When NOT to schedule Uber rides in advance.

Posted by: RideGuru Team Jan 18, 2019
Updated Jan 16, 2020


When Uber debuted their scheduled rides feature, riders were excited that they could schedule their favorite form of transport for those important meetings and strict airport departures. However, riders soon learned that Uber's scheduled rides are not guaranteed and that in some cases using a local car service might be the better option. Here are our thoughts on when not to use Uber or Lyft's scheduled rides feature.

1. If you live in the burbs.

If you live in a quiet residential area, a commuter ride away from your home city, we would recommend not using Uber's scheduled rides feature if you have somewhere important to be. While Uber's scheduled rides are not guaranteed, they can work quite well in densely populated areas where there are always lots of drivers available. When you live in a quieter suburb there is a smaller chance that Uber will be able to find a driver for your scheduled ride.

2. If you absolutely cannot miss your ride.

If you are scheduling a ride for something that you absolutely cannot miss, perhaps an important plane departure or a multi-million dollar deal discussion with a client, then we recommend that you skip Uber's scheduled ride feature and book a dependable car service instead. It might be slightly more expensive but you will have peace of mind knowing that your ride is 100% guaranteed.

3. Airport Arrivals

We get asked all the time if riders need to schedule a ride from the airport to their destination. Our answer: absolutely not. Airport arrival pickups are very easy to get on demand, many drivers station themselves near airports as they are almost guaranteed someone is going to ping them for a ride. When you plane lands and you have retrieved your luggage simply make your way to the rideshare pickup area and request a ride. You should have a car waiting for your in 5-10 minutes! Plus, by reserving your ride on demand, you don't have to worry about flight delays and missing your scheduled Uber.

The good news!

Uber has recently rolled out a "scheduled rides guarantee". When you schedule an Uber ride at least 30 minutes in advance of your trip, Uber guarantees that your driver will pick you up within 10 minutes of your desired departure window. If an Uber driver does not arrive within 10 minutes, Uber will send you a $10 Uber credit to use on a future trip.

While this is a nice bonus, $10 most likely will not make up for the aggravation of missing a flight or that all-important company meeting.

Please note, this guarantee only applies to UberX, XL, Black, Select, and SUV.

Still have questions on if you should schedule that Uber or Lyft ride? Ask experts, drivers, and locals for their advice on our forum!

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    213 Driver
     3 years ago

    Great info! It's borderline false advertising that Uber calls their robe-request feature 'scheduling.' At least with Lyft's scheduling feature a driver sees your ride in advance, accepts it, and gets notified in-app of their upcoming scheduled rides. But even still, it's very easy for Lyft drivers to cancel scheduled rides.

    There are alternatives that offer decent technology and more dependable scheduled. I've looked into Blacklane and GroundLink (articles from my site), and both would be good options if you NEED your ride to happen.

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     3 years ago

    I’m trying to schedule a ride to the airport but all the suggestions are saying to click on the car and clock icon on the right side of the “where to box”. Problem is mine doesn’t have those icons! I have iPhone 8. I downloaded and redownloaded the Uber app and still there’s no car and clock icon that I can find literally anywhere! Help! 

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       3 years ago

      Same here! Not available on web version either. Seems like Uber discontinued the feature?????

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    95 Rider
     3 years ago

    I think you should never schedule a ride. For one, you shouldn't have to, because whether you get a ride or not is still dependent on availability at the time.  For two, you lose the edge by losing the ability to choose a rideshare company. Uber will know they can gouge you if you schedule a ride...

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     2 years ago

    I get scheduled pickup rides available in my Lyft app but I don’t get any scheduled pick up rides in Uber app

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     1 year ago


    Would like to schedule an uber ride for tonight, but I receive an error message.....

    Thanks for a replay

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     8 months ago

    They can function effectively in heavily crowded locations where there are always a large number of drivers cookie clicker. It's less likely that Uber will be able to find a driver for your booked journey if you reside in a quieter area.

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     6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this data. I really enjoy what you've written on your blog. You've shared a very useful and entertaining blog post with the public. build now gg poppy playtime

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     1 week ago