Airports With the Most Expensive Uber and Lyft Rides

NEWS & TRENDING - TRAVEL NEWS
In which cities does it cost the most to get a rideshare from the airport? We compared Uber and Lyft prices from every major airport in the U.S. to find out.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
A Lyft/Uber pickup area sign in the ground transportation area of an airport.

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

To find the most affordable airports for rideshares, our team requested Uber and Lyft rides from every major airport in the U.S. to each city’s most popular tourist area. With this data, we were able to find the cities where passengers can expect to pay the highest prices, and where each rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) offers the most cost savings.

Any rideshare customer knows that getting from the airport to a city center can be costly. But prices vary depending on how far out the airport is, the market price for rideshares in the city itself, and even the time of day.

In this article

Key findings

  • On average across the U.S., rideshares from airports into major cities cost $30.48.
  • Lyft and Uber cost about the same ($30.60 vs. $30.36), though costs vary significantly between the two services in some cities.
  • Most expensive airports:
    • Overall: JFK International (NYC) has the most expensive rides into the city of any airport in the U.S. ($79.96).
    • Per mile driven: San Diego International has the most expensive Uber/Lyft rides when factoring in the distance to its city center ($7.56 per mile)

Airports with the most and least expensive rideshares

Rideshares tend to cost more or less in different cities due to things like demand, tolls and fees, and other factors that are outside of the rider’s control. At the same time, rider needs, such as ride distance, also influence final costs. So, are rideshares just more expensive in some locations, or does distance make them cost more?

Overall cost

A map of the U.S. showing most and least expensive rideshares from city airports. Prices show average ride price.


No matter which rideshare you choose, getting a ride from a New York City area airport will cost you. Three of the five most expensive rideshare rides, including the two most expensive overall, are from NYC area airports.

JFK is the most expensive in the nation, with an average cost of $79.96 for the 17.3 mile trip into Manhattan. Newark is second at $65.96 (16.6 miles), while LaGuardia is fourth at $51.96 (8.6 miles). The other most expensive rides in the country are from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the famed Pike Place Market ($59.38, 8.6 miles) and Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Millennium Park ($47.47, 19.7 miles).

The most affordable airport ride is found at San José Mineta International Airport in San Jose, California. The 4.4 mile ride from the airport to the city’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez costs just $15.21 on average. On the other end of the country, the ride from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in the nation’s capital, to the National Mall (3.3 miles) is the second-least expensive with an average cost of $15.47.

Airport rideshare costs per mile

Of course, cities with airports that are farther away from city centers and top tourist attractions will cost more. Cities with airports located near major points of interest generally cost less. To account for these discrepancies, we also calculated rideshare costs from each airport on a per-mile basis.

A map of the U.S. showing price per mile for rideshares from city airports.


Despite being just 2.9 miles away, it costs $22.45 on average to get an Uber or Lyft ride from San Diego International Airport to the city’s famed Gaslamp Quarter. This equates to $7.74 per mile, the most expensive per-mile ride of any airport.

Only one other trip is within a dollar of SD’s per-mile cost. The three-mile trip from Harry Reid International Airport to the Las Vegas Strip costs $7.14 per mile. The ride from LaGuardia to Times Square costs $6.04 per mile on average, making it the third most expensive in the country. No other airport ride in the country costs even $5 per mile.

The 13.3 mile trip from Indianapolis International Airport to downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center is the least expensive ride. It costs just $1.58 per mile on average. Going from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Moore Square in downtown Raleigh is just a few cents more expensive, at $1.60 per mile, while a trip from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to the city’s Discovery Green park costs just $1.63 per mile, the third-lowest total of any airport.

Differences between Uber and Lyft in different cities

Differences in pricing systems and rider availability between Uber and Lyft mean that a rider requesting an identical trip on both apps will almost always need to pay different fares. In fact, only one airport (Tampa International) had exactly the same cost on both services. So are you better off taking Uber or Lyft in your city? We compiled lists of each to help riders determine which app to use at each airport.

Cities where Uber is cheaper

A table showing major U.S. airports where Uber costs less than Lyft.


Uber is the more affordable option at 21 of the airports evaluated, including 10 where users can save at least $3. The biggest savings are for rides originating at JFK International in New York, as rides from that airport to Times Square cost $13.98 less for Uber riders compared to Lyft.

Uber users can save $11.03 on rides from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the second-biggest savings of any airport. Beyond those two, there are five more airports where there is a price difference of at least five dollars in favor of Uber.

Cities where Lyft is cheaper

A table showing major U.S. airports where Lyft costs less than Uber.


Lyft is the more affordable option for airline passengers flying into 23 different major airports, including 11 with savings of at least $3. The airport where using Lyft saved the most money was at Denver International Airport, where a Lyft ride was $12.05 cheaper than an Uber to the same destination in downtown Colorado.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is the only other airport where using Lyft resulted in a savings of more than $10, as a ride from that airport to Millennium Park is $10.95 less expensive than using an Uber. In addition to those two, there were four more airports where Lyft was at least $5 less expensive than Uber.

