Seattle taxi drivers who say they’re already facing enough competition from illegal phone-app-powered passenger services won’t like this: Alaska Airlines is sponsoring free UberBLACK and UberX rides from Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday and Tuesday.
Using an Uber app, holiday travelers flying out of Seattle with any airline can be dropped off at Sea-Tac for a ride valued at $50, said Uber spokeswoman Brooke Steger. Riders can be picked up in Seattle’s downtown flat-rate taxi zone, West Seattle and most Seattle neighborhoods south of Mercer Street.
Airport-bound Uber app users who are picked up from other areas can deduct $50 from the cost of their trips, said Steger. For example, passengers subject to a $65 flat rate from Bellevue can pay $15 for the trip.
The promotion does not apply to people being picked up at the airport.
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The announcement comes about a week after the Seattle City Council released a potential passenger-service policy that could shut down UberX in Seattle. The policy would limit the number of drivers and how many hours they could operate.
Licensed taxi and for-hire drivers have complained for the past year about commercial services that claim to be rideshare operations but consist of drivers who aren’t licensed or inspected by the city.
While UberBLACK is a legal limo service licensed and regulated by the state, UberX is a cheaper, rideshare-modeled service that does not guarantee licensed for-hire drivers or vehicles.
The flat rate for taxi rides from Seattle’s downtown hotel district to Sea-Tac Airport is $40.
Travelers still might want to have a Plan B for getting to the airport if they want to take advantage of the Uber deal. Steger wouldn’t say how many Uber’s drivers and cars would be available for the free rides on the 23rd and 24th, and the company’s blog warns that the offer is good “while supplies last.”
Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.