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Uber expands airport reserve pickup ahead of summer travel congestion

June 16, 2022
5 min read
Uber signs at LAX
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Following its initial rollout in the fall, Uber has expanded its Reserve feature to allow users to reserve a ride from more than 55 global airports in advance, as of June 16.

Travelers can use Uber Reserve to book an Uber Black or Black SUV up to 30 days ahead of scheduled arrival at nearly 39 major U.S. airports, just in time for the busy summer travel season.

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Uber Reserve now available at 55 airports

(Image courtesy of Uber)

Uber Reserve is available to travelers who want to book cars prior to landing at airports, including new additions such as Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). These new airports nearly double the Reserve footprint in North America.

Uber Reserve has also expanded to airports in Europe and Africa, including Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ); Milan Linate Airport (LIN) and Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan; Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport (CIA) and Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) in Rome; Nice Cote d'Azur Airport (NCE); Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG); Cape Town International Airport (CPT); and O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and Lanseria International Airport (HLA) in Johannesburg.

Related: Uber and Lyft wait times improving as more drivers hit the road

How to book Uber Reserve

To book an Uber Reserve, simply open your Uber app and hit the "Reserve" icon on the right-hand side.

(Screenshot from Uber)

From there, the app will inform you that your driver will wait up to 60 minutes after your scheduled arrival time, should you encounter any flight delays. For flight delays outside of that window, Uber says its flight tracking integration will automatically adjust a reservation time based on flight information to ensure your driver is ready and waiting at the airport when your flight lands; this applies whether your flight is on time, early or delayed. Uber did not specify the rider-driver protocol should unforeseen circumstances arise not communicated by the tracking service.

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Next, click the "Let's go" button to proceed with the booking.

(Screenshot from Uber)

From there, use the calendar to select the date you want to schedule a pickup and enter your flight information. Once you put in your flight number, that specific flight should populate. Select your flight and hit the arrow to go to the last step.

Read more: You'll soon be able to book Uber Green electric car rides without a surcharge

After confirming everything looks correct, select your payment method and vehicle type before hitting "Reserve" to finalize the reservation.

(Screenshot from Uber)

Other Uber airport features

If your travel plans change, know you can cancel an Uber Reserve booking at no extra charge up to one hour before your reservation. Travelers also have the option of using the “Ready When You Are” feature to request rides at a specific time upon landing at the airport.

For example, you can schedule a ride to pick you up in 10 minutes, 20 minutes or as soon as possible at certain airports; this includes airports in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Seattle, with more airports expected later this year. The feature is currently available on both Android and iOS.

Read more: $100-plus fares and 2-hour wait times: What the Uber and Lyft driver shortage means for you

(Image courtesy of Uber)

As is the case with Uber Reserve, drivers booked via the "Ready When You Are" feature will wait for up to an hour at no additional charge; this is to account for travelers gathering their bags and freshening up, though additional charges may occur should you hold your driver for more than an hour.

Related: My experience with Kyte, the rental car startup that brings the car to you

There's also curbside pickup and mobile ordering for pickup at restaurants in select airports, including those in the U.S. and Canada. You can read more about it here. Keep in mind that when booking an Uber curbside pickup, all ride-hailing service pickups are restricted to designated areas within airports as indicated on the app and on airport grounds. For example, travelers at LAX must take a shuttle to a designated area off of airport grounds in order to order an Uber, Lyft or taxi.

Bottom line

These Uber features provide travelers the flexibility of booking a ride to or from an airport in advance, but should you encounter delays or disrupted travel, taxi cabs can come in handy.

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
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  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees