From this summer, Uber users will be able to book flights via the app that started as a disrupter to the taxi industry.
Uber has partnered with Montreal-based online travel company, Hopper, to make it possible for UK travellers to book international and domestic flight tickets. The option to book air travel follows the addition of train and coach travel bookings via Uber over the last year.
“This new partnership will offer Uber users choice, transparency and flexibility when booking flights, all in the same place they are already booking their other transportation,” said Hopper’s CEO and co-founder, Frederic Lalonde.
The addition of flights to the Uber app is a big win for UK consumers who are looking for an easier way to book travel.Frederic Lalonde, Hopper’s CEO and co-founder
Uber UK’s general manager Andrew Brem described the development as aimed at both business and tourist travellers and said it was “truly a one-stop travel solution.”
That “one-stop” concept is aligned with tech trends which are seeing younger users searching for products within the apps they already use the most, rather than switching to search engines like Google or Bing.
Other than “this summer”, no further details have yet been announced on exactly when the service will take off but some users are likely to find the service being rolled out to their devices within the next few weeks.
Brem promised the booking process would be “simple and stress-free”, with users inputting the date and start and end points of their desired journey and then paying as usual via the ride-sharing app. Passengers booking with big airlines will also be able to make extra choices, such as seat selections.
Aiming for a “true door-to-door experience with all legs of the journey being manageable in Uber’s smart travel itinerary,” Uber is also offering a newly-launched “Directions to pick-up” feature, which users can use to help their driver find them at Uber collection points at busy transport hubs around the world.
The addition of flights to the Uber suite of services, as well as public transport information on trains and even Thames riverboats, comes as part of Uber’s business plan to become “an operating system for everyday life”, announced in 2019 by chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.
Khosrowshahi was formerly CEO of Expedia Group and clearly brings Expedia’s business-to-business approach to bear on the evolution of the company.
For Hopper meanwhile, whose revenue is already 40% third-party partnership generated, the Uber partnership is a percentage game. If even a small proportion of Uber’s 131 million monthly active users want to book flights, “that could be really material,” according to their President Dakota Smith.