Last year, alternative car service Uber partnered with multiple entities in the travel and hospitality space to connect between services via travel apps. Hotel companies such as Hyatt and online rating website TripAdvisor previously secured deals with the app-based service to integrate guest access, as have companies outside of the hospitality industry such as OpenTable, Starbucks and United Continental Holdings. Now, Hilton is stepping up to the plate as the newest hotel company to partner with Uber, with plans to launch the new service this month.
Fox Business reported that guests at Hilton hotels will be able to set up automatic notifications to request Uber rides to and from the properties, while members of the HHonors reward program will also have access to a digital guide to local attractions most visited by Uber riders. The service will launch in 20 U.S. cities this month, and terms of the deal between Hilton and Uber were not disclosed.
Though Uber is currently operating in 300 cities worldwide, some are not too happy with the service. NPR reported that the service is facing a $300,000 fine from regulators in Philadelphia who say the service is not welcome. Uber is legal nearly everywhere in Pennsylvania, but not in Philadelphia, though it has been operating in the city since October of last year. Because of this, the city is fining Uber $1,000 per day for continued operations and is actively impounding vehicles running the service.
"The cars are not inspected; the drivers are not vetted; we don't know who's driving the cars; the criminal histories have not been checked by any regulatory agency, so you can actually have felons out there driving cars," Vince Fenerty, head of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, told NewsWorks.
Uber, like Airbnb, is a disruptor in a traditional business space. Despite this, hotels cannot help but see the benefit through partnership. Case in point: Earlier this year, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide began allowing travelers to link their Starwood Preferred Guest program with Uber to earn points for use at any Starwood property.