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Will Uber drive out hotel shuttles?

A nice hotel amenity is a free shuttle taking guests from and to the airport. One of our writers routinely selects only hotels offering free shuttle service. The Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites Omaha Downtown in Nebraska announced the shuttering of its airport shuttle service.

Yet, the service as such will not vanish. The hotel just replaces the shuttle service with a program with Uber Central, part of Uber for Business, offering guests free transportation from and to Eppley Airfield. The hotel is managed and owned by Scarlett Hotel Group.

“Instead of waiting for a hotel shuttle, guests will be assigned a personal Uber driver to take them directly to and from the hotel,” says Zio Pekovic, principal and co-founder of the group. “We see this program with Uber as the emergence of a nationwide trend to leverage technology and transportation options.”

Guests do not have to contact Uber or use the Uber app on their phones to take advantage of the amenity. When they arrive at the airport, guests can contact the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites Omaha Downtown.

The staff member at the front desk will arrange for a personal ride for the guest via the Uber Central dashboard, and the guest automatically receives a text containing the wait time along with the driver’s name, car make and model and license plate.

The hotel staff member will track each guest’s ride to the hotel and greet and attend to them individually when they arrive.

Using Uber Central for on-demand transportation for guests, it allows the hotel to save costs on transportation. Providing a personal Uber ride to each guest is more efficient than the ongoing cost of maintaining a hotel-operated shuttle and the staff members to drive it. Overall, the hotel expects to save 40-50% in hotel transportation costs.

We asked the Scarlett Hotel Group how guests who do not have a smart phone get from the airport to the hotel. It appears that you do not have to have a smartphone. or Uber account. However, you do need to have a cellphone that can receive text messages. But perhaps you can also use a landline phone at the airport and call the hotel.

Tags: Fairfield Inn, Uber, free hotel shuttle

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