Uber drivers cherry pick rides at Fort Lauderdale airport, passengers say

Drivers appear to be rejecting shorter fares

By Paradise Afshar - Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Courtney was frustrated Tuesday as she stood outside of Terminal 1 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

She'd been trying to connect with her Uber driver in the pickup zone at the airport, but she couldn't seem to get a ride.

But even after three rejections, she remained positive that she'd make it to her home in Plantation.

"I'll get home eventually," said Courtney, who didn’t want her last name used. 

The thing is, Courtney isn't the only one getting rejected by Uber.

Other travelers said drivers with the ride-sharing app are cherry picking rides at the airport. They're accusing drivers of rejecting shorter rides. 

Since drivers cannot see a passenger's destination until they're in the car, passengers said the drivers are calling them for destination information. 

Phil Davis, who travels often for work, is fed up with the rejections.

"I often find myself waiting 40 minutes to an hour just to get a ride home from the airport," he said.

Shaun Ramey, who was also stranded at the airport, said drivers aren't supposed to question where passengers are going, but it happens.

"It can be frustrating," Ramey said.

Local 10 News decided to test the issue with the Uber app.

The driver called moments after a request was placed for a ride. 

When the driver was told that the destination was a business on Stirling Road, which is a four-mile trip that would cost about $21 with a traditional taxi and about $14 with Uber.

The driver rejected the request.

When asked why the ride was rejected, the driver hung up.

So Local 10 called again.

This time, the location changed to the Bayside area in downtown Miami. The trip is about 21 miles and would net the driver nearly $41.

This time the answer was different.

"I'll see you in five minutes," the driver said.

When told about the problem, Uber issued a statement.

"Uber’s mission is to connect riders to reliable transportation, everywhere for everyone," Uber Florida spokesman Javi Correoso said. "It is unacceptable to refuse to provide services based on where someone is going. We are working with both, driver partners and airport officials, to improve the pick up process at FLL airport."

Uber also reminded riders to contact support on the app if a driver cancels a ride.