Uber pilots new features for booking trips at airports – TechCrunch

Uber is piloting new app features to make air travel simpler, including the ability to book rides from airports, access enhanced curbside pickup, request a ride once you have landed and pre-order food from airport restaurants for pickup.

Uber Reserve at Airports will allow users at 20 major airports nationwide – including LaGuardia, JFK, Miami International, Dallas Fort Worth, and Ronald Reagan International – to book a ride up to 30 days in advance. The new feature, which includes a free wait time of up to one hour, is connected to the airport’s departure and arrival KPIs so that it can track flights and automatically adjust bookings if a flight occurs. is delayed or anticipated. Uber has also improved its machine learning technology to enable a feature that makes it possible to match passengers waiting on the airport sidewalk with drivers more quickly.

Uber functionality Book at airports

Uber functionality Book at airports

While it’s not exactly news that a car service will start accepting airport bookings, the move shows how Uber is using its brand recognition to move away from demand and turn to car services. more traditional black. The announcement comes at a time when Uber is pushing to increase revenue after massive losses in the last quarter. As air travel begins to rebound to 2019 levels, the company has an opportunity to offer more luxurious, tailor-made (and expensive) service to passengers.

Travel to the airport is a good target for revenue growth because it is typically longer and has higher fares, according to Uber. The company says that just over the last week of September it saw a 15% increase in airport trips, so the new reserve feature will potentially give drivers the chance to earn more money, the ability to plan their day in advance and more control knowing where a pickup starts.

As part of the rollout of the new feature, Uber is also offering a “Ready when you are” service that sits somewhere between on-demand ridesharing and advance booking, with no fare increase. Customers can request a ride once they land with options to pick up in 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or as soon as possible. The feature is being tested at six airports in the United States and Canada, but Uber says it expects a larger rollout by early next year.

Uber had to work closely with airports for these app features to work, says Sundeep Jain, Uber’s product manager.

“Different airports and cities have different regulations and laws that we need to keep in mind,” Jain told TechCrunch. “The complexity increases when you arrive at international airports. In addition, the pick-up areas, the walking distance between the arrival of passengers and where ground transportation is available vary and the way the signage works for airports is different, so working with airports is always a challenge, but also an opportunity.

Finally, Uber also harnesses humanity’s collective fear of being in a crowd for too long with its Mobile Order Pickup feature, which lets customers skip the line using Uber Eats for airport pickup to order from select Starbucks, Burger King, Chili’s, Wolfgang Puck, and Eddie George’s Grill 27. This feature is currently being tested at Toronto Pearson Airport and will continue to roll out at US airports over the coming months, the company said.

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Norma A. Roth