Lyft rolls out feature to make airport pickups faster
Lyft is rolling out a new feature ahead of the bustling summer travel season to reduce the time riders wait for a car at the airport.
Both Lyft and Uber have been launching new products and expanding their services in recent months – including features aimed at easing the stress of airport travel – to gain market share and be seen as the dominant player in the space.
For its latest innovation, Lyft is launching an airport pre-order feature at some of the biggest travel hubs across the country.
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Starting Thursday, riders at Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International and Midway International airports will be able to pre-order a ride upon landing.
The app will track the rider as they walk through the airport and then match them with a driver as they get closer to the pickup spot. The app takes into account the wait times through the airport, including baggage claim.
The goal is to have the driver arrive as the passenger gets to the pickup area, or shortly after. The new feature will soon roll out to airports in Austin, New York and Seattle.
Riders will also be able to connect to Apple Calendar or Google Assistant in order to get travel notifications for when to leave for the airport. Flight and terminal info will automatically appear in the Lyft app as well, the company announced.
CEO David Risher saw an opportunity in addressing airport travel, which he acknowledged can be one of the most frustrating, yet pivotal, parts of the rideshare business.
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"Airport travel is important because just even within our ecosystem, about 10% of our ride volume are airport rides, that's a big deal," Risher told FOX Business.
This means "10% of our rides are in a situation where people are under a lot of stress," and that's only going to accelerate as we get further into the summer, according to Risher.
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Uber in March announced a string of changes that it said will make hailing a ride at the airport easier, including adding step-by-step directions to guide users along their walk from the gate to the Uber pickup area. It also added an ETA feature to help users "more accurately plan how long it will take to get from gate to baggage claim." Uber riders can also reserve their ride to the airport up to 90 days in advance.