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elbanditoroso's avatar

Need your Uber advice - has it worked for you? Any pointers?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28831points) September 13th, 2016

I’m traveling to Los Angeles next week and my hosts said to “take Uber” to the specific suburb where they live. I’ve heard about Uber but have never actually used it before.

Some questions:

- Do they pick up at LAX? I had heard that there was some hassle with that?

- In your experience, do they show up on time? Do the logistics work out?

- Is it really flat fee, or is a tip expected?

- Any other advice?

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7 Answers

Seek's avatar

Here is a good article for first-time Uber users.

The biggest thing is that your first ride with Uber is free up to $22. So that’s cool. I can’t give any location-specific advice on LAX. I can say it’s awesome when you want to go out with friends and no one particularly wants to be designated driver.

It doesn’t take nearly as long to get an Uber as it does to call a cab, at least in my area. A friend once told me they called an Uber from a restaurant, and there was a driver already eating there! He just dropped them off on his own way home!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Seek “It doesn’t take nearly as long to get an Uber as it does to call a cab, at least in my area.”

The “in my area” part is important. I’m still pissed off that Uber exists in my city, because cabs here are cheap, plentiful, and have knowledgeable drivers. Which is exactly the opposite of my experience with Uber. Well, not the cost part, because other people have paid – but that in itself is weird to me. I’m not sure how Uber calculates the cost of a ride, only that it can fluctuate wildly, and that’s not something I’m interested in having to deal with.

Anyway, my advice would be to do some quick research to find out if Uber really is working in LA before you decide they’re better than cabs and that you’re not supporting an industry that’s doing more harm than good. Some people seem really quick to jump on this bandwagon before learning anything about it, and your host may be one of those people.

andrew's avatar

10 years living in LA, here. Here’s the uber guide for LAX: https://www.uber.com/airports/lax/

Where in LA are you going?

An uberX (the lowest cost uber) will be the same price or less as a cab. You don’t need to tip, it’s included in the cost.

If you really feel more comfortable taking a cab there is a stand at the arrival level where you’ll need to wait in line.

While you’re staying in LA and want to get around, however, there is no comparison in taxis vs uber. Uber has fundamentally changed the way that Los Angeles works for the better. You used to have to wait 30–45 for a cab to come, and even then they were unreliable. Now, the only downside of taking an uber is that you may have to endure some awkward small talk.

Edit: yes, there was some hullabaloo about the airport (I think it was in picking people up) but they’ve resolved that with the airport. I think it will be faster to call an uber than waiting in the cab queue, especially since they come in on the departure level where it’s way less crowded.

You’ll get a time estimate for pickup and location as soon as you request the car, and yes, it’s accurate within 3 minutes in my experience.

zenvelo's avatar

I used both uber and cabs while travelling on the east coast last week. While a cab in Manhattan is easy, it wasn’t so much in Boston, and uber was competitively priced and no long delays waiting.

Be sure you understand the pricing, though. The surge pricing can be daunting. I was waiting with a couple of colleagues after a dinner in Soho in New York one evening, One used uber and noted that they surge pricing was 1.3 times. The second guy called up uber for a similar ride, and the surge pricing multiplier had jumped to 1.9

monthly's avatar

I use Uber and Lyft all the time when I am travelling. They’re similar, and I’ll usually pick whatever one happens to be cheaper at the time.

shilolo's avatar

I use Uber and Lyft (mostly Uber) regularly because it’s way easier than trying to hail a cab and the service is very convenient and consistent. The “step in” “step out” aspect of Uber is nice. No exchange of money, tips, etc. I’m a fan.

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