Trying Uber for the first time

Nora Tol in Las Vegas

My Las Vegas’ selfie

For several months, some time ago, I had blogged about Uber for a client. Funny enough, I’d never been able to actually use the service myself. Uber Pop was quickly banned in my area, so I’ve never been able to use the app while I was writing the blogs. I liked the idea of this company rocking the establishment though, or so it seemed.

But this year, while visiting Las Vegas, Uber was the talk of the town. It started on the plane. Another passenger had advised me to use the service for my transportation around town. It would be cheaper than a regular cab. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the app to work upon arrival. I ended up paying over $40 to get from the airport to a location just a little off-Strip.

Travel Savings

My travels are always on a budget, so while I was in Vegas, I actually got around by bus. The bus is $2 per ride and I only used it twice per day. I don’t think Uber could’ve beaten that. However, I did have to arrange something for my ride back to the airport. When the Uber street team, on the famous Strip, gave me a voucher to get my first Uber ride for free, I decided to give it another try. I installed the app again and everything worked fine this time. Finally!

Requesting Uber Ahead Of Time

It’s a good thing I’d written about the app. I not only knew the basics of how the service and the app worked, but more importantly, I also knew you could book an Uber in advance. What I didn’t know, was that your request would not get confirmed until minutes before the desired pickup time. This caused for some major stress levels at my end.

Loose Ends

I try to be highly organized while traveling, especially when it comes to catching something as definite as a flight. As I was trying to tie up all loose ends of my trip, I felt so worried about not getting to the airport on time. It made me change my desired pick-up time to about 45 minutes earlier. It would give me enough time to get a regular cab after all, if this wouldn’t work.

Uber Works On-The-Go

The thing with Uber is that they offer your request to the drivers already on the road and near your pickup location. The driver needs to get to you within 15 minutes, which is the pickup time Uber guarantees to its users. This can’t be predicted or planned ahead of time, apparently, but for me it was quite alarming to not have this finalized the night before.

Day of Departure

On the day of departure, everything went okay. Phew! My driver had some problems finding me, but I could see him looking for me on the app. The car model, license plate, color and the name and picture of the driver were sent ahead of time.

Before My Ride

Also because I’d written about Uber, I knew the car should have the “U” for Uber displayed (it was). Rules were followed to the T. The driver introduced himself and waited for me to do the same. It’s just an additional check. You might think it would be highly unlikely someone else could be picking you up with the exact car, license plate etc., but it’s good to have this Uber policy lived up to.

On My Way

The ride was fine. The car was clean, the driver was friendly, but due to his accent barely understandable. Chit chat was not in the cards for us. The ride would normally have cost only $10! Four times less than my cab fare. That definitely saves a lot. Thanks to my voucher, the ride was totally free. I was quite impressed by it all and could see why this service has taken over the world.

After My Trip

The weird thing about Uber is that it now thinks I live in the Vegas area. Something about that doesn’t make any sense. The app actually requests permission to track your location at all times (not just when you use the app), so it must know I’m not there. Still, they are constantly e-mailing me trying to convince me to use the app in Vegas. Nevertheless, I’ll consider Uber again when I get back there.

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