Mobile Commerce

Uber’s Next Stop: Travel Agency?

The ride sharing behemoth, Uber, wants to become your travel agent.

As has been suggested by a recent patent filing, Fortune reported Wednesday – which was granted Dec. 24 – the company is looking at opening a Web portal that will be tied to booking travel and trips, which of course would include Uber rides. The site’s inventor, according to the patent, is Uber’s global procurement and supply chain head Howard Jaffe.

The portal, which has been named “Uber Travel,” according to Fortune, “looks like most other travel search engines,” though the key difference lies in the ability to book rides, which covers both the getting there and the leaving, or as the site notes, the first and last mile of the trip.

The patent says the system being floated by Uber would be able to connect to airlines and their networks so the monitoring of flights, including delays and other events, would be continuous, post booking. There would also be the ability to connect to hotels and other room accommodations a la Airbnb.

[bctt tweet=”The patent says the system being floated by Uber would be able to connect to airlines and their network”]

Though the company did not officially comment on the patent filing or its intent, the aim seems to be to lure business travelers, with an eye on the portal serving corporate travel managers. And of course there are opportunities to cross sell services among the three companies and others.

One irony pointed out by Fortune in its article involves the fact that the company is not able either to pick up or drop off passengers at a global range of airports (just some of them). That might be a stumbling point unless the company is indeed allowed access to a broader range of drop off and pick up locales at a growing number of airports, according to Fortune.

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