Amidst the pandemic, air travel numbers had dropped significantly, and now they're almost back to normal. Uber recognizes that as more people begin to travel, air travel can feel "more stressful and uncertain than before." To mitigate that, the firm is updating its app to simplify the experience for riders.
Uber Reserve, which was released last year, is being expanded to airport travel and will let users book rides up to 30 days in advance. Additionally, reservations will be automatically adjusted based on the provided flight information, so even if the flight is delayed, the driver will be ready and waiting at the airport when the flight lands. A complimentary wait time is also being added, which ensures that drivers will wait up to 60 minutes with no extra charge.
There's also a curbside pickup option, which employs machine learning to forecast demand so drivers can be dispatched and matched with passengers at the curb. The feature is presently available at 13 airports in the U.S., Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, London Heathrow, Montreal, Toronto Pearson, and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
Users don't have to necessarily book rides before their flights. There's a "Ready When You Are" option, which can be used to request rides once landed. They'll have options for pickup in 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or as soon as possible, and riders can pick whichever suits them. This service is currently live at six airports for Android users: Nashville, New Orleans, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Toronto. iOS users will need to wait until November to get this feature.