, while best known for its ride-hail services, also has a rental car offering
in some markets and it’s trying to leverage the upcoming holiday as a marketing opportunity. Through push notifications shared by some customers on social media Wednesday, the company sent the message: “Last-minute Thanksgiving plans? Rent a car and make them happen.” Emails received by some customers
contained similar messaging.
Unsurprisingly, some recipients didn’t take too kindly to the call-to-action given the latest surge in the pandemic. “No, @lyft. Read the news,” tweeted one person.
that the push was “WILDLY irresponsible. Last time I checked we were in the midst of a worsening pandemic and no one should be going anywhere for Thanksgiving.”
“We recognize that there are changing local guidelines and regulations related to Covid-19 and Thanksgiving travel, and as always, we encourage our users to follow those guidelines — we should have made that more clear in the email,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business when asked about the effort.
The company said the campaign has been paused.
While Lyft’s car rental page indicates that safety is a top priority and that “protocols and thorough cleaning processes have been implemented,” the marketing push comes as the United States recently surpassed 11 million Covid-19 cases
. On Tuesday, the country had its highest daily death toll in the past six months
and places like New York City and a number of counties in California are facing new restrictions
An emergency physician said Saturday
that he is “terrified” about this holiday season, predicting “an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year.” Experts say those who plan
to visit family should quarantine for 14 days first.