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Lyft Charlotte & My Terrible “Brilliant” Idea
Following a fantastic day at Family Travel for Real Life, a great dinner and a group podcasting session (more on that later), it was time to head to my hotel, one of the two Hyatt Place hotels near Charlotte’s airport.
Since I had a couple of Lyft credits expiring (their 30 day expiration on referral credits is terrible), I agreed to give Dan from Points with a Crew a ride to his hotel. He was staying at the Hyatt House near the airport, about 3 miles from my hotel.
We departed Uptown Charlotte at a very busy time shorly after the Fleetwood Mac concert had let out. Naturally Lyft was charging 50% more than the normal rates which made sense given how many people were out on the streets, but I didn’t want to pay out of pocket. After all, rides should be free!
It turns out that I had an extra Lyft credit that I won’t be able to use, so I came up with a “brilliant” plan. I would take Dan to his hotel, get out and let the Lyft ride end before calling another car to bring me to my hotel. This way I wouldn’t go over my $20 credit and have to pay out of pocket. Smart am I.
Eventually we arrive at Dan’s hotel and he checks in and ditches me in the lobby. In the meantime I am sitting there with the Lyft app trying to call a car. Over and over it tells me that there are no drivers and to try again later.
Finally after a couple of minutes a driver is assigned. The app estimates it will take him 15 minutes, but I am just happy that I will soon be on my way. Dan is long gone and the front desk clerk is now staring at me. I thought about saying, “but I am a Diamond guest“, but I doubt he would have cared.
Two minutes after my driver is assigned the ride is canceled and I am crushed. Why didn’t I just book my room at the Hyatt House? Why do I get myself into these situations? Why the hell did I book an 8am flight on a night when I have to set the clock ahead an hour and most importantly, why the heck did I give Dan a ride? 🙂
On the podcast we talked about breaking down while traveling and how I have probably done it more often than my son. For a moment I felt just sorry enough for myself to consider it, but then I turned to my old buddy Uber.
Thankfully Uber turned out to be much more reliable than Lyft and a driver arrived within four minutes. I was at my hotel a few minutes later. Sure it cost me $5, but it was so worth it. So very much worth it!
I guess the moral of this story is that being cheap and trying to hack the system can sometimes backfire. Thankfully Uber saved the day, but I still lost about 30 minutes of precious sleep. Oh, and that Dan is trouble!
Have you ever had a brilliant idea to save money while traveling that blew up in your face? Let me know in the comments!
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