Uber may be the most popular choice for cheap on-demand rides, but it’s not always reliable when you need it the most.
Blacklane is as an alternative to Uber that allows you to schedule higher-end rides in advance.
Blacklane specializes in airport rides, and all of its drivers are professional livery drivers.
But why choose Blacklane over Uber? The biggest appeal of Blacklane is that you can schedule your ride in advance with the confidence that a professional driver will arrive on time.
What is Blacklane? On-demand commercial car service
Blacklane is targeted at travelers who want the reliability of booking in advance and the assurance that the driver, the car, and the driving company will be professional and properly insured.
- Blacklane specializes in professional rides to and from airports, but you can travel
- You can schedule your ride in advance online at Blacklane.com, or from the mobile app
- Drivers bid behind the scenes to get your fare
- The price of your ride includes 15 minutes of wait time at a regular pickup spot, and 1 hour of waiting time at airports
- You receive SMS and email updates when the driver is on the way and when the driver arrives
- Blacklane features three levels of service
- Business Class: A mid-size sedan or small SUV. Mercedes E-Class, Lincoln MKC
- Business Van/SUV: An SUV or full-size van to accommodate up to 5 passengers. Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes V Class
- First Class: A full-size luxury sedan. Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8
How to schedule a ride with Blacklane
- Go to Blacklane.com
- Enter your pickup and drop-off locations, the date, the time
- Select the level of service you want
- Enter any frequent flyer program information that might apply, or special instructions for the driver
- Create an account by entering basic personal information
- Enter your credit card details and check out
Blacklane vs. Uber
On the surface, both Uber and Blacklane seem to provide a pretty similar service.
Both allow you to request rides from an app, and both give you access to professional livery drivers (if you select UberBlack or UberSUV).
The biggest differences come down to the Blacklane scheduling feature, the drivers, and the pricing.
Blacklane offers real scheduling. Uber doesn’t (yet)
Blacklane offers a true scheduling feature where a driver knows in advance the date, time, and pickup location.
Uber has a scheduling feature called Uber Reserve, but it comes with all sort of caveats and disclaimers saying that you may not actually be matched with a driver.
Comparing pricing: A ride to LAX with Blacklane
A ride from my home in central Los Angeles to LAX would cost $55–$81 with Blacklane.
Blacklane doesn’t go into much detail on rates/mile or rates/minute, but it’s nice to quickly get one up-front price.
Here’s how the prices broke down for my ride:
- Business Class: $55.17
- Business Van/SUV: $77.69
- First Class: $81
A ride to LAX with Uber
An Uber from my home to LAX would range from $18.95–$96.89.
That’s a massive price difference! Uber offers many ride types in LA, ranging from a shared ride with a stranger (POOL), to a ride in a high-end luxury car (LUX).
- UberX: $21.05
- UberXL: $34.72
- UberBLACK: $63.48
- UberSUV: $81.84
- UberLUX: $96.89
The most important prices to look at in this comparison are Black and SUV. Those are the main competitors to Blacklane, and it turns out that prices for those services are pretty on par with Blacklane.
For those three premium services, prices range from $51–$81, which is just about identical to Blacklane.
So if the two services are so similar in price, what should make you choose one over the other? Let’s look at what each service offers that the other doesn’t.
More about Uber and transit options for airports
- Uber for airports: Which service will fit your group?
- How much does Uber cost? Uber fare estimator
- What is GroundLink? And when it might be better than Uber
- RideYellow: Request yellow taxis with this app
Features Blacklane has that Uber doesn’t
- A true scheduling feature that informs a driver of the date, time, and location of your pickup well in advance of the date
- All drivers are commercially licensed and insured. Only UberBlack and SUV drivers are commercially insured
- All drivers undergo the more stringent background screening required of cab and livery drivers
- Waiting time built into the price. Ubers can cancel on you after 5–10 minutes, depending on the ride type
- No surge pricing. You won’t have to worry that the price of your ride will increase due to traffic
Features Uber has that Blacklane doesn’t
- Cheaper options, and many options
- Instant requests. You can’t always plan your trip ahead of time, so Uber can offer more flexibility
Blacklane is a good option for business Travelers and people who want a reliable scheduled ride
Blacklane is a better service for business travelers, people who are willing to spend more for a more professional experience, and regular travelers who don’t want to risk not getting an Uber when they need it most.
The ability to schedule a ride well in advance of a trip and have it show up without issues is something that a lot of people need, and it’s a feature that you’re not always going to get with Uber.