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Is This the Future of the Airport Shuttle?

One hotel is saving money by dropping shuttle service in favor of free Uber rides. Event attendees stand to gain from it too.

In Omaha, Neb., the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites has tapped ride-sharing service Uber to coordinate complimentary rides between its property and the city's commercial airport, Eppley Airfield. Prior to this, the property paid for regularly-scheduled shuttle service for guests going to and from the airport, as does several other business hotels in downtown Omaha.

Through a one-year-old service called Uber Central, "guests will be assigned a personal Uber driver to take them directly to or from the hotel, instead of waiting for a shuttle," said Zio Pekovic, principal and co-founder of the Scarlett Hotel Group, which operates the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites. And besides airport trips, the hotel will also provide free Uber rides within a three-mile radius of the hotel.

Using Uber Central, hotel guests will not have to download the Uber app or contact Uber via the Internet; the hotel will handle the arrangements. Management says the hotel expects to save 40 to 50 percent in hotel transportation costs because of the on-demand nature of Uber versus scheduled shuttles.

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