Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

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7eight9
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Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by 7eight9 »

I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. I would normally call the taxi company this evening and request a car pick me up at 6am. Which has never been a problem. They are always on time and I typically get the same driver who is very pleasant. I'm half tempted to try Uber if only because I do believe I'm falling way behind in technology (my former colleagues used to laugh at how "old fashioned" I am) but a little leary. I was going to use it the last time we arrived home at the airport. Went to the pickup location and found out that there was a ~45 minute wait for a car. So went back to the taxi line and was on my way in a couple of minutes (lot of cars queued up). I don't want to risk not getting picked up on time. Should this even be a concern (I believe drivers can see that I'm using Uber for the first time which may make me a less than desirable passenger) or am I better off calling the taxi company like I normally do? The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive. Thanks.
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Ed_Sandwich
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Ed_Sandwich »

I recently took an uber from my home to the airport nearest me, and took a taxi on my way back. It was a 30 mile drive each way. The cost difference was crazy. No traffic either way.
  • Uber - $49
  • Taxi - $83
YMMV but it's definitely worth a shot.
magicrat
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by magicrat »

I think you'll be fine. Getting an Uber from the airport is a different story as many airports place significant restrictions on them to protect the taxi companies.
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simplesimon
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by simplesimon »

I think you'll be fine but try it out in a situation where the stakes are lower and you aren't going to worry about missing a flight.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Ed_Sandwich wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:19 pm I recently took an uber from my home to the airport nearest me, and took a taxi on my way back. It was a 30 mile drive each way. The cost difference was crazy. No traffic either way.
  • Uber - $49
  • Taxi - $83
YMMV but it's definitely worth a shot.
Indeed, YMMV.

On a recent business trip, 8 of us arrived at PHX. 4 called an Uber who arrived right away and they were off. The 4 of us went to the taxi area which had about 10 taxis for each of us. We got in and left. We arrived at the hotel first at a cost of $40. The Uber arrived about 2 minutes later for a cost of $60.

Just a data point. I guess it was maybe surge pricing for reasons I'm not sure of for a Sunday night at about 6 pm. I don't know why the Uber took longer...it was highway all the way. Maybe the app made them do something slower.
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SpaethCo
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by SpaethCo »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. ... The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive.
One alternative to Uber is using a car service like Execucar (a division of SuperShuttle) or Groundlink.

Uber is great for many things, but you can’t really schedule a ride in advance. When you do that in the app, all it does is queue a request in their system to make the request automatically a few minutes prior to your scheduled time. No drivers will know in advance to be available or nearby to pickup that fare. If you need an XL (for luggage), you could be in rough shape if you’re surrounded by Uber X drivers. Also if you’re not ready to go right on time, the drivers will cancel because they don’t get paid to wait.

I haven’t tried Groundlink yet (using the VISA promo on my next airport run), but I have used Execucar numerous times. You can book online or through the app in advance, drivers are scheduled so you know someone is queued to pick you up, and you get most of the technology benefits of Uber. Execucar uses the SuperShuttle app, and you can use the app to track your driver’s location in real time as they approach your pick-up point, you get text messages / push notifications when they are getting close, and all payments are handled through the platform.
alfaspider
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by alfaspider »

SpaethCo wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:46 pm
7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. ... The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive.
One alternative to Uber is using a car service like Execucar (a division of SuperShuttle) or Groundlink.

Uber is great for many things, but you can’t really schedule a ride in advance. When you do that in the app, all it does is queue a request in their system to make the request automatically a few minutes prior to your scheduled time. No drivers will know in advance to be available or nearby to pickup that fare. If you need an XL (for luggage), you could be in rough shape if you’re surrounded by Uber X drivers. Also if you’re not ready to go right on time, the drivers will cancel because they don’t get paid to wait.

