My Uber experience in Delhi, and get yourself a free ride!

Last week, I decided to pop into Delhi for a little surprise for my mom, to visit her on her birthday and hopefully take her out for dinner. However, life had other plans, and my flight got delayed getting into Delhi by over 45 minutes and my cab came and went away.

I thought this wasn’t a good sign, but it really was a good sign to start trying out Uber, which has launched in Delhi in test mode about 3-4 weeks back. As soon as the plane touched the gate, and it was time to get out and get rolling. I brought up the Uber app on my iPhone, and while in my conversations with people I was being told all along that Uber cabs were going to be stationed in South & Central Delhi, near the Airport and in parts of Gurgaon.

The app said the closest cab was 35 minutes away, which is not normal practice (supposed to be 5-10 minutes), but I confirmed it anyways. I figured by the time I deplaned, walked out of the airport, I won’t have to wait much since I was at the other end of the airport anyways.


I got confirmation that a Toyota Camry was on its way to pick me up from the airport and take me home. The chauffeur called me up 10 minutes later to confirm my exact location, and I told him to arrive at the Terminal 3 of the airport and then call me. He arrived ahead of schedule, and I had a neat and clean Camry waiting for me by the time I arrived at the exit and was able to buy some cake from the airport coffee shop for my mom.

He called me again and told me where he had pulled over, I walked over to him, and as soon as the chauffeur recognised me, he greeted me and ran to get my bag from me, even though it was not a big bag at all. After that, I informed him of the destination, and we were on our way, discussing his experience with Uber in the past few days.

Since I could not take a shot of the car at the airport, here is one from when I arrived at home.


The beauty about the service was that I did not have to worry about cash as well, because Uber had my credit card details, and they were going to charge me for the ride as soon as I closed the door behind me, and I got a text message from the bank immediately about the charge that was made on my account. I got an invoice in my email soon after.

We postponed the plan to go out to the next day, and after the long 4 hour lunch I had with my family, I was going to go away directly to the airport to get a flight back to Mumbai. I tapped Uber’s app again, and this time around, I got a car in 4 minutes flat, a sleek BMW 5 series!

The pricing was reasonable as well, with Rs. 70 as base fare, and Rs. 20 per kilometer and Rs. 2 per minute of the ride. Remember not to book for fun and trying the app only, because cancellation is Rs. 200.

Uber recently launched in Bangalore, and you could try their services in Bangalore or Delhi using my signup link, which gets you Rs. 500 when you take your first ride. You can download the Uber App from the iTunes store or the Google Play store to call your car.

I also worked with Uber to be able to get readers to try out the service. So, if you go to the promotions section on the Uber app or website and add BOARDINGAREA as a promotion code, you’d get 2 rides for upto Rs. 500 free after you add the promocode, any residual amount would be debited from your credit card automatically. This promotion is only available to new users.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I used Uber registering with them by downloading their application. Used first ride promo code of Rs. 400/- off for journey between Saibaba Nagar Borivai west to Chatrapati Shivaji Airport Andheri east Mumbai. The ride cost me Rs.294/- which was below. Rs.400/- But instead of giving first ride discount, next day Uber sent me bill for Rs. 294/- saying that they have restricted this first ride promo. They renegaded on the discount. Guys do not trust Uber for first ride discount. They will definitely send bill for the first ride. Its a scam

  2. I was having one free ride and yesterday
    booked cab. After completing the
    journey, it got deducted from my paytm
    account and free ride also got
    eliminated. This kind of way is against
    customer right and against the company
    rule. So resolve the issue as soon.

    mobile no. – 9928887980

  3. Mandy,they just have almost 50 cabs as of now and that too like they are operating on trial version as told by driver itself. i even advised him if its your beta version, do provide all rides for free and stop playing with paid customers. Read somewhere, uber work is outsourced to some orange cabs for Delhi.

    I booked Uber cab yesterday from IGI airport, New Delhi through mobile application, to Faridabad. Through app it accepted my booking and driver picked me up from airport, But after moving 500 metre ahead, he said he could not go there and I along with my friend would have to drop in a mid way like anywhere in Gurgaon. Driver misbehaved with us and said from any mid location we can book any other cab, he even gave me number for quick cab, easy cab and ola cab.
    He forced us to leave cab on mg road metro station, gurgaon from where i had to wait with my huge luggage for half and hour to take another cab which was from quick cab.He didnt provide any support number of Uber where i can complain. He said i could write a mail to them and do whatever i can do but he will drop me in gurgaon.
    If they cant drop at desired location, they should not take booking and i authorized them to charge my credit card only once i reached my chosen location, not by their choice.
    If driver has said that before we got into cab, i would have booked prepaid cab from airport.
    Uber guys just robbed my 340 rs and showed me very pathetic and inhuman behaviour. I will never use uber cab in future and will also not recommend to anyone.

  5. Amit, I would never use a service where I have to give my credit card number in advance and allow them to charge whatever they like. The regular cabs are just fine!

  6. I used uber cab today. Horrible experience. The driver refused to go to Noida from Gurgaon saying he does not have enough Petrol. And since he has started meter already, we would have to pay for the cancellation charges. There is no customer care number available for handling such situations so there is nothing you can do. I was charged Rs 400 inspite of not moving an inch from my original location.

  7. Sir,

    I have a few questions for which I seek answers:

    (1) Are there any waiting charges for day & night travel to be paid in case the car is not boarded immediately?

    (2)Is the tariff the same if the car is requisitioned for outstation travel?

    (3) What is the minimum bill one is required to pay if the car pulled up well after the time it was required (more applicable for travel to airport)?

  8. Just used Uber service today. App is good and the car was nice but the driver was impolite. He was very annoyed by the usual traffic in the lanes (I stay in West Patel Nagar), and was unwilling to turn into one of the lanes – he said that there would be traffic in it, without even bothering to check. I told him there is never any traffic in that lane and then he agreed. The lane was empty. I myself have a honda city and have also used several other cab providers (Easy cabs), no one has ever complained. Very disappointing. I am going to follow up with their customer service and see what they do about this.

  9. Hi AJ, while it seems to be a good service, I don’t think I will ever use it because you have to provide your credit card details in advance and leave them on the website thus allowing the company to potentially debit Any amount they choose. If you have a dispute, this is not a good situation to be in.

  10. For my trip in October, I was thinking of using Uber to book a car & driver between New Delhi and Agra, then Agra and Jaipur and back to New Delhi from Jaipur. However, this these are journeys I should really book in advance, so don’t think Uber is the best option. What I’m looking for is a reliable car & driver service that I can book directly, thus avoiding paying a premium by using the hotels concierge and I don’t need a guide, just good car & driver for the 3 trips. Any suggestions?

  11. AJ, will it work with international credit cards e.g. for somebody travelling from US?

    Can you call the car in Delhi using since there is no app for Windows Phone?

  12. Thanks AJ, do they have plans for Hyderabad ?
    Also, I was able to register for “BoardingArea” promotion, thought I registered long back after ur 1st post. I am saying this as you mentioned that this offer is for new users.

  13. Thanks for review AJ. I tried signing up for the service using the link in your blog post, but it throws an error on submitting the form. “An error has occurred. Please try again.” May be I ll try with my phone later. I have an upcoming trip to Bangalore and would love to try the service!

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