News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Uber launching scheduled rides in Atlanta

Got an early morning flight and worried about your ride to the airport?

MARTA trains don't start running until 4:45 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends. For those who want to avoid parking at the airport or leaning on a friend or family member, you can make an advance reservation with a taxi, shared-ride shuttle or limo.

Another option is opening up with scheduled rides on Uber, which the company is rolling out in Atlanta over the next few weeks.

Sometimes riders "want to arrange a pickup in advance so they can rest assured that an Uber will be available when they need it, even if it's for a 4AM ride to the airport," according to Uber in an announcement of the rollout of scheduled rides in top business travel cities.

While the city of Atlanta has still not yet moved forward with plans to legalize Uber X pickups at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the city's prohibition applies to pickups rather than drop-offs at the airport. (And Uber drivers and travelers often skirt the rules on pickups as well, to the frustration of some city and airport officials.)

Uber says customers can schedule a ride up to 30 days in advance.

One important note: An Uber driver would not be scheduled in advance. Instead, when the pickup time nears, a pickup request is sent to an available driver who is nearby. Scheduling an Uber ride means that customers would not need to make the request just before they need to be picked up.

Initially, the scheduled ride option in Atlanta will be available to those who have a business profile in their Uber account and people who signed up to try the service. It will be rolled out to other Uber users in Atlanta in coming weeks.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.