Say what you want about them (and I don’t always have nice things to say about them), Uber is constantly trying to reinvent and (hopefully) improve itself.
- They tested a monthly subscription model in 2019
- They ended shared/pool rides within a week of the WHO announcing Covid as a global pandemic
- They announced requirements of drivers and passengers to wear masks in early May, 2020
- They introduced Uber Hourly, so you could rent your Uber for upwards of 7 hours at a time
True, not all of their ideas have stuck, but others, such as Uber Eats, eventually remained a regular part of the company.
Anyway, in late 2020, Uber rolled out what they called Uber Reserve. The program allowed people to reserve an Uber up to 30 days in advance, with an on-time guaranteed pickup. It was, essentially, an extension of their Scheduled Rides program, which they had unveiled in 2016.
However, Uber Reserve gave some extra benefits, such as presenting your fare and driver upfront and connecting you with your driver well before the trip even began. The service also came with an on-time guarantee: “While we hope every ride starts as planned, we’re committed to making things right if your Reserve experience doesn’t meet expectations,” Uber said in their blog. They even promised $50 in Uber Cash if your car didn’t arrive when scheduled.
That was all well and good if your plans went, well, as planned. But if you were using Uber Reserve to pick you up at the airport and your plane was delayed, then what?
Uber says they have now fixed that hiccough, with Uber Reserve at Airports. The program includes:
- Early booking: Reserve your ride up to 30 days in advance, so you know your ride is taken care of before you arrive.
- Flight tracking: We’ll automatically adjust your reservation based on the flight information you provide, so your driver is ready and waiting at the airport when your flight lands—whether it’s on time, early or delayed.
- Complimentary wait time: If you aren’t quite ready to get in your ride after you land, the driver will wait up to 60 minutes at no additional charge.
- Curbside pickup: Your driver will conveniently wait for you curbside so you can step off the plane and into your ride.
Uber Reserve at airports is available for Uber Black and Uber Black SUV at more than 20 airports across the country, including Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago (ORD and MDW), Dallas (DFW and DAL), Denver, Fort Myers, Houston (IAH and HOU), Miami (MIA, FLL, and PBI), Nashville, New Orleans, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. (DCA and IAD).
Uber is also adding some other features:
Ready When You Are
The Ready When You Are feature allows you to request your ride once you land, but gives you the opportunity to let them know when you want to be picked up – 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or as soon as possible. That way you can get right to your car if you only have a carry-on and want to leave the airport as soon as you can, or it allows you to stop in the restroom after you’ve got your bags. The feature is currently piloting at six airports (Nashville, New Orleans, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto). It’s currently only available on Android but will be coming to iOS next month.
Uber’s also added a new feature that helps match curbside riders with drivers more quickly. It uses machine learning technology that predicts demand ahead of time, so they can dispatch drivers who can then be matched with riders at the curb faster. This feature is available at more than 15 airports across the world including Chicago (MDW), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), New Orleans (MSY), New York (JFK and LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Portland (PDX), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), and Seattle (SEA) in the US as well as Kolkata (CCU), London, (LHR), Montreal (YUL), Riyadh (RUH) and Toronto (YYZ).
Mobile Ordering for Pickup
If you’re an Uber Eats customer, you can now order and pay in-app from select airport restaurants and skip the line to pick up your meal. This feature is currently piloting at the Toronto Pearson Airport, and will begin rolling out to US airports in the next few months.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary