Drunk UK Student Accidentally Takes a $1,700 Uber Trip

After five hours of driving, the driver generously decided not to charge him.

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NurPhoto via Getty Images—Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto

As problematic as the rideshare business can sometimes be, one undisputed benefit of apps like Uber and Lyft is that they provide another alternative to drunk driving. While Ubering-while-drunk is undoubtedly safer than getting behind the wheel after a night of alcohol, it isn't entirely risk- or consequence-free, as one U.K. university student recently learned first-hand. 

And if you're expecting some faith-in-humanity-busting story about a greedy driver taking advantage of an inebriated passenger, put your pitchforks down because this is the complete opposite of that.

According to Fox News, an anonymous engineering student at Newcastle University going by "James" ordered an Uber home after a night of drinking. Unfortunately, "James" accidentally entered an address in Norwich as his destination. For those unfamiliar with British geography, Newcastle to Norwich is a five-hour, 250-mile drive. After sleeping through most of the trip, the student awoke 250 miles away from home and faced with a bill for the British equivalent of $1,700—enough money for an airline ticket to the other side of the world (or farther, these days, thanks to coronavirus)

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"When I woke up, I literally thought it was a dream," he said. "Surely I hadn't done this."

In a stroke of unparalleled customer service, however, the driver generously decided not to charge James when he realized what had happened. Deservedly so, the future engineer gave the Uber driver five stars and promptly took a train back home where he was reportedly later fined for not having a ticket. He also apparently missed his classes the next day although the report does not explicitly specify whether this was because of the whole Norwich debacle or...other reasons. Don't worry, James. I hated algebra too.

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