I haven’t tried Groundlink yet (using the VISA promo on my next airport run), but I have used Execucar numerous times. You can book online or through the app in advance, drivers are scheduled so you know someone is queued to pick you up, and you get most of the technology benefits of Uber. Execucar uses the SuperShuttle app, and you can use the app to track your driver’s location in real time as they approach your pick-up point, you get text messages / push notifications when they are getting close, and all payments are handled through the platform.
It depends to a large degree how active Uber is in your area. If you are in a major city where there is a large pool of Ubers, it's not a big deal. I've never waited more than 5 min for an Uber, and I've done plenty of early airport runs without problem. But I can see it being a problem in smaller cities or suburban areas.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by cheese_breath »

I've been using Uber to and from DW's nursing home for the past three months since my accident, and I've only had two instances where the driver didn't show up. I waited about 20 minutes , cancelled, and ordered another car. I tried taxis first but switched to Uber because the taxis were unreliable in my area.
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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:38 pmOn a recent business trip, 8 of us arrived at PHX. 4 called an Uber who arrived right away and they were off. The 4 of us went to the taxi area which had about 10 taxis for each of us. We got in and left. We arrived at the hotel first at a cost of $40. The Uber arrived about 2 minutes later for a cost of $60.
Sure, taxis are sometimes cheaper in certain situations. But you can never fully rely on that or assume it will be the case, nor can you know in advance what a taxi ride will cost. You can know that with Uber and Lyft, though, since they show you right up front the price you'll pay for the ride. In my experience, Uber and Lyft are cheaper than a taxi 70-80% of the time and about the same cost 10-15% of the time. I would only use a taxi in situations where Uber and Lyft drivers are scarce or when surge pricing is momentarily adding a huge premium to the usual fares.

One other tip is to always check the current, up-to-the-minute fares for your trip using both the Uber and Lyft apps. There is typically a 5-10% difference in price for the exact same ride.
Topic Author
7eight9
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by 7eight9 »

Thanks everybody. I think I'll just call the taxi company. Failure to get picked up in a timely manner would be pretty bad. The taxi is going to be ~$25 plus $5 tip. It isn't the money but kind of wouldn't mind trying to be a bit more technologically proficient. Maybe another time.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by MotoTrojan »

Depends where you live. My average pickup time at home is 2-3 minutes but I’m in a major city. You can open the app at a similar time a few days in advance and see how many cars are in your vicinity. I think you can even schedule a pickup time in the app now.
mrsbetsy
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by mrsbetsy »

The frustrating thing we've found about Uber is the "surge pricing". Depending on when you go, if there are few drivers available, you could pay more. The lack of transparent fare makes me uncomfortable if I'm needing a ride to the airport.

Our disabled son takes it quite a bit, but he's only going a few miles so it's not too bad. Our airport is 30 minutes away.

For an airport ride, we use Wingz so we can set a time and know the fare up front.
fareastwarriors
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by fareastwarriors »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 pm Thanks everybody. I think I'll just call the taxi company. Failure to get picked up in a timely manner would be pretty bad. The taxi is going to be ~$25 plus $5 tip. It isn't the money but kind of wouldn't mind trying to be a bit more technologically proficient. Maybe another time.
Maybe try it on your way back. If you're not in super rural area, you will be fine with Uber. Even if one driver cancels, there will be others.

If you're really worried Uber driver not showing up, you can text the Uber driver once you place your request and tell him you will tip $5 and they will be there 99.9% of the time.
Last edited by fareastwarriors on Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jose
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by jose »

I trust Uber much more than any alternative mode of transportation to the airport. Schedule your trip in the App. If it says the trip is scheduled, the car is coming. You will see it coming in the App map, and can talk with the driver while he/she comes. I have never had an issue with an Uber driver to the airport.

jose
bsteiner
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by bsteiner »

I don't use it very often (I take the train to Manhattan, and in Manhattan I mainly walk or take the subway or bus), but I use it about a half dozen times a year and it's always worked well. Once it was slightly more expensive than a taxi due to their minimum fare but most of the time it's less expensive, sometimes significantly less expensive.
TallBoy29er
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by TallBoy29er »

