Customers of Uber Technologies, known for its taxi app, among other things, will soon be able to book flights by plane, train and bus. This reflects the company’s ambition to become a “premium app” for travel.
Uber is launching a pilot project in the UK to integrate travel partner offers into the Uber app. With that, the company aims to “create a seamless door-to-door travel experience,” Jamie Heywood, chief executive of Uber UK and Northern and Eastern Europe, said in a statement.
“I’ve been able to book rides, bikes, boat services, and scooters on the Uber app for a number of years now, so adding trains and buses is a natural progression,” he said. In time, Uber also wants to offer hotel reservations.
Change the business model
Uber will partner with third-party booking agencies to expand its services. Uber has not disclosed these ticket platforms. Among the names that have traded are Booking.com and Expedia, where Dara Khosrowshahi was CEO before taking over for Uber. The company will earn money by charging service fees on reservations.
Uber’s business model has changed dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company has had to invest heavily in its meal delivery service, also due to a sharp drop in the number of bookings for taxi rides and other transportation services.
As of this summer, train and bus reservations should be available on the app. Flights and hotel reservations may start later in the year.