Uber takes to the skies

While not yet available in Australia, Uber's new flight booking app trial in the UK has plenty of people in the local travel sector talking.

In Uber’s pursuit of becoming the dominant travel app in helping users book every type of transport option imaginable door-to-door, the company is about to trial flight booking functionality in the United Kingdom.

The new feature allows users to book both domestic and international flights directly in the Uber app, all powered by online travel agent Hopper, and joins a raft of bookable transport options in England for the company, including Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, train journeys across the National Rail network, Eurostar and coach travel with National Express.

“We’re incredibly pleased to introduce flight bookings as the latest addition to Uber’s suite of travel booking options, the service is perfect for business travellers and tourists alike, and our new functionality will make the booking and managing of air travel simple and stress-free, with the booking process taking as little as one minute in the Uber app,” Uber UK General Manager Andrew Brem said.

“Over the last 12 months with the addition of rail, coach and now flight bookings, Uber is truly a one-stop travel solution,” he added.

The new functionality is billed as being an easier way than ever before to book travel, claiming to offer better choice, transparency and flexibility when booking flights than anywhere else, all in the one place on a smart device.

To book a flight, Uber app users will need to enter their travel details, including where they will be travelling to and from along with dates, with the app then prompting the selection of a departing flight and a returning flight (if it’s a round trip), with many major carriers already on board as a suppliers.

App users will also have the option of selecting specific seats in the app before paying, just as customers would with traditional Uber car rides.

There is no word yet on whether the service will roll out to Australia anytime soon, but it looks very much like the UK has been selected as the number one testing market for what a truly multi-modal transport app would look like, so it’s certainly a range of single-app services to keep a close eye on for Aussie agents.

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