have to pay down below."

But somehow Glynn said that some Uber drivers are getting away with what he can't.

"It's illegal for me to pick up here," Glynn said referring to the departures area, "there is a $500 fine if I pick up here and get caught."

Legally, Uber X is not allowed to do pick-ups at the airport at all. Even the phone app only offers Uber Black, which is a much more expensive option with the ride sharing service.

FOX 2 wanted to test how passengers were still able to order an Uber X to pick them up at the airport.

In the Uber app, we set up our pick-up location for a hotel near the airport. We monitored the driver's arrival. As soon as he reached the destination, he called. We told him that instead of being at the hotel we were in the departures area and if he would do the pick up at the airport, the driver agreed saying, "yes, I'll be there."

"The problem is that, if Uber X starts picking up here it's going to be very crowded," Glynn went on to explain. "If I wanted to come here in my own car to pick up my sister, I could pick her up here. The airport would love for me to pick her up down below, but I could pick her up here, it's easier."

According to airport officials, the $4 passenger pick-up fee is a recent increase from $3 that generates more than $1 million in annual revenues. It's something that taxi ground enforcer, Steve Krapfl said he makes sure is being enforced with all taxicabs doing airport business.

"We monitor all of our cabs right here," said Krapfl, "these gentlemen go by the rules and regulations and then when other people don't, it kind of hurts them in a way."

Our call to Uber was returned with an email statement from Uber Public Affairs Associate Charity Jackson:

"In accordance with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport regulations, Uber does not allow airport pickups -- we block rider requests from the airport via geofencing and inform all of our driver partners both through the app and through our website that airport pick-ups are not allowed. The only option we provide for riders requesting service from the airport is Uber Black."

In an email to FOX 2's Ayesha Khan, airport spokesman Jeff Lea said:

"Police have and will issue tickets when they identify Uber vehicles picking up customers at the Airport."