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Airport Pick-up

Shuttle Service

Airline Tickets | Money Exchange | Phone Cards | Pick-up | Housing
Airport Pick-Up Volunteer

Before your departure date, it is important to make sure that someone at your destination airport will be waiting to pick you up and give you a ride to your temporary housing or to school. Depending on your destination airport and the time of arrival, the airport can be very crowded. It is advisable that you arrange a way to meet with your contact someplace specific in the airport. Most universities' international student associations will arrange for an airport pick-up. However, try not to choose to arrive during exam week, which usually occurs in early-to-mid December and May, because it will be difficult to arrange for volunteers to go to the airport at such a stressful and busy time. Make sure that you contact your international student advisor or the international student club at your school early to provide ample time to make all of the arrangements.

Note: If someone gives you a ride to your home or school it is polite to offer to share gasoline expenses.

Transportation from the Airport

If you cannot find someone to pick you up, or if you decide to travel to your school or hotel by yourself, you will need to arrange for transportation from the airport. Three kinds of transportation are commonly used - shuttles, buses and taxis. Shuttles and buses are more economical than taxis, if you need to travel far.

  • Shuttle - a mid-sized bus or van. Usually costs around $30-$50 within 50-70 miles of the airport. The shuttle driver will handle your luggage and you should provide a tip (normally $1-$2 per piece of luggage). The shuttle transports many passengers heading in the same direction and drops each one off at his or her destination. If you are staying in a hotel, sometimes the hotel will offer free shuttle services.

  • Bus - the cheapest method of transportation from the airport. However, it only stops at designated bus stops and you will need to carry your luggage by yourself. If your temporary housing or hotel does not have a bus stop close by which is connected to the airport bus, it is a better idea to take the shuttle.

    Note: For reasons of safety, it is not advisable that you take the bus by yourself late at night.

  • Taxi or Cab -- the most expensive but also the most convenient choice. Most airports have taxis waiting near the baggage claim area. If your destination is not far from the airport (10-20 miles) a taxi will cost you around $30-$40, plus tip, which is 15% of the total fare. The driver will handle your luggage. Most taxis in the United States only accept cash (?), so be sure you are carrying plenty in case the ride costs you more than you expected. Ask how much the taxi fare is before you get in! Also, it is very important that you provide the accurate address of your destination.

You can find most information regarding transportation at the airport information desk once you have arrived. Or you can click on one of our links to reserve an airport pick-up service before you arrive.

Arriving at:
LAX International Airport
SFO International Airport
SEA International Airport
JFK International Airport

If you need temporary housing upon arrival, please click here for more information.

Phone Cards | | Housing
Important US Official Links:
1) SEVIS is a government, computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. More info >>
2) U.S. Customs - Department of State


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