Today I accepted an Uber request from PAX that needed to go to Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson, MS. Dropping them off was pretty much a hitch because as always, Uber is allowed to drop off passengers at this airport. After unloading their luggage and driving away from the Departure lanes, I stopped to check the backseat of my vehicle as I normally do on one of these trips to make sure that the PAX hadn’t left anything behind by accident before I get too far away from the airport. When I was pulling off from the airport, I was stopped by Airport Security and handed a letter by the Security Guard (available here). My tag number was written down and put in their “system”. I was told that I could drop off passengers at the airport but if I was caught picking up passengers, I would be ticketed.
I should have video recorded the conversation and written down the Guard’s badge number and name but I was in a bigger hurry to leave after the encounter.
My question is, how did this random Security Officer know I was an Uber driver. I have an Out-of-County plate on my vehicle from my home County. He pulled up right to me, never checked the other vehicles stopped around me. He targeted my vehicle. My only conclusion is that he has the Uber passenger app and is cyberstalking TNC drivers. In Mississippi, that is a Felony which carries 2 years in prison and/or $5,000 fine per count. Basically, to find out how many TNC drivers JAN Security has done this to is count how many drivers has/had this letter since the Security Guard gave it up so easily.
When I pulled out, the Guard followed me all the way out of the airport driveway. I was like, “Really!?!?” Like I really wanted to exchange anymore words with him.
What is more strange is that this article was released on the very topic in the local newspaper, The Clarion Ledger, a few days before the cease and desist letter was sent to Uber. I showed the Security Guard the article and he said that the City of Jackson didn’t run the Airport, the CEO of the Airport does. So, insinuating that JAN is above any law, ordinance, or proposal written by the City of Jackson. This is not the first time I’ve heard that statement. I’ve encountered a couple other Uber drivers that has been told the same thing. But guess what, the City of Jackson can make it painfully hard on the airport if the City Officials wanted to. Not only from Jackson, but also problems from Pearl, Flowood, and Brandon also because the airport is basically smack dab in the middle of all four.
What JAN Security is doing is non-short of harassment and it has to be stopped. It’s not enough that TNC drivers are harassed by taxis all around the world. The local cabs in Jackson however has been pretty much passive since the few revisions the City of Jackson has made on existing taxi cab laws. Why should we continue to allow this to happen?