Driver Takes 30 Minutes To Arrive At Los Angeles Airport
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
My first experience using Lyft for a pickup at the Los Angeles airport – LAX – was not exactly a smooth experience.
Both App And Driver Promise 3-4 Minutes
That’s because it took more than half an hour for the driver to reach me. This was after the app said “4 minutes” and the driver called to say he would be there in three minutes.
After about 15 minutes, I called him back and he said “I’ll be right there.” After another 10 minutes I called him again as he had still not arrived to me.
I was already in a testy mood because Delta had made me an hour late (for the third time in four flights) and I had missed my ride. So now I had to go through the trouble and extra expense of finding a way home.
I considered Super Shuttle, which is about $20. But this and other shared van services must be full before departing and to do this, they often circle the airport several times looking to pick up passengers.
So I thought I would try Lyft. for the first time.
Lyft, unlike Uber, does not tell you on the app how much the fare is in advance, so I had no idea until later how much this was actually costing me. When the driver finally arrived I asked him for an estimate and he said he did not know. “It’s not much” is all he could offer.
Turns out it was $20 to south Hermosa Beach, which is about half of what a cab would cost with a tip. This included a $4 airport fee, which applies to all professional pickup services (Lyft, Uber, taxis, shared ride vans, etc.).
When the driver – Raul – finally pulled up to the curb, I was anxious to get moving, mainly because of my late arrival and missed ride but also for it taking so long for Lyft to arrive at the airport.
Raul explained traffic was especially heavy – it was the evening before New Year’s Eve, at about 9 o’clock at night – and on our way out I could see he was correct. Traffic was stopped on Sepulveda southbound back to the light at Imperial Highway.
But why did the app show the driver would pick me up in three minutes, why did Raul not say traffic was heavy and it would take longer than expected, and why did I have to twice call him to get status updates?
I was already steaming from Delta making me late and this did not exactly improve my mood.
As far as the ride itself, it was fine and Raul knew his way around the South Bay area. Once we hit Manhattan Beach, I started playing tour guide and pointed out restaurants and bars with nightly food and drink specials. I tend to calm down pretty quickly with things.
So all’s well that ends well, I suppose and Lyft was definitely cheaper than a taxi. But its customer service, at least on this night, left a bit to be desired.