Uber's New Feature Allows You to Book Rides for Others
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Uber is making it easier for you to request rides for family or friends. Starting today, you can directly request rides for other people, like your drunk friend, a party guest, mom, dad or anyone else in your contacts list by setting the pickup address to anywhere that is not your phone’s current location. From there you will be able to select a rider, set their destination, and request a ride on their behalf.
The new feature lets anyone — even those without a smartphone — reap the convenience of ridesharing. The rider gets a text message that includes their driver’s name, license plate information and a link to a map tracking their ride progress. And to make sure that everyone is in the loop, the passenger will receive a phone number to directly contact the driver, too.
The company has gone through a turbulent period in recent weeks, punctuated by the resignation of former CEO Travis Kalanick. But, it has made some in-app improvements that are beneficial to both drivers and riders, especially the addition of a feature that lets passengers tip drivers.
Uber hopes the feature provides “safe, reliable transportation options for everyone in the family” including senior citizens who lack the mobility to travel on their own. Does this mean the days of actually needing to go to the airport to pick people up are over? Maybe, but if your grandparents are visiting, you probably be old-fashioned and meet them at baggage claim.
If you don’t already have an Uber account, you can sign up here to receive a $20 credit from TPG. Be sure to also sync a credit card with your Uber account so you can earn the greatest return on your ride, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which gives you 3x points per dollar on travel or the Platinum Card from American Express card, which offers a $200 annual Uber credit to cardholders.