Transport Airlines

Uber Secures A Spot in United’s Mobile Apps in Business Travel Push

@denschaal

Aug 20, 2014 9:30 am

Skift Take

Uber sure is getting around and has been aggressive about notching a bunch of partnerships.

— Dennis Schaal

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Zbigniew Bzdak  / Chicago Tribune/MCT

United Airlines is promoting Uber service in United's mobile apps. Pictured, limousine driver Florian Bucea checks his Uber service in Chicago, Illinois, on March 25, 2013. Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/MCT


United’s and Uber’s apps are teaming to help air passengers get some ground transport of the e-hail variety.

The Chicago-based airline announced that starting August 20, United’s app users can access information about Uber rides from the United app’s homepage, and from the My Reservations card if they have a United reservation.

There was a slew of similar announcements today about other travel brands, including Hyatt, TripAdvisor and TripCase using the Uber API to provide information and links about the Uber service.

United passengers can’t book Uber ground transportation from within United’s Android or iOS apps, but after viewing available vehicles, probable wait times and rates, they can select a ride, and then the United app transfers users to the Uber app or Uber website to complete the car-service booking.

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“If you have the Uber app installed, when you select a product out of our [United] app, the Uber app will launch and drop you right on the Uber app location page where you select your car,” a United spokesperson says. “Our app is sort of a preview of what’s available before you are linked to the Uber app.”

The two companies, the legacy carrier and the sharing-economy startup, are running a promotion where United customers get 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for their first Uber booking when starting from the United app.

The way these partnerships usually work is that Uber would compensate United for the miles, and United would consider Uber’s payments ancillary revenue.

Uber’s app partnership with United is the car service’s latest foray into wooing business travelers.

Uber recently reached an agreement with travel and expense reporting company Concur in which employees of companies that are clients of Concur’s TripLink product can see their Uber expenses automatically populated in their Concur expense reports.

Sabre’s mobile itinerary manageent app, TripCase, initiated the ability for its users to view Uber service options when they presumably need a car. Sabre integrated the Uber API to offer the service, which uses geo-location features.

Hyatt Hotels also announced this week that it will integrate Uber bookings into its new app. An Uber button will appear under guests’ current reservation starting on the day of check-in until the end of their stay in the more than 100 cities where both companies operate. The destination will be preset to the location of the hotel.

TripAdvisor apps and mobile website users now can also find information about Uber rides when they search for hotels, restaurants and attractions.

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