When flying to a different city, I typically assume that I will be taking a taxi cab from the airport to the hotel. It can sometimes be pricey but that’s the only choice you really have, right?
Until recently, that was the case! That monopoly is now being challenged by a company called Uber.
What is Uber?
Uber is a company that developed more affordable and more convenient alternative to taxi cabs.
Customers use an App on his or her smartphone to request a driver to pick them up from their current location and take them to a new location. Sounds just like a taxi, ride? The difference with this is that registered Uber drivers with their personal cars pick you up instead of taxi drivers.
But wait! Isn’t it unsafe to get into a stranger’s car?
Thankfully, not just anyone can register as an Uber drive. Uber does background checks on people before accepting them as registered drivers.
How it Works
In order to get a ride, it only takes a few simple steps.
The first step is to download the Uber App on your mobile device.
The second step is to register an account.
The third step is to setup a payment method. You can choose to use a credit card or your PayPal account if you prefer to use that. This is done so that you do not have to manually handle transactions with the driver.
The next step is to set your pickup location. By default, it uses your smartphone’s location services to show your current location.
The next step is to set your destination on the app. After setting the destination, the app will calculate an estimate of how much you will be paying. If you choose to agree, then the nearest registered Uber driver will be located and assigned to you.
Following that, your phone will show a map and the location of your driver in real time. So as he or she gets closer, you will see the car icon getting closer to you. The app will show a photo of the driver, their rating, and what kind of car they have.
All that is left to do is wait for the driver to arrive, get in the car, and be taken to your destination.
Our Experience with Uber
I was in Seattle last weekend and had the opportunity to give Uber a shot.
Setting up the App using the steps listed above, I had an account in minutes. After setting up the fifth step, a nearby driver was assigned to me and he arrived within minutes.
I also used Uber to go from the Hotel back to the airport at the end of my trip. It was equally painless to quickly locate an Uber driver to take me to the airport.
We highly recommend using Uber! It is very convenient and you can save money on a cab using this new app.
While on my trip to Seattle, I was lucky enough to meet two types of Uber drivers. One that loves being an Uber driver and one that does not recommend it at all. (Both drivers will remain anonymous). I will refer to them as “Happy Uber Driver” and “Sad Uber Driver”.
Happy Uber Driver
My first experience with Uber was with the “Happy Uber Driver”. Upon entering the car, he was very helpful and happily answered all of the questions I had for him.
When I asked if he enjoyed being an Uber driver, he excitedly told us “yes!” He explained that the best part of being an Uber driver is being able to be your own boss. There is also a ton of freedom. Whenever he wants to take a vacation, he just chooses to not drive.
If he feels that he needs more money, then starts to drive more. He also enjoys the convenience of being able to make his own hours.
On top of that, he enjoys socializing and meeting new people.
Sad Uber Driver
The “Sad Uber Driver” was also very nice and willing to answer every question, but he did not share the same enthusiasm as the “Happy Uber Driver”.
When I asked if he enjoys being an Uber driver, his response was “not really. I don’t recommend this at all.”
He stated that he has encountered several “strange” customers. Typically at night, he ends up driving customers that have had too much to drink and even had one customer throw up in his car.
Uber does charge the customer a lot of money for any damage done but there is still the inconvenience to deal with when things like that happen.
Being an Uber Driver is not for everyone! But if you enjoy driving, have a fuel efficient car, like the idea of being your own boss, and want the flexibility of creating your schedule, then you should consider being an Uber driver!
Using Uber is Great!
While we have mixed opinions on if being an Uber Driver is worth it or not, we can definitely recommend you using Uber as a passenger! The convenience and price are just too good to pass up. Next time you travel, download the Uber App and give it a shot instead of taking the usual taxi cab.
What is your experience with Uber? Let us know below in the comments!