Olacab or other cab apps in India

#1 Mar 24th, 2017, 09:24
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#1
I was recommended by a friend to use Olacab in India

I have considered that it is not easy to get a sim card in India, so I expect not getting one nor get the card activated within 3 ~4 days when we first arrive India, and I would like to book a cab in advance, to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at the hotel on our arrival.

I can't register to Olacab as an Indian mobile number is necessary, but I don't live in India and I haven't had an Indian phone number, hence I would like to ask, are there any other apps for booking a cab, which are recommended and not required an Indian mobile number???
#2 Mar 24th, 2017, 09:46
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If you are arriving using an e-visa, you should get the free sim available on arrivals. These sims are already activated and have some credit as well. Download Ola and Uber apps before you leave home. They both work fine in India.
#3 Mar 24th, 2017, 10:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimimiha View Post I was recommended by a friend to use Olacab in India

I have considered that it is not easy to get a sim card in India, so I expect not getting one nor get the card activated within 3 ~4 days when we first arrive India, and I would like to book a cab in advance, to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at the hotel on our arrival.

I can't register to Olacab as an Indian mobile number is necessary, but I don't live in India and I haven't had an Indian phone number, hence I would like to ask, are there any other apps for booking a cab, which are recommended and not required an Indian mobile number???

You have a lot of preconceived notions. It is not helpful when these prefactual thinking goes into your preparation.

All transport service related Apps require a local SIM (and here is a reason why) - the service provider, whether it is Uber,Lyft,Arro,Juno, or Ola,Meru need at times have the driver call you the customer, and you the pax, sometimes need to give the driver instructions. Those happen over local number; A driver is not going to call a US or UK or Japanese number !

Uber and Meru have apps that work in India. You can use your UK Uber account, credit card, paypal, and all you have to do in India is change your SIM to a local SIM.

Be aware, many transport apps will ding you some money if you are unable to verbally over the phone communicate your location or cancel a cab on its way.

As to getting a local SIM, at DEL T3 arrival, the Airtel booth will give you a SIM which will activate within few hours. I have no clue about how quickly the local service providers at other airports get you connected.
#4 Mar 24th, 2017, 10:21
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I don't think there is any cab booking app that doesn't require an Indian mobile number.

You could either use the pre-paid taxi service or ask your hotel to organize a cab.
#5 Mar 24th, 2017, 10:35
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post I don't think there is any cab booking app that doesn't require an Indian mobile number.
Code:
xargs sed -i s/Indian mobile number/local mobile number/g
#6 Mar 26th, 2017, 04:28
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So much misinformation. Ola is India-based and does require a local number, but Uber works just fine without a local SIM. Of course you need data so you can use the app.

In India drivers have a really bad habit of calling you to check if you really ordered a cab ("No, I was ordering a pizza") and where you are (they don't know how to use GPS). However, if you have a foreign phone number, they won't call, and they will usually turn up anyway.

I was in Mexico City late last year, and every time I ordered an Uber it turned up in ~2 minutes, no phone calls. But in India the Uber or Ola driver is usually having chai or peeing in public or something, and doesn't start out until 10 minutes later.

PS I re-read the original post, and the OP has somehow been advised to book an Uber/Ola in advance of arrival. That makes zero sense. It is true that Ola/Uber can be booked in advance, but how do you know the exact time your plane will land and how much time it will take to exit the airport? You can book a car to meet you, but that is a limo-like service that will wait for you. Uber/Ola is not that.
Last edited by RPG; Mar 27th, 2017 at 02:54..
#7 Mar 26th, 2017, 15:30
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Absolutely.

Back to basics here. There are two standards for Car On Arrival...

1. Arrange with one's hotel to send car.

2. Go to prepaid booth near airport exit.

Neither is painful.