The full data

Airport City Destination in city Trip length (miles) Uber cost Lyft cost Average trip cost
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) New York, NY Times Square 17.3 $72.97 $86.95 $79.96
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Newark, NJ Times Square 16.6 $68.99 $62.93 $65.96
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) Seattle, WA Pike Place Market 13.8 $58.99 $59.77 $59.38
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) New York, NY Times Square 8.6 $47.95 $55.97 $51.96
Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Chicago, IL Millennium Park 19.7 $52.94 $41.99 $47.47
Dulles International Airport (IAD) Washington, D.C. National Mall 25.3 $41.95 $43.99 $42.97
Denver International Airport (DEN) Denver, CO Denver Union Station 24.5 $47.97 $35.92 $41.95
Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) Detroit, MI Campus Martius Park 20.9 $37.91 $41.79 $39.85
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) New Orleans, LA Bourbon Street 16.3 $38.90 $40.71 $39.81
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) San Francisco, CA Union Square 14.5 $40.98 $37.92 $39.45
Kansas City International Airport (MCI) Kansas City, MO Power & Light District 19.6 $34.91 $40.97 $37.94
St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) St. Louis, MO Ballpark Village 14.6 $38.95 $33.79 $36.37
Pittsburgh International Airport Pittsburgh, PA Market Square 19.1 $30.91 $40.79 $35.85
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Dallas, TX Klyde Warren Park 18.1 $29.96 $40.99 $35.48
Portland International Airport (PDX) Portland, OR South Park Blocks 8.6 $35.99 $34.66 $35.33
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) Chicago, IL Millennium Park 12.1 $37.96 $31.99 $34.98
Orlando International Airport (MCO) Orlando, FL Disney Springs 19.4 $33.96 $34.99 $34.48
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Los Angeles, CA Grand Central Market 17.8 $30.97 $34.72 $32.85
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Houston, TX Discovery Green 19 $29.98 $31.79 $30.89
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Philadelphia, PA Reading Terminal Market 11.6 $31.96 $27.95 $29.96
Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) Baltimore, MD Inner Harbor 10.7 $27.97 $24.99 $26.48
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Atlanta, GA Centennial Olympic Park 10.6 $21.92 $28.97 $25.45
Tampa International Airport (TPA) Tampa, FL Armature Works 8.3 $24.99 $24.99 $24.99
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) Raleigh/Durham, NC Moore Square 15.3 $25.98 $22.99 $24.49
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Sacramento, CA Capitol Park 10.9 $23.90 $23.72 $23.81
Nashville International Airport (BNA) Nashville, TB Broadway 8.4 $24.95 $22.66 $23.81
Miami International Airport (MIA) Miami, FL Bayside Marketplace 7.1 $22.92 $22.68 $22.80
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Austin, TX Sixth Street 6.8 $24.95 $19.99 $22.47
San Diego International Airport (SAN) San Diego, CA Gaslamp Quarter 2.9 $21.91 $22.99 $22.45
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) Minneapolis, MN Nicollet 10 $19.94 $24.70 $22.32
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) Cleveland, OH Cleveland Public Square 11.9 $21.93 $21.81 $21.87
Oakland International Airport (OAK) Oakland, CA Oakland City Center 9.1 $23.91 $18.99 $21.45
Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) Las Vegas, NV The Cosmopolitan 3 $20.96 $21.90 $21.43
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) Boston, MA Boston Common 4.6 $23.53 $18.74 $21.14
Indianapolis International Airport Indianapolis, IN Indiana Convention Center 13.3 $19.93 $21.99 $20.96
San Antonio International Airport San Antonio, TX San Antonio River Walk 8.2 $19.95 $19.75 $19.85
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) Honolulu, HI Aloha Tower 5 $17.92 $17.99 $17.96
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) Dallas, TX Klyde Warren Park 5.3 $17.98 $17.86 $17.92
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) Salt Lake City, UT City Creek Center 7.8 $17.99 $16.99 $17.49
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) Fort Lauderdale, FL Las Olas Boulevard 6.5 $16.90 $17.99 $17.45
John Wayne Airport (SNA) Santa Ana, CA Fourth Street (Calle Cuatro Plaza) 6.4 $19.95 $14.91 $17.43
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) Phoenix, AZ CityScape 3.7 $13.96 $19.99 $16.98
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) Charlotte, NC Romare Bearden Park 7.7 $16.96 $16.99 $16.98
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) Washington, D.C. National Mall 3.3 $15.95 $14.99 $15.47
San José International Airport (SJC) San Jose, CA Plaza de Cesar Chavez 4.4 $13.73 $16.68 $15.21
Averages: 11.7 $30.36 $30.60 $30.48

How to save on travel of all kinds

No matter where your travel takes you, there are always ways to save money on transportation costs. Some top tips for saving include:

  • Use a top travel credit card to get rewarded on the go. From airline tickets to hotel rooms and rideshare costs, using one of the best travel credit cards is a great way to earn points and other rewards on travel spending.
  • Make your miles go farther when you use a rideshare app. Certain cards offer users specific rewards when they use ride apps that the card issuer partners with. Using one of the best credit cards for Uber rides or one of the best credit cards for Lyft is a great way to get bonus value the next time you book a ride.

Methodology

We collected the data shown above by requesting rides on Uber and Lyft from each major U.S. airport to a major tourist destination or downtown area in each city. All rides were requested between 9 and 10 a.m. local time. Pricing data was collected for the standard or default ride offering from both Uber and Lyft. Ride mileage is based on Google Maps results for the shortest possible drive for each trip based on distance. All data was collected in July 2023.

Rocket Money Benefits

  • Helps to find and cancel subscriptions
  • Slash your monthly phone, cable, and internet bills
  • Save an average of up to $720 a year

Author Details

Josh Koebert Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt