Review: Uber’s new DragonX and DragonLUX service
In a development sure to please users Uber now lets you request a dragon for times when you want something a bit faster and more interesting than a car. Although bound to cause additional controversy for Uber, dragons certainly fill a clear market need for riders who want to avoid traffic completely. We recently had a chance to try both levels of the new service, and though there are a few issues unique to dragon transport, we can happily say that yes, as expected Uber Dragon service pretty much kicks ass.
Requesting a dragon is as simple as requesting a car, in the Uber app you will see two new listings, DragonX and DragonLUX. As the names indicate DragonX is the cheaper of the two dragon options. We should note though that both dragon options are pricey, with DragonX averaging up to double the price of Uber LUX, previously Uber’s most expensive option. DragonLUX pricing? About the same as booking a private jet, but trust us, if you spring for either level of service you won’t regret it.
Requesting a dragon with DragonX will summon a younger dragon averaging 20-40 years old, and with a wingspan of 30-80 feet. This is a big range in wingspan, and with DragonX you are only guaranteed to get a dragon that can carry 1-2 people. Regardless of the size of your dragon, with DragonX you can expect to be in the open air and hanging on tight with only straps and a basic saddle. This means the service is best suited for relatively short trips across town. For our ride using DragonX we went from the Mission District to SFO on a dragon named Hector, and we made it, at rush hour, in 6 minutes flat (minimum 20 minutes by car with no traffic). Hector was scary fast, but this isn’t for the faint of heart, if you don’t like roller coasters or heights this isn’t for you. And we do have a few gripes – true to form Hector was on his cell the entire ride, and we noticed a distinct burnt smell on our clothes the rest of the day. Still, just watching the people scatter at landing was worth the fee. Hector does not respect loading zones as if he were a car, he just dropped us on the sidewalk directly at the entrance, and believe me when I say onsite security was not going to risk challenging him in any way.
With DragonLUX you can expect a dragon averaging 80-200 years old, a wingspan of 80-200 plus feet, and with an enclosed seating pod for 4 people plus baggage. Due to their size Uber won’t let you summon a DragonLUX dragon in tight urban areas without a designated landing area such as a helipad, and Uber recommends this service for trips of at least 75 miles. We had the pleasure of taking Drogon (he claims there is no relation to the Game of Thrones star) from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Drogon made the trip of roughly 375 miles in just under an hour, and the enclosed passenger pod on his back even had wi-fi. If you’re thinking this is still slower than a commercial jet, keep in mind Drogon did make a brief stop to eat a horse, but this of course just added to the unique experience.
Given the cost of Uber Dragon service we can’t recommend it for everyone, but if you have the means it’s worth every penny. We did ask Uber if they are expecting a lot of trouble with regulators, including the FAA, but according to one Uber employee – “Not a problem. None of the regulatory agencies want to introduce legislation or policy that restricts dragons. Just not a good idea. Think about it, they’re dragons.”