2 Free Uber rides for LiveFromALounge readers

It is no secret that I am a Uber fanboy, if there is a term like that. I’ve been waiting for these guys to come to India and give us a little respite from the flagging a cab and waiting for a cab to come up. Ever since they’ve launched in Delhi and Mumbai, two cities I call home, I’ve seen myself in many of their cars, which include everything from a BMW X1 to a Mercedes E-class to a Toyota Innova, but not the broken 20 year old Mumbai cabs for the least.

The pricing is slightly high, but the money is worth it. In my numerous trips from the Airports recently, I’ve largely tried and used Uber to the extent possible, since I’ve managed to decode the taxi scam at the airport prepaid counters.

Take for instance the last time I landed at Mumbai two days back. Earlier, I used to pay about INR 250 for a non-air conditioned regular black and yellow cab from the airport to my home because the black-and-yellow cabs had a monopoly at the airport so they could charge a premium. The last time, I put on my phone after touchdown, flicked open the Uber App and ordered a car, which turned out to be a BMW X1 which was in the neighbourhood.

By the time I walked to the airport gates, I got a call from the chauffeur who confirmed his arrival and was waiting for me at the arrivals passenger pick-up area. I drove off with him, and at my home, I was charged INR 269 for this ride, not much different from what I would have paid the non-airconditioned black-and-yellow cab anyways.

Another day last week, arriving from an international flight at the new Terminal 2, I ended up paying about INR 500 for a regular cab (an 11 km ride), while with Uber, when I drove to that terminal it only costed me INR 370 or so.

My point is, they are not as expensive as perceived, and the rides are usually great. And they are a great relief from the current chaotic cab system around most of India. Uber operates in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore at this moment, and will be launching in Pune shortly. So, if you’re planning to hitch a ride with them, you can sign-up using my referral link which gives you INR 300 start-up credit.

Additionally, I reached out to Uber and for all the new users, they have a promocode you can apply under your promotions dashboard. The promocode is LiveFromALounge and is valid till 20 April 2014, for 2 free rides up to INR 500 across India. Remember, this does not mean you have to make a short ride, it just means if you exceed INR 500 as fare, the excess amount will be charged to your credit card directly.

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About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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  1. I registered with your referral link got the Rs 300 credit, but Livefromalounge promo code is not working. Its giving the error “A new user promotion is already applied to your account”.

  2. Arrived into Bombay on VS a couple of hours ago with a guest and had mentioned to my guest about Uber sending nice cars in India too. Hence ordered a Uber cab for the first time in Bombay to take us from International Airport to XYZ hotel in SoBo. Although the service was prompt but they ended up sending a Toyota Innova. Nothing wrong with the car as it was in okay-ish condition. Now I am not a car snob but then I don’t use Uber for getting a ride in an Innova. Plus the driver was wearing an extremely strong oud / ittar style fragrance. Have had great experience using Uber in Bangalore and Delhi. Bombay ermm! not highly impressed. Will give them another try.

  3. @Ajay Just hope they are able to make a sustainable business. Commercial success of great technologies is not given. Once these initial launch promos & referral bonuses fade off, will it catch on with the upper middle class or end up creating a niche among the uberrich. I still know people know hesitate providing CC details on signup

    Also, they are sometimes just too expensive. For instance, ride to Bangalore airport is fixed at Rs 2000. Other airport taxis come to ~Rs900-1000 (for my 40kms) and taxiforsure at ~Rs800.

    • @Rajiv acceptance is growing globally. In some other markets such as NY, the regular cab service clearly now sees them as a threat. I am aware of the fear people have about sharing their credit card number. They are working on more options for India. And yes, they don’t intend to be at the bottom of the pyramid, and hoping for the middle and upper segments to use them frequently.

      • @Ajay In Paris, things have gone to court more then once. The first ruling was Uber has to have minimum 15mins waiting! However, that was overruled. Need to check what is happening now.

  4. I love Uber too and have been some sort of a evangelist, not particularly for the referral bonus, but for the awesome technology behind.

    In 2 of about 6-7 instances, no cab was around and Uber couldn’t serve. We ended up in a auto. This risk is no fun.

    Thanks for working out these promos

    • @Rajiv, Technology drives this business and Uber prefers to call themselves a Technology co. than a transport co. What I hear from them is coverage will increase and more cars on the road. I face the same issue when visiting my home in Delhi. But when I am in Mumbai, I totally love their coverage around my home and office. The promos are of course, to help my readers try out their awesome services.

  5. I tried Uber a day or 2 ago. I was given a bronze Toyota Altis – not a very attractive/comfortable car – and the trip charge was Rs. 298.00. (He delayed starting the meter as he forgot, so the charge would have been a bit higher)

    This is a trip which normally costs Rs. 190? in a Meru(or 180.00 – whatever is their base rate)and Rs. 200/- in a MeruPlus.

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