Moment of Acceptance at Airport Quickly Sours for Uber, Lyft Drivers

SACRAMENTO -- For people who make their living taking other people to and fro, the airport is the place to be.

But at Sacramento International Airport, Uber and Lyft drivers waiting for a fare, were banished.

"I was trying to park where all the taxis are, because I figured we're kind of like taxis. And all these guys were so mad at me. They said 'you can't be in here,'" said Courtney Dodds, who drives for both Uber and Lyft.

She and other drivers had been forced to wait it out, out in an empty field, literally.

But not anymore.

"Since I saw the email for this new waiting spot I thought I'd try to out," said Troy Fine, who also drives for both companies.

Spurred by the mess, the garbage tossed out by waiting drivers at the remote, makeshift rideshare staging area, the airport set aside parking in its so-called cellphone lot for the rideshare jockeys.

So why today is there still a line of cars out there in no-man's land? Well, there's just one problem.

"You see all the people here? Uber's systems aren't working today. People are waiting two-plus hours... and then you come over here and you're getting them right away. They're not getting pinged where they're meant to be," said Kevin McGrath, who also drives for both Uber and Lyft.

You ever open a neato Christmas present, only to be told you can't play with it?

"I haven't seen a lot of movement sitting here," Dodd said from her car in the new rideshare waiting lot.

Business on what he thought should have been a busy Labor Day wasn't going well for Fine, either.

"Well... I haven't gotten anyone yet," Fine said.

These drivers want in. They want to be part of the airport proper.

"Well, they have porta-potties over there," McGrath said.

But as long as they are finding their fares while waiting in the open field farther away from the airport, that's where the ride share jockeys will stake their claim.

UPDATE: After FOX40's story aired, airport officials say Uber extended its geofence, allowing drivers to wait in the cell phone lot. Sac International was still waiting for word from Lyft later Tuesday morning.