When you’re in a rush to get to the airport, the last thing you want to do is to wait 20 minutes for a car service to arrive.
Uber hopes to eliminate that stress. The ridesharing app has added a new functionality that allows travelers to schedule a ride in advance. Passengers can book an Uber up to 30 days ahead of time.
Uber is testing the service now in Seattle, where its developers who built the system are located, and plans to expand it to other cities.
There’s just one catch. Scheduled rides are only available for business travelers, which includes passengers who have a business profile or are enrolled in Uber for Business.
Uber may roll out scheduled rides to other customers if testing is successful. It’s also only available at launch for uberX, its non-luxury line with the lowest fares. Uber hopes to add the service to its other lines, such as Uber Black Car.
Business travelers who want to try the ride scheduling option should select uberX and then tap the “Schedule a Ride” button that appears. From there, set your pickup date, time, location, and destination. Then review the fare estimate and confirm your trip by tapping “Schedule uberX.” If surge pricing is in effect at the time of your ride, Uber will send you a message informing you that surge pricing applies. If your travel plans change, you can cancel your ride up to 5 minutes before pickup time without a cancellation fee.
Uber’s biggest rival in the ridesharing market, Lyft, began testing a similar ride scheduling service in May. Lyft passengers in San Francisco can schedule rides up to 24 hours in advance. To schedule a ride on Lyft, tap the clock icon to the left of your pickup location. The feature is not exclusive to business travelers at Lyft, though the company is experimenting with price points and may charge more to schedule a ride.