uberPOOL was just launched last week in Singapore and unlike GrabHitch, the new carpooling service by Uber allows you to elect the option to carpool when using the uberX service. I decided to put it to the test the last weekend and perhaps it could be that the system is relatively new but it was an absolute disaster - my ride took way longer than it should even though Uber claims that it doesn't matter whether 'you’re first or second into the car, Uber ensures that you’re never taken more than a few minutes out of your way'.
As I was heading down to One Fullerton on the weekend, I decided to open up my Uber app and select the uberX option. Upon entering my destination, I was given the option to choose between uberPOOL or uberX at S$11.50 or S$15.28 (and up) respectively. Since I thought I was slightly early and I really wanted to try out the new feature, I decided to go for the former option which saves me at least S$3.78 (almost 25% off!).
Once I have been assigned a car, the app says that I would be carpooling with Gerry and I was actually able to see that the vehicle was actually picking her up (do note that the screen grab says S$12 instead of the previous S$11.50 - similar to uberX prices, uberPOOL prices are also subjected to price surges). Upon entering the vehicle, I met Gerry (who turned out to be a really friendly lady) and my uberPOOL driver who was brilliant as well. However, it was then that I realised that Gerry was not actually headed towards the same direction as me.
A ride that would generally take me 20 minutes to get to now showed me 42 minutes - this is more than DOUBLE of what it should generally take. The red spot that you see on the map is where Gerry was actually headed - it was then that all three of us realised how poor the planning actually is. Instead of going straight to One Fullerton, the poor uberPOOL driver has to make a detour to Serangoon before taking a traffic-heavy route to my destination.
In fact, once Gerry got off the vehicle, Uber actively searches for another rider along the way (or so they claim) to share the ride (as shown in the screen grab above). In my case, I was lucky enough to not have encountered another uberPOOL rider but if for example, someone else have requested for a ride from Serangoon to One Fullerton (or nearby), the uberPOOL driver would have had to make yet another detour to pick the second passenger up.
uberPOOL is a great idea but the implementation is definitely far from perfect. I understand that I am indeed getting a discount (almost 25% as mentioned earlier) with the service but the ride durations fall way off Uber's estimates of '[not] more than a few minutes'. Will I pay S$3.78 to save at least 22 minutes of my journey time? Absolutely yes.
As you may know already, you may now purchase Hyatt Gold Passport Points with up to a 40% bonus as long as you purchase between now and 25 October 2016. These points may be used for free nights at Hyatt Hotels and Hyatt Residence Club stays around the world or you may even utilise them for things like nightly Regency Club and Suite upgrades (or convert them into miles!). Find out some of the sweet spots in redeeming your Hyatt Gold Passport Points here.
Here's how you get 12 Miles or 18 Hilton HHonors Points per dollar each time you book a hotel on Kaligo. Every traveller and staycation lover has got to read this!
Five days ago, I wrote about the new arrangement between Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts - the interesting bit is finally out! This brand new partnership will see opportunities in status matching, points and miles conversions as well as double-dipping in both programs every time you make an eligible stay at any participating Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property around the world. Here's a summary of five things you need to know about this partnership!
Before anyone gets too excited, there are no naked photos of anyone in this post at all. Naked in the Sky is an extension to Naked for Satan. Before I even tell you about Naked in the Sky, I had to find out why exactly is Naked for Satan named as such. With a curious mind, I went forth to find the answer to my question and this is what I found out: A guy named Satanovich (hereby known as Satan) used to distill moonshine in his underpants during the sweltering summer months. Since the moonshine was illegal, patrons used to use the code phrase "Let's get Naked for Satan" to gain access to this well-guarded but highly-regarded liquor.
Before anyone asks the question, I am going to say this and hopefully only once - you can redeem Virgin America (VX) Elevate Points on Singapore Airlines (SQ) flights (you are however subjected to a smaller inventory and getting Suites on VX Points is actually impossible). With that being said, you may be saving a lot of your precious miles if you use VX points (and money too!) to redeem for short-haul flights. To put things into perspective, consider the differences in points (and miles!) required to get from Singapore to Denpasar (Bali) on Singapore Airlines via the VX Elevate and SQ KrisFlyer programmes.
We all know that the whole Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio has been acquired by Marriott International but we haven't had much visibility about how it is going to impact us until today. With the expansion and takeover of brands, current Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will be able to benefit from the integration of both programs. Here are the top four things you need to know!
When I got an email today notifying me that I am now able to enjoy 'complimentary rides with Citi points', I was interested - I knew it was going to be bad but I clicked on it anyway to find out how bad exactly could it be. If you have been reading all those articles I have written about earning miles, then you should know that it is not difficult to get S$50-100 worth of value from 1,000 Miles. This limited time promotion (until 07 November 2016) allows you to offset your Grab ride with a fixed redemption rate by utilising some of your precious miles and points.
Some people may argue that there is nothing more worrying than being unable to Book the Cook (BTC) on your Singapore Airlines flights (yes I can hear you chanting Lobster Thermidor from where I am at). If you have the following error message that is stopping you from selecting a BTC meal, fret not because here's how you can quickly resolve it!
When I wrote about the possibility to fly on the highly-acclaimed Suites class on Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong for free last week, I received a number questions via emails on what is the best routes to redeem Suites class on. While there is no "best route" per se, here are the cheapest Suite Class redemptions (in ascending order of required miles) that you can do on Singapore Airlines from Singapore at the moment.
During my latest trip to Melbourne, Australia, I have gotten not one, not two but THREE speeding tickets from the State Government of Victoria. Unlike most traffic fines in Singapore, getting out of a ticket in Victoria (or Australia in general) is not that easy and even more importantly, the fines are not at all cheap so think twice before speeding! If you have provided your residential address correctly while you were renting a vehicle, the speeding tickets should get to you in Singapore in about 4-6 weeks. Find out when and how you can appeal for an internal review to get your fines waived.