Uber to Add Flights, Rail, Car Rental Bookings to App in UK

Uber plans to add bookings for intercity trains, buses and car rentals to its app in the UK as early as this summer, with both flight bookings and cross-channel train tickets to launch later this year, the company announced. The pilot program is part of “Uber’s plans to become a one-stop shop for door-to-door travel.”

The rail, bus and airline tickets will be available through partners that will be integrated into the app. Uber did not name those partners.

In addition, the company hinted at adding hotels in the future in a statement by Uber regional general manager for the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe Jamie Heywood.

The UK is one of Uber’s largest markets outside of North America. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi first outlined his desire for a “super app” in 2018, but the pandemic waylaid those plans, according to a Financial Times report.

The company noted that the new additions can make “managing a business trip or airport transfer… a simple, seamless, service to meet all travel needs.” Uber’s fourth-quarter airport gross bookings were 13 percent of gross bookings from the company’s mobility services, growing 24 percent quarter over quarter and nearly 200 percent year over year. Prior to the pandemic, the airport gross bookings share was about 15 percent.

In March, the company was granted a 30-month renewal license to operate in London. Transport for London previously denied the company a renewal license in November 2019. A judge in September 2020 upheld Uber’s appeal and granted it an 18-month license.

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