When not to Schedule Uber rides in advance
If you’ve ever used Uber or Lyft to get a ride somewhere, you likely already know that you can use these services to schedule rides in advance; for example, when you have an appointment somewhere or you need to be at the airport by a certain time. Just like taxi services, scheduling the ride in advance usually guarantees that you’ll be picked up on time so that you won’t be late for any type of appointment, which is especially important in cases such as rides to the airport, for which you simply cannot be late.
Nevertheless, just how reliable are Uber and Lyft with this “scheduled ride” feature, and are there times when you should forego this service and choose a regular taxicab instead? Although both Uber and Lyft are extremely reliable, at least in general, the point is that both of these companies rely on individuals to take people where they need to go. This means that even if you schedule the ride ahead of time, there is a chance that when that day arrives, there won’t be a driver available in the area to take you to your destination.
Regular taxicab companies usually have dozens of employees or even more who are scheduled to work on any given day, which means regardless of when you schedule your ride, there will always be someone there to accommodate you. With Lyft and Uber, each day brings a different number of drivers, and neither company can predict who will or will not be working day after day. This is partly because these drivers don’t go by a schedule; instead, they simply log into an app on their cell phone when they’re ready to work, so the number of drivers working can vary not only from day to day but from hour to hour.
The availability of Uber and Lyft drivers is also affected by the area in which they live. For instance, if you’re an Uber driver and you live in a remote area, and there aren’t many other drivers active at the time, someone living in that area might have a hard time getting a ride somewhere, especially if they need to be somewhere at a specific time. Because of things like this, there are certain circumstances where utilizing the “scheduled ride” feature for Uber might not prove beneficial to you, and below are some of those circumstances. In other words, this is when not to schedule Uber rides in advance because it may disappoint you in the end.
1. If You Have a Plane to Catch or an Important Meeting to Attend
Airplanes do not wait for passengers simply because their Uber driver couldn’t get to them on time. If you have a plane to catch or an important business meeting to attend, you’ll be better off bypassing the scheduled ride from Uber and instead choosing a taxicab or a professional car service. These companies can guarantee a pickup at a certain time so that you always get to where you’re going at the proper time. Bigger companies usually mean more available drivers, and it won’t matter how many drivers “sign in” that day because these companies always have enough of them on hand to make sure every customer gets a ride to where they need to go.
It isn’t that Uber definitely will not be able to accommodate you when you absolutely have to be there at a certain time. It just means there is no guarantee that that will happen, and if you need to catch a plane or attend an important meeting, this isn’t a risk most people are willing to take.
2. If You Live in a Remote Area
Remote areas, such as rural areas or even in the suburbs, typically have fewer drivers available, in part because larger, more-populated areas are naturally going to have more available drivers to accommodate passengers. Since Uber has no idea how many drivers are going to be available on the day you need your ride, they simply cannot guarantee that you’ll be picked up on time. This is made worse when you live in a rural or remote area because there are always going to be fewer drivers available than there are in areas with a bigger population.
In other words, don’t take a chance if you live in the suburbs or out in the county. Go ahead and schedule a ride with a taxicab or private car company so you are guaranteed to get the ride you need.
3. If You Need a Ride Home From the Airport
The reason you might want to avoid a scheduled Uber ride when you need a ride home from the airport is simply because there is normally no need to do so. At any given moment throughout most of the day, there are both Uber and Lyft drivers sitting in front of airports waiting to take people home, and when you take into consideration that some flights are late arriving, it just doesn’t make sense to schedule a ride home with one of these rideshare companies. Even if your plane lands late, you won’t have to worry about making your Uber driver mad by getting out to his car past your scheduled time.
If you like, you can schedule the ride from your cell phone as the plane lands, and your driver should be waiting for you by the time you deboard, get your luggage, and head outside toward the area where taxicabs and rideshare cars are always waiting. There is just no need to schedule these types of rides too far in advance.