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How To Schedule Uber Rides In Advance [Step-By-Step]

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To circumvent the common “No Cars Available” error or a lack of available drivers, schedule your Uber ride in advance, ensuring you have a ride when you need it. Here’s how to easily schedule your next ride.

Key Information

Advance Planning

Schedule your Uber from 5 minutes to 30 days ahead to secure your pickup time.

On-time Guarantee

Uber promises an on-time pickup for two-hour advance bookings or credits $50 in Uber Cash.

Flexible Costs

Costs for scheduled rides are based on real-time factors; no extra fees for scheduling.

Availability Variances

Reliability of scheduled rides is higher in cities; check the app for service areas.

Can You Schedule Uber Rides?

Yes, you can schedule Uber rides in advance. This convenient feature allows you to plan your trips by booking a ride from five minutes to 30 days before you need it.

hand holding a mobile phone and in the process of getting a ride by using the schedule uber feature on the screen

How Do Scheduled Uber Rides Work?

Scheduled rides operate on an advanced algorithm that aims to have a driver available within a 10-minute window of your requested pickup time.

It is important to note that scheduled ride times are windows, not scheduled times. Uber gives you a 10-minute window for when a driver should arrive.

For instance, if you tell it you need to get picked up at 8:50 AM, then the app typically says that you can expect to get picked up between 8:45 and 8:55 AM.

How Reliable is Scheduling an Uber?

Overall, I have found scheduled Uber rides to be consistently reliable. I try to only use them during the day though, as there are few backup options in cases like early-morning airport pickups. However, the reliability of scheduling an Uber ride is highly dependent on location.

In densely populated cities, the likelihood of securing a scheduled ride is very high due to the abundance of drivers. In contrast, in suburban areas with fewer drivers, it may be less certain that a driver will be available to accept your scheduled ride.

How Much Do Scheduled Uber Rides Cost?

Scheduled Uber rides are priced similarly to on-demand rides, taking into account demand, traffic, distance, and duration. While there’s no extra fee for scheduling a ride, the actual cost may vary from the estimated fare due to real-time factors at the time of the ride.

Occasionally, scheduled rides can be pricier than on-demand options, especially during times of high demand. Always remember to consider tipping your driver for their service.

How to Schedule an Uber Ride in Advance

  1. Launch the App: Open the Uber app on your smartphone.
  2. Set the Schedule: Tap the clock icon next to the ‘Where to?’ box to open the scheduling feature.
  3. Pick Date and Time: Select your desired pickup date and time, then confirm by tapping ‘Set’.
  4. Enter Locations: Input your pickup and drop-off locations into the respective fields.
  5. Confirm Ride Details: Review the route, fare estimate, and your payment method, then confirm by selecting ‘Schedule UberX’ (or another available Uber service).

What to Expect After Scheduling an Uber Ride

After you schedule an Uber ride, you can expect the app to confirm your ride details on-screen and allow you to make changes if needed by clicking on the Scheduled ride icon.

Uber will also keep you updated with periodic notifications via email, text, or in-app alerts as your pickup time approaches. This is the same functionality you’ve probably seen before when getting an Uber code text.

Cancelling Scheduled Uber Rides

You can cancel a scheduled Uber ride without a fee up to 60 minutes before the pickup time, or if you have not yet been matched with a driver.

If you need to cancel after a driver has accepted your ride, standard cancellation fees apply—within two minutes for UberX, and up to five minutes for Black or Black SUV services. The fee may vary depending on the driver’s location at the time of cancellation.

How to Cancel a Scheduled Uber Ride

  1. Access Scheduled Trips: In the Uber app, tap the menu (three lines) and go to ‘Your Trips’.
  2. Select Upcoming Rides: Change the filter to ‘Upcoming’ to see rides you’ve scheduled.
  3. Cancel as Needed: Choose the trip you want to cancel, tap ‘Cancel Ride’, and confirm the cancellation.

If you just need to adjust the pickup time, select “Edit Time” instead.

Help! Why Did My Scheduled Uber Ride Get Cancelled?

Uber itself won’t cancel your scheduled ride. However, a driver may very well do so for a variety of reasons. A driver might:

  • Think you’re located too far away
  • Want to go on a break after accepting the ride
  • Try to “game” the system by getting paid on a cancellation fee

This is why a scheduled Uber ride isn’t guaranteed. It all depends on whether a driver is in your area at the time you need one. It also depends on if an available driver accepts and fulfills the ride for you.

Troubleshooting: Why Can’t I Schedule an Uber in Advance?

