Notices

This page is an extract from a post originally by user 66Caunce.

How Uber works:

Uber is a ride-sharing app for Android and iPhones that can be used instead of taxi firms like Mears.

You cannot book an Uber ride in advance.

Although it is labelled as 'ride-sharing' or 'lift-sharing' you don't share a car with other people, only you, your party and the driver. It's just a term used to circumvent the need for drivers to register with the state as drivers and pay a fee for doing so.

You open the app precisely when you need a lift somewhere. The GPS map will open and pinpoint exactly where you are. You could be completely lost and Uber will know where you are. In Orlando, most of the time you will also see little cars on the map - these are Ubers in the area. Enter where you want to travel to by typing in the name - places will pop up as you're typing so select the right one for accuracy.

At this point, you can see how much your ride will cost, roughly, by clicking on the 'Estimate' button. This will tell you how much your card will be charged. It was never more than a dollar out when we used them and was more often than not cheaper than the estimate.

You then click 'Request an Uber' and you will see the app whirring away trying to locate a driver willing to take the job. When a driver accepts, usually within 30 secs, you will get the details - the driver's name, licence plate and car model. You will also see the driver's rating. Stay where you are as you've just requested a lift to that exact location. Even wandering back into the hotel or popping in a shop can cause your driver confusion.

All other cars on the map will disappear and you can now watch your ride working his way towards you on the map. This can be fun! Sometimes, a driver will call your mobile to check you are where the app says you are or to get specifics (like 'behind the hotel' or 'in the parking lot of Dennys'). You get an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), usually 3-4 minutes in Orlando as there are loads of cars about.

Your driver will arrive, pick you up and take you to your destination. You get an ETA here too, telling you roughly how long your journey will take. Within an hour, you will receive an email telling you how much your journey cost and thus how much your card was charged. The cost is 50 - 60% less than a Mears taxi. One return trip to Disney from I Drive in an Uber is the same as a single trip with Mears, for instance.

Finally, rate your driver 5* if you got to your location without incident. This is very important to them as even 4* ratings can bring their totals down a lot. The most common thing they say at the end of a ride is 'Gimme 5*!' as you do not have to tip Uber drivers, although we tipped the one that took us back to the airport at the end of our holiday as he helped with our bags.

Tips:

When you download the app, have a look online for referral codes. We got our Uber to Heathrow from the hotel on the morning of our flight for free with a 20 code. We then got our first Uber to Disney free as we both downloaded the app on each of our phones. The US codes tend to offer more money off than UK now. ORL2G gets $20 off your first ride with an expiration date of 01/01/2016

When you've requested a lift, STAY EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE. You have just requested a lift to that exact spot so don't pop in the nearby shop for a mooch while waiting, it'll confuse your driver.

I highly recommend rating your drivers 5* after a ride.

How to Avoid Disney Parking Fees:

We stayed on I Drive and our first Uber driver to Disney advised us not to go straight to the parks as we might get charged $17 at the gate for dropping us off. He instead dropped us at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel where we got either free Disney buses to MK or AK or Disney boat to Epcot or HS. It was never more than ten mins to each park from the Swan. Sure enough, the next day we tried to get to MK direct in an Uber (not believing our driver from the previous day) and we were charged the $17! From then on, we went to the Swan every time instead. Uber refunded the $17 when I emailed them in the queue for Tower of Terror! On your return journey from Disney, you could get any Disney bus to any resort hotel and then request your Uber from there. We stuck with The Swan as we were comfortable with it but changing it around every so often gives you a chance to see other resorts too.

MCO Airport:

Uber DO NOT pick up from the airport. Orlando Airport, like most, charge a fee for companies to pick up from their building. Uber refuse to pay this. We didn't know this when we landed, so spent fifteen minutes thinking the app didn't work as no cars were around. There's nothing stopping you getting an Uber back to the airport for your flight home, however. We did.

Payment:

You CANNOT use a prepaid card with Uber, only debit and credit cards accepted. Again, cue much annoyance at the airport as I tried to link our FairFx card to Uber to no avail. You don't need cash and you never need to show your card to the driver - Uber takes all payments automatically after a journey has been completed. You could have lost your wallet or handbag and you'd still be able to get back to your hotel with Uber.

You DO NOT tip Uber drivers. We had one driver who was annoyed he didn't get a tip from his last ride and moaned about it to us to the point we felt pressured to tip him. We didn't mind as one $5 out of 30+ trips didn't break the bank.

Uber uses SURGE pricing. At peak times, the usual cheap prices will jump to get more Uber drivers on the road. Wait half an hour if you can and prices should return to normal. On New Year's Eve, we saw surges of 5x and even 7x at one point, which means the normal fair will be multiplied by 5 or 7 times due to the peak time. Just wait it out if you can and prices will return to normal.

Wifi and Data:

You do need wifi or data, yes. We used a 3 Feel At Home PAYG SIM card. We ordered it online for free, and when it arrived topped it up with 15. We then logged in to our account online and bought the Feel At Home bundle for 15. This gives you 25GB data, more than enough to leave it on for a month and not exceed the limit. Even if you did, as it's PAYG, you'd simply be cut off until you topped up again. Our 15 lasted the full two weeks and we still have 10 on it!

I had just finished one contract before we went out so ordered a new phone and used my old contract phone as our USA phone. If you're already with 3 on a contract, log in to your account online and select the International thingy to make your phone a Feel At Home one. You'll get the same as PAYG without having to pay the 15.

Data signal was brilliant everywhere, we were never stranded, except on one occasion at Old Key West where the data signal was terrible. We still managed to get an Uber to pick us up with some perseverance.

