The ridesharing app Uber is an excellent service for travelers. You can take an Uber car to and from most airports, and the service is available in hundreds of cities around the world.
One of the things that makes Uber so ubiquitous and simple to use is its cashless system. You never have to stop by an airport ATM to get local currency before finding transportation to your hotel. Nor do you need to sit in a cab by the curb fumbling with a credit card to pay for your ride. Just get in and get out. The Uber app automatically charges the card you have on file.
But what about tipping? When Uber began taking off around 2012, it touted on its website that the driver’s tip was included in the fare. That message has been phased out of Uber’s marketing. On its website today, Uber simply states, “There’s no need to tip.”
Earlier this month, Uber began allowing drivers in California and Massachusetts to place signs in their windows telling passengers that they accept tips. Previously, Uber drivers were not allowed to solicit tips, and the change in policy is a result of legal settlements in those states related to how Uber classifies drivers.
Despite the change, Uber posted a statement reinforcing its tipping policy. “Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required. In fact riders tell us that one of the things they like most about Uber is that it’s hassle-free. And that’s how we intend to keep it,” the statement says.
Uber’s biggest rival in the ridesharing market, Lyft, has a built-in tipping option, but Uber’s statement makes clear it doesn’t intend to add a tip button to the app. Passengers who want to tip will have to do so with cash, which eliminates one of Uber’s best features.