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The Most Expensive Airports to Take an Uber From in the United States and Around the World

Travel Airports + Flying
by Jori Ayers Feb 12, 2024

Long travel days can take a lot out of anyone, especially if, on top of those long travel days, you have delays, cancellations, horrible seatmates, or uncomfortable flights. Add to that the dreaded pick-up where everyone is waiting and fighting to score an Uber, only to see extremely elevated prices just to take a 20 to 30-minute journey back home. After you just blew the last of your vacation change on a $13 sandwich, a $5 bottle of water, and a $20 burrito.

Over the past decade, Uber has become the go-to for travelers looking to get a ride from the airport in cities around the world. According to Statista, Uber logged over 2.1 billion trips in the first few months of 2023 alone. And the cost of those trips were in some cases a lot higher when coming from the airport than a trip of a similar distance in the same area.

HawaiianIslands.com dug into the numbers to find which airports worldwide have the highest Uber airport pickup expenses compared to a ride that doesn’t involve an airport pick up. The study looked at the fare for an Uber ride from the 100 busiest airports in the world and the 50 busiest airports by continent (or airports with 1 million passengers in Africa) to the nearest popular city center. Then, that fare was compared to a similar distance for an Uber trip from a neighboring town.

The 10 most expensive airport Ubers in the United States

  1. John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California (116.4 percent higher)
  2. Logan International Airport in Boston (110.2 percent higher)
  3. San Jose International Airport in San Jose, California (105.5 percent higher)
  4. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland (104.7 percent higher)
  5. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington DC (78 percent higher)
  6. Sacramento International Airport in Sacramento, California (67.6 percent higher)
  7. Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Raleigh, North Carolina (59.6 percent higher)
  8. Charlotte-Douglass International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina (59.2 percent higher)
  9. Midway International Airport in Chicago (49.1 percent higher)
  10. Nashville International Airport in Nashville (46.9 percent higher)

The 10 most expensive airport Ubers in Europe

  1. Gatwick Airport in London (70.3 percent higher)
  2. Heathrow Airport in London (69.7 percent higher)
  3. Birmingham Airport in Birmingham, England (50.7 percent higher)
  4. Cologne Bonn Airport in Cologne, Germany (47.2 percent higher)
  5. Palma de Mallorca Airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (45.4 percent higher)
  6. Leonardo de Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome (43.3 percent higher)
  7. Malaga Airport in Malaga, Spain (42.7 percent higher)
  8. Edinburgh Airport in Edinburgh, Scotland (32.3 percent higher)
  9. Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain (25.8 percent higher)
  10. Nice-Cote d’Azure Airport in Nice, France (20.2 percent higher)

The 10 most expensive airport Ubers in South America

  1. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile (203.5 percent higher)
  2. Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport in Joao Pessoa, Brazil (112.6 percent higher)
  3. El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia (78.5 percent higher)
  4. Marechal Cunha Machado International Airport in Sao Luis, Brazil (73.3 percent higher)
  5. Salgado Filho Airport in Porto Alegre, Brazil (61.6 percent higher)
  6. Eduardo Gomez International Airport in Manaus, Brazil (60.7 percent higher)
  7. Afonso Pena Airport in Curitiba, Brazil (59.2 percent higher)
  8. Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (50.4 percent higher)
  9. Ingeniero Ambrosio Taravella Airport in Cordoba, Argentina (46 percent higher)
  10. Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhaes International Airport in Salvador, Brazil (39.9 percent higher)

The 10 most expensive airport Ubers in Oceania

  1. Hobart International Airport in Hobart, Australia (188.6 percent higher)
  2. Newcastle Airport in Newcastle, Australia (132 percent higher)
  3. Cairns International Airport in Cairns, Australia (121.5 percent higher)
  4. Wellington International Airport in Wellington, New Zealand (90.7 percent higher)
  5. Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia (37.8 percent higher)
  6. Townsville Airport in Townsville, Australia (33.8 percent higher)
  7. Canberra International Airport in Canberra, Australia (32.5 percent higher)
  8. Sunshine Coast Airport in Maroochydore, Australia (32.3 percent higher)
  9. Queenstown International Airport in Queenstown, Australia (30 percent higher)
  10. Adelaide International Airport in Adelaide, Australia (24 percent higher)

Along with John Wayne Airport in Orange County, four other California airports are the most expensive to take an Uber from. In South America, Brazilian airports are the priciest locations for Uber rides. In Oceania, Tasmania’s Hobart International Airport has the most expensive airport pickup ride costs at 188.6 percent more costly per kilometer going to the city center than anywhere else. However, the main question remains: Why are airport Uber pick-ups so expensive?

Many suspect it’s because of the time, place, airport, local rules, Uber’s rules, and other factors. Whether you like it or not, Uber’s pricing fluctuates and may get you on a day where the same ride’s price is unbelievably reasonable or ridiculously expensive. Regardless of this, be sure to check and do research prior or see if you can call on a family member or friend to give you a ride home.

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