A thought about the 45 minute wait at the airport. Lots of larger airports, eg Atlanta, have a holding lot where they require Uber/Lyft drivers to wait. They may be miles off premises, and you may not be able to request a car until you are in the proper pick-up spot. Therefore, your experience, while accurate, is not representative of a typical Uber/Lyft experience where drivers are navigating around your hood. I use Lyft a ton, but funnily, I use taxi's when I am at an airport, as there is typically a very short, or non-existent, wait.

If you're nervous, go with the taxi, esp if you have somewhere to be very early, with little latitude for error. But next time you head out to the store, give it a try for fun. You'll gain experience and confidence, and get your friends off your back. :mrgreen:
oxothuk
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by oxothuk »

jose wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:16 pm Schedule your trip in the App. If it says the trip is scheduled, the car is coming.
The schedule feature is available in some markets but not others. Also IIRC the schedule feature is not a guarantee and may be canceled if there are no cars available.
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Summit111
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Summit111 »

We’ve been using Uber and Lyft for at least 5 years now. All over the US and locally. We also use them when we eat out and have a few drinks with dinner. Safe and efficient.

My wife and her friends also use them...all very safely. The last time I used a regular cab was in Santa Monica after being taken on 3 unneeded loops through Beverly Hills....

I rarely rent a car on business trips...Uber and Lyft fits the bill..

Summit
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harrychan
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by harrychan »

If you want to try technology, just take uber or lyft to a restaurant nearby where parking is a hassle.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Whakamole
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Whakamole »

oxothuk wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:14 pm
jose wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:16 pm Schedule your trip in the App. If it says the trip is scheduled, the car is coming.
The schedule feature is available in some markets but not others. Also IIRC the schedule feature is not a guarantee and may be canceled if there are no cars available.
Scheduling a taxi or shuttle is not a guarantee either. I saw some people waiting about an hour at the airport for one of those airport shuttles to take them home.

I haven't had an issue getting an Uber to/from the airport. It's a common run, and (especially going to the airport) Uber drivers are all but guaranteed to have someone wanting to take them home.
sixty40
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by sixty40 »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. I would normally call the taxi company this evening and request a car pick me up at 6am. Which has never been a problem. They are always on time and I typically get the same driver who is very pleasant. I'm half tempted to try Uber if only because I do believe I'm falling way behind in technology (my former colleagues used to laugh at how "old fashioned" I am) but a little leary. I was going to use it the last time we arrived home at the airport. Went to the pickup location and found out that there was a ~45 minute wait for a car. So went back to the taxi line and was on my way in a couple of minutes (lot of cars queued up). I don't want to risk not getting picked up on time. Should this even be a concern (I believe drivers can see that I'm using Uber for the first time which may make me a less than desirable passenger) or am I better off calling the taxi company like I normally do? The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive. Thanks.
I used Lyft for first time last year, it was fairly straightforward. We mainly use it from airport to hotel and back. Used in Vegas and New Orleans. My friends recommended Lyft over Uber. If it is a moderately busy airport, it should be easy to get a ride, do not need to reserve. I just open the app when I get off the plane and go to the designated location for Rideshare pickup at the airport and wait a few minutes for the ride
Dregob
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Dregob »

Uber? I just got rid of my landline!
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jainn
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by jainn »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive. Thanks.
is uber black available when you open the app? choose that! professional licensed driver.
https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/uberblack/
Johnfmh
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Johnfmh »

I once scheduled an Uber for an early morning flight out of DCA. Uber cancelled around the scheduled time of pickup at 0 dark 30. Had to scramble to get a cab and nearly missed the flight. I now only use Uber to get to the airport if my flight is during normal business hours and I have baked in plenty of time to get to the airport. Stress is not worth the savings. Flying is stressful enough.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by dodecahedron »

Whakamole wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:22 pm It's a common run, and (especially going to the airport) Uber drivers are all but guaranteed to have someone wanting to take them home.
That is likely true for much of the day, but not for an early morning departure, at least at airports like mine (Albany, NY). I need to get to the airport an hour before boarding, 5:30 am or so, which is well before any incoming flights have arrived. So nobody will be waiting for a ride home from the airport at the time I am dropped off.

