Uber confirmed Friday that it has secured another win in its battle to operate at airports across the country: As of yesterday at 3p.m., riders can now hail any of the company's cars from Oakland International Airport.
Market pressure on Oakland's airport played a role in the change, according to comments in a press release from Port of Oakland, which operates the airport.
"It is important that we are inclusive and responsive to customer demand, which includes the ability to use TNCs," or transpportation network companies such as Uber, port Acting Director of Aviation Kristi McKenney said in a statement Friday.
Previously, the airport allowed only Uber Black and Uber X rides with transportation charter party (TCP) licenses, a type of commercial license used by limo drivers, Uber confirmed. The company announced late last month that it had reached an agreement with the airport and its operator Port of Oakland to lift restrictions.
The change marks yet another victory for the company in conquering what the New York Times in May referred to as the “last frontier” for the ridesharing company: airports, which have remained a stronghold for the taxi industry.
"We are thrilled to add Oakland to the growing list of airports that have embraced ridesharing services like uberX as a safe, reliable transportation option," Wayne Ting, Uber Bay Area General Manager, said in a statement.
Amid restrictions at airports, drivers for ridesharing companies such as Uber have been known to stake out alternative spots to pick up passengers near points of flight. NBC reported in February that San Francisco Bay Area drivers for Uber and Lyft claimed their companies instructed them to ignore restrictions and that the companies would pay citations if necessary.
The company uses a “punch approach” to secure its place in a new market, as Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader of research firm Gartner, once told the Los Angeles Times.
"They punch themselves into the market, break glass, upset people and then figure out how to bring everybody together in a more friendly way," he said.
In Uber's home state of California, Oakland joins airports in San Francisco, San Diego, and Orange County in allowing rides without special restrictions, according to Uber. Los Angeles International Airport currently allows Uber drivers to drop passengers off but not to pick them up, according to the Los Angeles Times. The airport is expected to drop the restriction as early as September.
A complete list of the U.S. airports that allow Uber pick-ups was not immediately available from the company Friday afternoon.