I travel to Vegas pretty regularly on business and the one thing I’ve come to realize is that Vegas is different. I know, obvious, right? But, it’s not just the glitz and glamour or the desire by tourists to party 24/7. There’s just an eclectic mix of people here and things you just don’t see elsewhere.
Uber hasn’t been in Vegas (legally) very long, but they now have the ability to pick up and drop off passengers from the airport, so the business is growing. I had heard from someone I knew that there were some crazy stories of Uber rides, so I was curious to hit my first couple of rides in town to ask drivers what they were seeing. I spoke with two separate drivers who shared a few awesome stories with me.
From a fairly benign standpoint, though something I found interesting, I had one driver tell me that Uber’s cut was 20% from Uber X fares, 25% from XL and 35% from select. Even though Select earns the driver quite a bit more (I think it’s a 50% premium to X) 35% seems like a steep cut.
One driver shared with me the typical “drunk people” stories you might expect in a city like Las Vegas. There was more than one instance of someone throwing up in the back of his car and even one drunk girl who decided it would be a good idea to change her shirt in the back of his car. The same driver also shared with me that there were a number of young, rich guys who were doing Uber as a way to meet girls. Not sure if I buy that one completely as it sounds a bit like water cooler talk.
Another driver story I heard was when a driver dropped someone off at the airport and the customer found out shortly thereafter that his flight was severely delayed. He had a meeting in Los Angeles 4 hours later that he was now going to miss, unless the Uber driver was willing to drive him there? He said he drove this customer frequently and had given him his number (something Uber frowns on but I’ve had a number of drivers offer). He ended up driving the customer to his meeting in LA, though he would only tell me the fare was “quite large”, not how much it was.
Lastly, there was the story of the older wealthy man who has a collection of high-end cars. The driver who shared the story with me mentioned a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Phantom and a Ferrari. Retired and a bit bored, he’s taken to driving these cars for Uber rides. He makes conversations with his customers as a way to meet new people and even takes some of the customers out to lunch.
All of these stories could be true or none of them. And, although they could happen in just about any city, I’ve been traveling to Las Vegas enough that none of these stories seem all that surprising in Vegas.
At any rate, I’ll continue to ask Uber drivers what their strangest stories are and I’ll be sure to pass on the best ones to you.