That said, my experience with ride-sharing (I usually use Lyft) is that they are much more reliable than cabs.
rich126
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by rich126 »

Johnfmh wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:25 pm I once scheduled an Uber for an early morning flight out of DCA. Uber cancelled around the scheduled time of pickup at 0 dark 30. Had to scramble to get a cab and nearly missed the flight. I now only use Uber to get to the airport if my flight is during normal business hours and I have baked in plenty of time to get to the airport. Stress is not worth the savings. Flying is stressful enough.
It happens with cabs and airport shuttles as well. I’m not sure why anyone thinks cabs are more reliable. Years ago I almost missed a flight due to a noshow cab. Not to mention cabs that take the long way to increase the fare.

I’m not saying uber or lyft are perfect but there seems to be some fear mongering going on here.
Topic Author
7eight9
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by 7eight9 »

jainn wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:16 pm
7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. The price differential is irrelevant. I'm interested in using the technology but a bit apprehensive. Thanks.
is uber black available when you open the app? choose that! professional licensed driver.
https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/uberblack/
Unfortunately it looks like the options are Uber X, Comfort and Pool. I wasn't willing to risk it. If miss my first flight I'm kind of in trouble. I called the taxi company.

I appreciate everyone's input.

And yes, Dregob, I still have a landline. I said I was old fashioned. :happy

Just for full disclosure --- I live 6.6 miles from McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas). No chance anyone is going to take me the long way. It is a real straight shot. Taxi is always around $25. Uber right now is quoting $13.79 at this hour of the evening. I just feel more comfortable with the taxi company. Maybe another time I'll give Uber a try when it isn't mission critical.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
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Watty
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Watty »

One other option to consider is to take a one way rental car to the airport.

I live in the suburbs on the opposite side of a Atlanta from the airport so it can easily take 40 minutes to drive to the airport and if you hit traffic it could take a LOT longer. I don't know what what Uber or a taxi would cost but with that long of a drive it would likely be a lot.

There are a surprising number of suburban rental car location near my house and I can usually find one where I can get a one way rental to or from the airport for something like $40 to $50 dollars. The price varies a lot depending on where the rental car companies need the car moved to.

I just have my wife drive me to the rental car office to pick up or drop off the car.

That will not always be the best choice but it is worth checking out.
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by IMO »

rich126 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:11 pm
Johnfmh wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:25 pm I once scheduled an Uber for an early morning flight out of DCA. Uber cancelled around the scheduled time of pickup at 0 dark 30. Had to scramble to get a cab and nearly missed the flight. I now only use Uber to get to the airport if my flight is during normal business hours and I have baked in plenty of time to get to the airport. Stress is not worth the savings. Flying is stressful enough.
It happens with cabs and airport shuttles as well. I’m not sure why anyone thinks cabs are more reliable. Years ago I almost missed a flight due to a noshow cab. Not to mention cabs that take the long way to increase the fare.

I’m not saying uber or lyft are perfect but there seems to be some fear mongering going on here.
I'd agree, sometimes one may just want to rely on a taxi or an airport shuttle. I've opted to not rely on taking Lyft/Uber to catch a plane, unless I'm more then willing to go to the airport significantly early. It's not just that a driver may not show up on a request, but more so a concern if there is even a Lyft/Uber driver in the area (in a suburb to airport situation). I've used Supershuttle a few times and they have their application to track the shuttle which is nice. I'd worry more with a taxi driver because I don't think those can be tracked?

