One day out of the blue, an Uber XL driver noticed that his next request for a passenger pickup was with something called Uber Comfort. It was something he had never heard of or seen, but essentially he was giving an Uber XL ride at a reduced rate.
So what is Uber Comfort, and what can you expect from it as a driver? Take a look at Joe’s video below to learn about Comfort, and scroll to the transcript of the video to read the points he covers.
What is Uber Comfort?
Uber Comfort allows passengers to request a ride with a little more room. It’s a cross between Uber X and Uber XL. For example, if a passenger has a long trip and they don’t want to be crammed into a smaller Uber X car, they can request an Uber comfort and have a little bit more leg room. They get the XL experience without the XL price.
How do Uber Comfort rates compare to X and XL rates?
Now what about rates? We took a look at three cities, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Washington DC. We compared the prices across the board for Uber, X, Uber Comfort, and Uber XL.
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You can see that in San Francisco and DC for Uber X, the booking fee increased by about 50%. In Phoenix, it was 30%. In San Francisco and DC for XL, the booking fee increased by about 35%, and in Phoenix, about 20%.
Back to Uber, X in San Francisco and DC, the per minute rate increased by about 40% per mile, right around 35% in Phoenix, right around 20% increases in both per minute and per mile for UberX and for Uber XL, about a 30% increase in per minute in San Francisco and DC and about a 30% decrease in per mile in, in San Francisco and Phoenix, and about a 45% decrease in per mile in DC.
Uber is getting more in booking fees for Comfort over Uber X and Uber XL. And we couldn’t get an official list of cities from Uber for the Beta, but some of the cities we were able to confirm our Atlanta, Chicago, New Jersey, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington DC.
The consequences of Comfort: Possibly fewer XL/Select rides
This is great for passengers who had previously requested an Uber XL for this purpose. But what about drivers? XL drivers that currently give XL rides to one passenger can probably kiss those rides goodbye. Comfort will probably eat into a lot of Uber select business as well.
We heard from some drivers and Phoenix that when it was rolled out it was unexpected and poorly communicated. Some drivers that had previously filtered out Uber X requests and only accepted Uber XL or higher requests were getting these Comfort requests. And these Comfort rides are at a lower rate than XL rides.
A driver actually contacted Uber support and ask them if he could filter these Comfort rides out. They told him that they couldn’t, they couldn’t do anything about it because it was in beta testing and that he should go to is greenlight hub and contact them and see what they can do.
At the hub he was told that the Beta was not attached to his car, it was attached to him and that they couldn’t turn it off. All they could do was put him on an opt out list. Again, this was really poor planning by Uber and poor execution. Uber XL drivers that chose to accept Uber X requests should have been the only ones to get these Comfort requests.
How might drivers benefit from Uber Comfort?
This is great for passengers, but what cost does it come at for drivers? And the longer you drive for Uber, the more you get used to this type of stuff happening. What are some positives that drivers may see? XL drivers that previously filtered out X requests could opt into these Comfort requests.
If they feel the rates are high enough and in turn, this will keep them busier. They may more requests, but it will probably take away from previous XL requests. XL drivers may have been previously getting XL requests from one or two passengers for more leg room, but now they’re going to be giving Comfort rides at a reduced rate.
A possible upside to a lot of these Comfort rides is a lot of them might be longer rides for passengers looking for more leg room.
Which vehicles qualify for Uber Comfort?
Also as far as vehicles that will qualify, some current Uber X vehicles qualify for Uber Comfort. Here is a list of vehicles that qualify for Uber Comfort
Overall, this beta was poorly planned and poorly executed. For drivers that have been around long enough, this is par for the course. We’re used to this type of stuff happening from both Uber and Lyft.
For those of you that have given these comfort rides, what do you think of the option? Is it keeping you busier or is it taking away a decent amount from your business? Thanks again for watching. Please like, comment or subscribe and drive safe!
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