SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Some Uber drivers are accusing other drivers of playing dirty to gain more lucrative airport fares.
The average Uber fare for an SUV runs between $25 to $35. But an airport pickup at starts $85.
“Airport fares represent a large source of our daily income,” said Chris, an Uber driver who did not want to give his last name.
“So if you could get a continual stream of airport rides, it would be lucrative,” he added.
The fares are so attractive that some say Uber drivers are gaming the system with the help of an illegal app.
“They’ve hacked into the system and they are fooling their Uber phone into thinking they’re first in line at the airport when they’re not,” said Chris.
The Uber app automatically assigns the fare to the closest car. So drivers are hacking their Uber phones to make it appear they’re closest to the airport.
For example, if you look at the Uber app, you’ll see a cluster of cars apparently parked on the freeway off ramps just feet from the airport.
But there’s really no one there since that’s it’s illegal to park on the side of the freeway.
Chris said the company told him they’re aware of the issue and are working on it although he hasn’t seen any effort on the company’s part to stop the practice.
KPIX hasn’t received a response from Uber about the situation. In the meantime, Chris said honest drivers like him are missing out on lucrative fares.
KPIX heard from other drivers that they’ve been offered a chanced to buy the illegal app for $800.