In the OP situation, cost is not the factor. But if it were, I just experienced a Lyft ride that due to surge pricing was $140 vs. a typical $35 cost from the PHX airport. I changed plans and went back and got a rental car as it was cheaper. If I was in a time bind in a must get to the airport situation, I guess I would have to bite the bullet and pay the surge pricing fee.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by tennisplyr »

I've been using Lyft for about a year and love it. Drivers are friendly, cost is much less than a cab and I've found them to be very reliable in getting picked up...never waited more than ~5".
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by bob60014 »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 pm Thanks everybody. I think I'll just call the taxi company. Failure to get picked up in a timely manner would be pretty bad. The taxi is going to be ~$25 plus $5 tip. It isn't the money but kind of wouldn't mind trying to be a bit more technologically proficient. Maybe another time.
Good choice. Try Uber out on your return trip so you get a feel for the process.
sil2017
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by sil2017 »

Never had a problem with Uber or even lift.

If you are new, there may be a promotional code for UBER to save on first ride.
dsmclone
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by dsmclone »

I use the Bellhop app to compare prices.
Johnfmh
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by Johnfmh »

rich126 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:11 pm
Johnfmh wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:25 pm I once scheduled an Uber for an early morning flight out of DCA. Uber cancelled around the scheduled time of pickup at 0 dark 30. Had to scramble to get a cab and nearly missed the flight. I now only use Uber to get to the airport if my flight is during normal business hours and I have baked in plenty of time to get to the airport. Stress is not worth the savings. Flying is stressful enough.
It happens with cabs and airport shuttles as well. I’m not sure why anyone thinks cabs are more reliable. Years ago I almost missed a flight due to a noshow cab. Not to mention cabs that take the long way to increase the fare.

I’m not saying uber or lyft are perfect but there seems to be some fear mongering going on here.
I have had three Ubers cancel on me for no apparent reason in the past year. This has never happened with Arlington Red Top Cab in the 20 years I have been using them. My Uber rating is high and I always tip. I am not fear-mongering—just conveying my experiences.
KyleAAA
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by KyleAAA »

Yes, you will 100% be picked up. You can schedule Uber rides in advance just like you can with a taxi. Leaving an airport is really the main situation in which Uber doesn't really make since, which you've noticed. Usually the taxi line is more convenient, if not cheaper. This is because airports tend to artificially throttle Uber pickups either with unfriendly policies or with poor infrastructure.

The only exception might be if you have a very early morning flight and live in a relatively rural area. If that's the case, there may not be any uber drivers nearby and you should stick with a regular taxi.
drg02b
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by drg02b »

First time I used Uber was staying with some friends in Arlington, VA and getting to Bethesda for a work meeting. I saw ~45 minute wait and told my friends I had some time to kill. Car showed within 5 minutes. Turns out the "wait" I thought I had was just the projected time out from my destination.
JackoC
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Re: Uber - first time user - will I get picked up

Post by JackoC »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:16 pm I've never used Uber before. Tomorrow morning I need to go the airport. I would normally call the taxi company this evening and request a car pick me up at 6am. Which has never been a problem. They are always on time and I typically get the same driver who is very pleasant. I'm half tempted to try Uber if only because I do believe I'm falling way behind in technology (my former colleagues used to laugh at how "old fashioned" I am) but a little leary.
We're just a short step ahead of you. We'd never used Uber until a flight from Newark to LA earlier this year. Our grown kids use it all the time. I priced out and % wise considerably cheaper both ways than taxi, our house to EWR, LAX to where I'd had our car shipped (for a road trip around West and back home) around 25min away from the airport. Didn't schedule just called the car with app and no problem. Both ends of that trip are in very densely populated areas though, that is a variable I think. Where we live the taxi/car services are (or were) terrible, no surprise Uber/Lyft have eaten their lunch and the one we used went out of business. They would sometimes just not show, low hurdle for Uber to beat.
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