Uber, the largest rideshare app in the world, is testing a new feature that allows for flight booking through the Uber app in the UK.
- Uber Technologies announced on Wednesday that UK users will be able to book regular domestic and international flights through the app, The Financial Times reports.
- It has partnered with the booking website Hopper, taking a commission from sales sold on the Uber app.
- The company is using the UK as a test kitchen for new ideas, having successfully tested train and bus booking last year and seeing 40% month-to-month growth in the service.
- 15% of Uber books are for trips to the airport, while 40% of UK bookings are for transportation centers.
Why It’s News
Uber has grown tremendously since it was launched in 2009. Creating a new service by having drivers use their own vehicles to pick up passengers, the company marked its first positive cash flow in August 2022 and sees a bright future in expansion. It has ambitions to transform itself from a successful rideshare app into a globally renowned travel service and “super app.” Uber UK general manager Andrew Brem called the move “the latest and most ambitious step” in that process.
Much like Twitter, Uber has a vision of itself as an “everything” app that can serve multiple purposes and drive itself as the future of its industry. As we previously reported, Twitter CEO Elon Musk is currently in the process of transforming his new social media platform into a financial services platform with new streaming, communication, and monetization features.
However, the effort thus far to expand could have been handled better. The company briefly launched Uber Copter in 2019 to allow for $200 helicopter rides between Manhattan and JFK airport, which was canceled the following year.
Uber’s new features could face an uphill battle with acceptance and popularization. The Financial Times reports that economic stress and driver shortages have made operations in the UK difficult for the rideshare app, which has been forced to briefly increase driver fees which could result in higher rider fares.