Lyft’s high-end Premier service launches in Las Vegas


It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and you’ve been digging for a new way to impress your date. Whatever you’ve got planned, you can now make it better by starting and ending the night with Lyft Premier, which launched in Vegas, its 11th Premier market, on January 26.

You can hail fancy wheels 24/7 with the power of the Lyft app. “We have all the luxury cars you can think of,” says Lyft Las Vegas general manager Yacob Girma. To qualify as a Premier vehicle, the car’s value must be $50,000 and above, and it must have leather seats, along with other requirements. Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and even Tesla are some of the high-end makes offered, and drivers are ready to pick you up anywhere, whether you’re on the Strip, at Hoover Dam or by Mount Charleston.

As an added bonus, first-time Lyft users who try out Premier during February and enter the code “JETSUITEX” will have the chance to win a free, private, round-trip flight on JetSuiteX. Also, all riders can receive $10 off four rides using the code “PREMXLAS” through February 23.

Girma says that the average wait time for Premier is expected to be around five or six minutes, compared to Lyft Classic’s average of three minutes or less. If you’re on the Strip, the wait time is predicted to be shorter. Scheduled pickups are also available and can be set within a range of 10 minutes.

Although the Premier fares are higher ($5 Lyft Premier vs. $1.50 Lyft Classic base fare, $3 vs. $0.90 cost per mile, $0.40 vs. $0.15 cost per minute, $6.30 vs. $5 minimum fare), the rates do not vary by car model. So, it’s no more expensive to ride in a Tesla than a BMW (although you won’t be able to pre-select your car; pickups are determined by location and wait time.) Cancel penalties ($5 regular; $10 scheduled ride cancellation) and service fees ($1.90) also remain the same for both services.

We also had to ask: How does Lyft Premier compare to UberSELECT? Girma says Lyft is stricter on car requirements, meaning your ride is ensured to be a recent model, luxurious and comfortable. Fares are similar, with the main difference Uber’s minimum fare of $8 versus Lyft’s $6.30.

In addition to Lyft Premier and Classic, there are also Lyft Line (shared rides) and Lyft Plus (supersize rides). Since its founding in June 2012, Lyft has expanded to more than 200 cities. Premier was launched eight months ago and is already in Phoenix, Dallas, LA, San Jose, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

“Lyft's mission is to improve people's lives with the world's best transportation,” Girma says. “We’re in a hospitality town, and the culture that exists here is to impress. We want to have an offering for every type of customer.”

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