While the Uber app has been a part of people’s travels for years, ushering them to and from airports, hotels, and home, the company now wants to take its stake in travel to the next level.
In other countries, the ride-sharing app has already branched out to help people island hop in Croatia with UberBOAT, or grab an e-bike in cities like Lisbon and Berlin, and now Uber has announced plans to integrate with airlines and railways in the UK to allow travellers to book these services through the app.
Before the pandemic, trips to and from the airport made up around 15 percent of Uber trips in the UK. By adding the option to book a flight or train ride, Uber hopes to create a ‘seamless journey’ for users.
This summer, the app will trial allowing customers to book coach and train tickets. Later in the year, this will extend to flights and cross-channel train services.
“Everyone values the freedom to make travel arrangements in a simple and convenient way, which is why we’re excited to become a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs,” said Jamie Heywood, the regional general manager for Uber in the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, in a statement.
“You have been able to book rides, bikes, boat services and scooters on the Uber app for a number of years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression.”
Considering CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s background as CEO at Expedia, this development makes sense; Expedia is a self-described ‘one-stop-shop’ for accommodation, flights, cars, and other travel activities.
Already Uber Explore in the US provides recommendations for popular tourist attractions and the ability to book activities like dinner reservations.
Trialling this additional service in the UK could seem like a risky move considering Uber’s license was revoked twice in London in the past five years. However, a recent win meant it can securely operate in the capital for 30-months.