Rideshare chaos at Orlando International Airport

Cars are double-parked and drivers are camping out as spaces fill up. 

It’s a potential recipe for disaster at one of the busiest airports in the country.

Cellphone video from Uber driver Ernesto Arzeno shows what he says the rideshare lot at the airport looks like a typical day.

“Because of everything going on at the airport. I don’t want to see it anymore. I don’t want to be part of it. It’s stress that I don’t need,” he said.

Arzeno says he’s called countless times about this kind of behavior and cars double-parking and parking illegally. 

The airport records department told The News Station that there could be up to “3000+ pages” of calls for service to that lot in just the last year. 

Fox 35 spoke to airport operations director Tom Draper about all of this.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know where that number came from. I’d have to research and figure out where that came from. Our staff is out there all the time patrolling the lot, and I don't know that we’ve had that many calls for issues in the lot,” Draper said.

Of the 19 calls from that lot in just one month, almost each one was about overcrowding and illegal parking. 

Draper says they typically don’t ticket drivers because many are new and transient and don’t know the rules. 

Other pockets of the airport are clogged too.

“The airport gets pretty congested with the Lyft and the Uber drivers and the customers coming out,” said driver Andrew Clar.

Draper says the rideshare companies have expanded the queue for rideshare drivers “so that they could be close around the airport and they didn’t have to be in that staging area.” 

Folks in the pickup area at the airport are now feeling that burden. 

“You’re waiting outside the terminal to get in,” Clar said.

They say something needs to change to improve the traffic flow at and around the airport.

Airport officials say some of the congestion also stems from travelers who are requesting their rides too early.

“The pickup area gets busy because the customers, as soon as they get off the plane and they get a Wifi signal, they immediately call for that vehicle,” Draper said. 

It can still take a while to get out to the pickup area after riding the tram and getting your bags. 

“So the driver is out there, and he’s either parked in the area or he’s circling around,” Draper said.
Draper says he wants to focus on education at the airport. 

“It’s educating the driver and educating the customer to not call until they have their bags and they’re standing out on the curb,” he said.

There are 80 spots at the rideshare lot at OIA. 

Airport officials say they don’t have space to add more or another lot.