On-demand car service Uber has launched in yet another new market today, opening up to everyone in Dallas. And it’s also done a major deal with Virgin America, which could result in tons of new customers getting exposed to its service.
Uber announced the Dallas launch on its blog today, making Big D the 18th market that it’s now operating in. Dallas is similar to a few other markets that Uber has had success in, like Los Angeles. The city suffers from a bit of urban sprawl and also has a pretty high DWI rate. Making Uber available is one way to reduce the amount of driving people have to do when going out or getting to the airport or stadiums.
— Virgin America (@VirginAmerica) September 12, 2012
In addition, Uber struck a partnership with Virgin America that will incentivize the airline’s customers to join the on-demand car service. As part of the deal, Virgin America will give 800 Elevate points to new Uber customers who also are a part of the airline’s rewards program. Virgin America will also be offering up $500 in cash and a free flight to one lucky new Uber rider every week from now until October 2. Virgin announced the promotion on Twitter, and has been pushing it as a promoted tweet to users.
For Uber, partnering with a major airline like Virgin America is huge. The promotion has the potential to introduce its service to millions of travelers who might not be aware of what Uber even is. It also legitimizes the service, especially in light of recent run-ins that Uber has had with various municipalities and regulatory agencies. And finally, I can’t help but think that Virgin America’s image as the airline for hip jet-setters falls perfectly in line with how Uber likes to think about its own clientele.