Vector graphic showing a confused Uber rider speaking with Uber customer service on the phone

You might encounter some issues when trying to schedule an Uber ride in advance. These are generally due to three main reasons:

  1. Scheduling Beyond 30 Days: Uber’s system does not permit the scheduling of rides more than 30 days in advance. If you need a ride that’s further out, you’ll have to wait until the date falls within the 30-day window.
  2. Airport Restrictions: While you can schedule Uber rides to the airport, the app does not support scheduled pickups from the airport. For departures from the airport, you’ll need to book a ride on-demand.
  3. Service Availability: The scheduled rides feature isn’t available in every city. If you’re having trouble scheduling a ride, it may be due to this limitation. An indicator within the app will inform you if the feature isn’t available in your selected pickup area.

If you’re booking for someone else and run into these issues, consider using Uber’s flexible ride option, which allows the recipient to request their ride within a specified time frame on the day of the booking.

Always remember to check the service availability in your city and ensure your pickup date is within the 30-day scheduling window. If you’re at the airport, remember that you’ll need to arrange your ride upon arrival rather than in advance.

Alternatives to Scheduling Uber Rides

If scheduling with Uber isn’t viable, consider these options:

  • Ride-Sharing Apps: Try scheduling a Lyft ride for advance bookings or local apps for tailored services.
  • Public Transit: Utilize city buses, trains, or shuttles, many of which offer scheduling through their apps.
  • Taxis: Book a traditional taxi via phone or app, or use airport taxi ranks for immediate service.
  • Car Services: Rent a car for full control or use car-sharing services like Zipcar for short-term needs.
  • Bikes and Scooters: Rent bikes or electric scooters through sharing services for quick trips.
  • Carpooling and Walking: Use carpooling apps for shared commuting or walk to nearby destinations.

These alternatives can provide flexibility and convenience, and may be better suited for certain locations or times.

Common Reasons to Schedule Uber in Advance

hand holding a mobile phone and in the process of getting a ride by using the schedule uber feature on the screen

Scheduling an Uber in advance is particularly useful for ensuring timely arrivals at the airport, reducing the reliance on friends or family for rides to important events like family gatherings, medical appointments, concerts, or even catching a train. It offers convenience and peace of mind, knowing that your ride is confirmed.

Drawbacks to Scheduling an Uber Ride

While scheduling an Uber ride can be convenient, there are a couple of potential drawbacks to consider:

1. Early Arrivals

Drivers may arrive earlier than the scheduled 10-minute window. Uber’s system might send a driver sooner if it detects limited driver availability in your area to avoid you being left without a ride. It’s wise to be prepared for your trip a bit earlier than the scheduled window.

2. Variable Pricing

The cost of a scheduled Uber ride can fluctuate, especially during times of low traffic or high demand. This is thanks to the dynamic model pioneered by Uber, called Surge pricing.

Fare estimates are given at the time of scheduling, but if you book during peak hours or a surge, the price may be higher than the initial quote. The final fare is calculated based on real-time conditions during the pickup, not when the ride is scheduled.

When NOT To Schedule Uber Rides in Advance

Scheduling an Uber ride in advance might not always be the best option, especially in certain situations:

  1. Suburban Reservations: In the suburbs, the availability of Uber’s scheduling feature can be limited. If the ‘Schedule’ button isn’t visible in your app, it’s not offered in your area. Even if scheduling is possible, check the app for driver availability at your intended travel time to ensure reliability.
  2. Critical Appointments: If it’s essential to arrive on time, like catching a flight, consider having a backup plan. Scheduling an Uber might not be foolproof if there’s a risk that no driver will be available to fulfill your ride request.
  3. Post-Airport Travel: The Uber app currently does not support scheduling a pickup for after you land at an airport. For airport departures, you’ll need to book a ride once you arrive.

In essence, while scheduling a ride can be convenient, it’s important to assess the likelihood of Uber service availability in your area and have an alternate transport method ready for crucial trips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s review a few frequently asked questions that typically come up when discussing Uber’s scheduled ride feature.

Can you schedule an Uber for 4 a.m.?

Yes, you can schedule an Uber for 4 a.m. The ability to schedule a ride in advance is subject to driver availability at that time in your area.

Can I schedule an Uber ride and make multiple stops?

Yes, you can make multiple stops during an on-demand Uber ride, but you cannot schedule a ride in advance with multiple stops. When booking, you’ll only be able to set a pickup location and a single destination. However, you can ask your driver to make additional stops during the trip.

If I need a ride to the airport, can I schedule an Uber the night before?

Yes, you can schedule an Uber ride to the airport the night before you need it. Uber allows you to schedule rides from 5 minutes to 30 days in advance.

When I schedule Uber, can I advise a driver about luggage?

When you schedule an Uber ride, you cannot immediately inform the driver about luggage since you are only assigned a driver closer to the pickup time. Once a driver is assigned to your ride, you can then contact them via text or call to let them know about your luggage.

1 thought on “How To Schedule Uber Rides In Advance [Step-By-Step]”

  1. What do I do when my cell phone Uber app freezes up? Can’t determine if my advance booking for 4/22/22 is confirmed.


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