ORLANDO, Florida. Rideshare company Uber told FOX 35 News that it has received a letter from Orlando International Airport (MCO) about new, higher boarding rates. The move has left Uber drivers worried that they could lose out if the airport raises the cost of the transfer.
“Honestly, it’s already too high,” said shuttle passenger George Mack, who came to Orlando from Maryland, “especially from where I live, to come here? I have a family and everything, pretty high.
Uber drivers said that if fees were higher, potential riders could choose other ways to get from the airport.
“Maybe people prefer to call his family to pick them up, or use something else, like transfers from airports to hotels. They would prefer it because it’s a high price, you know?” Uber driver David Rodriguez said.
The current airport pick up fee is currently $5.80. The airport plans to raise it to $6.35 in August and then to $7 in October. Uber said that this is the highest commission of all the airports in which they operate.
“This is a 20% increase. This will negatively impact both Uber drivers and Uber riders because they will pay more, and this could negatively impact drivers’ earnings,” Uber spokesman Javi Correoso said.
In the letter, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Kevin Thiebaud said the board of directors could change the rate whenever they wished.
“This is an issue that was agreed and resolved when the operating agreement was signed in July 2017, and we will not revise it,” he said. “These fee increases were already approved by the board in September 2022 and there is no reason to bring them back for board review.”
Consumer advocate Tom Jelneck said higher prices could force passengers to look for alternatives.
“Taxi is also expensive. Consumers will just have to start making decisions about the easiest way to get out of here and get to my hotel or go home.”
Airport staff said they are working to respond to a FOX 35 News request for comment. We did not receive a response prior to the publication of this article.
Other ridesharing companies such as Lyft did not answer this question either. Uber said it was going to start notifying passengers via the app of higher fees and asking them to put pressure on the airport, lawmakers and others to lower them again.