Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

I will admit that I am not a regular user of Uber and almost certainly nowhere near their “target” market. I have 2 cars and live in the suburbs, so when I need to go somewhere, I generally just get in my car and drive there. Even with the $10 monthly credits from my American Express Gold card (which somehow I still continue to get on my account, even though I have long since canceled my card), I just don’t have a use case for Uber in my daily life. When I travel, it’s different, if we don’t rent a car or two

(SEE ALSO: Why we’re a 2 (rental) car family)

I do like to take public transportation when I am traveling, but it’s not always feasible (or even possible). But as part of my recent trip, I had two Uber experiences at opposite ends of the spectrum and it left me wondering whether Uber (or any rideshare company) is ever going to “work”

A Super Cheap Uber Ride To The Airport

First I wanted to talk about my trip to the airport in Cairo, Egypt. My driver picked me up from the Staybridge Suites Cairo Citystars hotel and took me to the airport (about an 8 mile / 20 minute drive). I was blown away when I saw the quote from Uber

a screenshot of a phone

Even after I gave a nearly 50% tip, it was EGP124. That is like $4 USD! After this ride, I joked to my wife that I couldn’t even get an Uber to my next door neighbors’ house for $4!

An Expensive Uber Ride From The Airport

A few days later, I didn’t realize how right I would be…

When my son and I landed at CVG after a 30-hour travel day from Japan, the plan had been for us to take an Uber home. My wife was taking another kid somewhere and although we have 2 cars, I had the only other driver with me.

I have taken Uber to/from the airport a few times before (around 25 miles), and the price has always been around $30 or $40, and I was willing to pay that so my wife didn’t have to come pick me up. Plus I do still have that $10 monthly credit…

So after we landed, I pulled up the Uber app and at first, it showed a price of about $34 (expected) but then it quickly jumped up to $84.95!!!

a screenshot of a taxi service

Plus tip of course…

The Economics of Uber

I mean, I get the concepts of supply and demand, and I don’t believe anyone should be required to pick me up whenever I want and take me wherever I want to go at whatever price I want to pay. I also understand that much of Uber’s business model is and has been using cheap VC money to subsidize rates in the hopes of getting people “hooked”, and to some extend it has worked. I also believe that Uber the company is not working or bargaining in good faith with their drivers. I’m sure that I will get angry comments on all sides because people have stroooooong feelings about Uber and Uber drivers.

All I am saying is that any business model where they are relying on people to pay $84.95 for a ride home from the airport is crazy with a capital K. I am never paying that, and while I know that I am way cheaper than the average person, I can’t imagine many people would. I could have PARKED MY CAR AT THE AIRPORT ($9 / day) for cheaper than that, and, knowing what I know now, that’s what I will do in the future.

What I Did Instead

I kept checking the app and the price floated up and down but still kept being incredibly expensive (IMO). I was talking with my wife in the meantime and we ended up just having her come get us. It wasn’t the most convenient option but it’s the one that worked best for us.

What do you think? Is Uber out of control? What would you have done in this situation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.