(do all international airports in India have the prepaid taxi booths? My horizons are a bit narrow)
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#8 Mar 26th, 2017, 19:34
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In Delhi at least, there is a good third option as well - go to Meru or Easy cab counter. I personally went to Meru cab. You give them the destination and they give you a fare estimate. My destination was a fair distance away but fare was quite reasonable. No games whatsoever.
#9 Mar 27th, 2017, 06:57
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Originally Posted by kmalik View Post In Delhi at least .
Yes, there is Meru, Delhi cab, Easy cab, and more. There are many options in DEL T3.
#10 Mar 27th, 2017, 10:04
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Meru, Easy and Tab also available in Mumbai domestic and international airport.
#11 Mar 28th, 2017, 00:44
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Thanks I know

I have an E-Visa, but we will arrive at Chennai International Terminal, I'm not sure if welcome pack (sim card) is available at Chennai yet, and especially we arrive 2:40 am in the morning....so

I guess the best way is to get hotel to arrange a Taxi to pick us up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post If you are arriving using an e-visa, you should get the free sim available on arrivals. These sims are already activated and have some credit as well. Download Ola and Uber apps before you leave home. They both work fine in India.
#12 Mar 28th, 2017, 01:59
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There is a Fasttrack (taxi) counter inside and outside the airport.
#13 Mar 28th, 2017, 02:17
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#13
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I'm not sure if welcome pack (sim card) is available at Chennai yet,
Do let us know!
Quote:
I guess the best way is to get hotel to arrange a Taxi to pick us up.
You will find booths for two or three companies including the "government" cabs near the exit. I usually use Fasttrack, but any of these choices will get you to your destination. Prepaid means prepaid. You do not have to give the driver anything more. You can if you want.

Somebody will try to help you take your baggage to the car. They will expect a tip. Or just keep hold of your own baggage trolley.

The hard bit here is keeping your eyes on the guy who is taking you to your car! But I suspect that they would find you if you actually did lose them, which I never actually have.

Make sure you have your hotel name, address and number handy in case your driver doesn't know it or gets confused. I haven't heard of hotel/driver scams here, but I have heard, just once or twice, of drivers going to the wrong place.

Or... Just get your hotel to send the car. Very occasionally, that may go wrong too: you would have the booths to fall back on.

Welcome (in advance)!
#14 Mar 28th, 2017, 03:28
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Thanks Nick:

Are those 2 or 3 cab booths "prepaid" ones??

I know some airports do have prepaid booths, but not sure about Chennai airport.

Few years ago we flew from Udaipur to Bangalore, and they didn't have prepaid taxi services within Bangalore airport, and it was a nightmare to haggle with the taxis outside the airport......

At Delhi airport, we did ask the hotel to send a Taxi but the actual price was more than the agreed one, as the we were charged by the parking fee outside the airport, well , fair enough. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Do let us know!

You will find booths for two or three companies including the "government" cabs near the exit. I usually use Fasttrack, but any of these choices will get you to your destination. Prepaid means prepaid. You do not have to give the driver anything more. You can if you want.

Somebody will try to help you take your baggage to the car. They will expect a tip. Or just keep hold of your own baggage trolley.

The hard bit here is keeping your eyes on the guy who is taking you to your car! But I suspect that they would find you if you actually did lose them, which I never actually have.

Make sure you have your hotel name, address and number handy in case your driver doesn't know it or gets confused. I haven't heard of hotel/driver scams here, but I have heard, just once or twice, of drivers going to the wrong place.

Or... Just get your hotel to send the car. Very occasionally, that may go wrong too: you would have the booths to fall back on.

Welcome (in advance)!
#15 Mar 28th, 2017, 04:11
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#15
Quote:
Are those 2 or 3 cab booths "prepaid" ones??
Yes, they are indeed prepaid. Nothing more to pay to driver, unless you want to tip him.

For some time, and when I last looked, there were three:

Fasttrack, who used to be the thing in cabs here before Ola/Uber muscled in

Aviation Express (not 100% sure of the name, but something very like that), who have larger vehicles which cost a bit more: good for families or a lot of luggage.

Government cabs are (or used to be) the black and yellow cars. Tended to be older, and likely to be cheaper.

At 2.30am the airport will be quite busy with international air traffic. You will get to your hotel in a flash on empty roads. In fact, you might find the speed quite scary!

(My last experience of my home airport was July 2015: I doubt much has changed)
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