Qantas and QantasLink passengers jetting into Sydney Airport’s domestic terminal and looking for an Uber ride will no longer have to trudge across to the Priority Pickup area squirrelled away at the carpark between T2 and T3.
From December 21, there’ll be a dedicated Uber ‘kerbside’ pickup zone right outside the door to Terminal 3 arrivals.
And it’s exclusive to Uber, with a spokesperson for Sydney Airport confirming rideshare competitors such as Ola, DiDi and GoCatch will have to make do with the more distant Priority Pickup area.
Sydney Airport’s T3 kerbside Uber pickup zone is handily located across from baggage claim carousels 1 and 2 (directly ahead of the taxi pickup area) so it’s going to be a real time-saver for harried flyers.
“With rideshare now accounting for nearly 40% of all pickups at Sydney Airport, it was evident that we needed to provide a pickup experience that best caters to consumer preferences, while prioritising safety and convenience,” explains Dom Taylor, Managing Director of Uber ANZ.
There’ll now be seven pickup bays for Uber drivers, with a holding area adjacent to the taxi holding area in the U-shaped space between T2 and T3 whjere Uber drivers can wait until they accept a job and then pull into one of the pickup bays to meet their rider.
This arrangement also means a change for limousines and private hire cars, which from December 18 will now be assigned to nine pickup bays some 80 metres further along Shiers Avenue (note that these bays will be located on either side of Shiers Avenue, with bays 6 through 9 closer to the P2 car park).
Passengers arriving at T2 – which hosts the likes of VA, Jetstar and Rex - will continue to use the existing Priority Pickup area, although Sydney Airport expects the new T3 Uber pickup zone will reduce crowding and congestion in the Priority Pickup area “by more than a third.”
And as anyone who’s used that zone in recent times – particularly on a Friday afternoon, when it can best be described as a zoo – will agree this a very good thing.
A dedicated Uber pickup zone at T2 could also be on the cards. “Longer term, we would like to roll out a kerbside pickup zone at our T2 domestic terminal” notes Kenn Langcake, Sydney Airport’s Head of Commercial Transport.
“Rideshare now accounts for nearly 40 percent of all pickups at the airport, up from just 7 percent in 2016, so it’s important that we continue to evolve our services in line with shifting passenger preferences.
However, Sydney’s kerbside Uber pickup facility won’t use the same Uber PIN technology as at Melbourne Airport (which allows passengers to request an Uber ride, join a queue at the airport and give the next available Uber their PIN).
Additional reporting by Chris Ashton