FAQs

You say Uber aren't allowed to pick up FROM the airport, but what about taking you back at the end of your holiday?
There's nothing stopping you getting an Uber back to the airport. We did.

In terms of getting picked up when you first arrive at MCO, you could a) get a Mears to a place very close to the airport then request an Uber from there b) get the Lynx bus one stop then request your Uber c) jump on one of the free shuttles and get off at the first hotel then request your Uber...

Put it this way, going MCO - hotel on arrival day cost us $50 with Mears. Going hotel - MCO with Uber cost us $20.


Are Uber drivers safe?
The drivers are as safe as getting into a taxi with someone you don't know. 95% of our drivers were fantastic - extremely friendly, knowledgeable, chatty and loved the fact we were British and using Uber. The other 5% were just a bit odd in the same way you get odd taxi drivers. We had one guy who made inappropriate comments about scantily-clad women we passed on the sidewalk (I doubt he'd do it with a woman in the car but as we were two guys he probably assumed we'd enjoy it!), one guy who had a beat up old car full of junk food wrappers (he'd come out as Uber had raised prices for an hour or so - a lot of drivers only bother Ubering when prices are raised) and one guy who was annoyed his previous passengers hadn't tipped him to the point we felt a little intimidated to tip. But all of these could happen in a normal cab and, like I say, the majority were fantastic. We had very quiet foreigners, chatty black dudes (mainly!) and even the odd woman driver. Sometimes, by chance, you'll get the same driver you've had on a previous day, too.

The fact you rate the drivers out of five stars when you've completed your journey means, if they do something naughty, they could lose their job. All star ratings and comments are monitored by Uber. I would argue this is safer than getting into a taxi. How many taxis have you got into where you've not known the name of the driver and the make, model and registration of the car? Every single taxi I've ever taken, for me! With Uber, you get all that information. Plus, you can track your journey on the app - the little Uber car shows where you are, gives an ETA and you can watch yourself on screen moving towards your destination. We often joked that if we were taken off track somewhere, we could see that and discreetly dial 911 for help! Obviously this never happened and, again, if we were in a normal taxi, we'd never know if we were going the right way or not.


Do the introductory offer codes expire and where can I find them?
Wherever you download it, it's valid all over the world. I thought the app would be different in the US, but it's not.

As for codes, they do expire unfortunately. ORL2G gets $20 off your first ride. Considering I Drive to Disney hotels cost us $20 a trip, that's a great deal!

If you're planning to try it out in the UK first, or get an Uber to the airport for free from your hotel, then use the code savethestudent20 for 20 off your first ride.

We have since deleted the app as we don't live in a UK Uber area. I'm interested to see if, when I download it next year, I can sign up as a new user and use the codes again... If this is the case, as I suspect it will be with a new email address and new bank details, it'll mean the difference between a hotel shuttle and a free Uber to the airport on the morning of departure and another free one on my partner's phone from Disney hotel to Universal hotel. We'd then use a final Uber for Universal hotel to car hire place to collect a car for our final six days.


What about travelling to Universal? Any tips I need to know to avoid tolls or extra charges?
Nope, they'll take you right up to the gate. If you like, you could get one to a Universal hotel and get the boat or walk but there's no need.

There are five of us wanting a ride - how does that work?
UberX can accommodate 4 riders. There is an option to call the driver once they have been allocated to you. I would call them once you schedule the pickup just to make sure. There is no way to schedule a pickup ahead of time, unfortunately.

There are different options for ordering cars:

UberX - this is the default. If you don't ever change this, you'll get the lowest rate. Cars range from ordinary '4-seaters' to '7-seaters'. There's no way of knowing what you're going to get until a driver has accepted your ride request. A picture of the car you're getting will pop up in the corner of the app when a driver accepts. If it's too small, you have up to five minutes to cancel without being charged. Simply request again after cancelling.

Alternatively, upgrade to UberXL. Problem here is the cost is 1.5x to 2x as much as UberX, often making them the same as ordering a Mears. These cars are meant to be bigger and more luxurious. However, we got several cars that would be classed as UberXL when ordering UberX. It's a bit of a minefield. If one of your partner is young/a toddler, you'll be fine with UberX 90% of the time.


Can I use Uber if I don't have a mobile phone data plan whilst on holiday?
Of course you can. Everything is taken care of by Uber after you travel so you do only need data or wi-fi to initially request your lift.

Can we book on an iPad (or any other device) from our hotel room and leave the device there for the rest of the day?
That's absolutely fine. You can book on any device and your driver will find you based on its GPS signal. We used to book in the room then wander down to the front of the hotel after a few days using it. It was always 3-4 minutes ETA for us from I Drive so we had time to get the lift down. Bear in mind that if that is your only device, you'll need to find other means of getting back if you've left it in the hotel!

Can we get picked up from our Disney hotel?
Yes, you can. We took all our Ubers from The Swan (bar one from Old Key West). All Disney hotels are accessible by Uber. We went from the hotels to a variety of places, including Universal which has a drop off zone for taxis, buses and Ubers.

Do Uber drivers do long trips like Orlando to Tampa?
You can input any journey into Uber - as extreme as Orlando to California! It's up to the drivers out there to decide whether they will accept your journey. However, Uber specifically do what they call Highway jobs and Orlando - Tampa is $99: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...1121-post.html

We're three adults with a lot of luggage - what size Uber should we order?
You'll be fine ordering the cheapest. We had four bags and two adults and we still had room to spare in the massive US cars.[/QUOTE]
Page created by blusteryday on 07-11-2015 21:58.

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