** updated March 5, 2010 **
The refund came through on my credit card.
Michelle made the return trip on Megabus and was quite impressed. The bus was a modern double decker and was clean and pleasant. I think we’ll use the service again but we’ll just keep a very watchful eye on the weather and call them for updates before we get to the airport in the future. Do not trust that they will contact you if there are scheduling issues.
** end March 5, 2010 update **
** updated February 25, 2010 **
While I was crafting this entry I received notification of the refund for my original ticket price one way. So they were true to their word on that front.
** end February 25, 2010 update **
Nearly a month ago we arranged for Michelle to head up to Canada to visit her sister. As usual the airfare to fly directly into Toronto could only be described as “bend over and take it until you collapse”, so we booked an Airtran flight with a bus trip to Toronto using MegaBus.
Michelle arrived at Buffalo international airport early this evening in good time for her bus and then proceeded to wait.. and wait.. She wasn’t alone, there were another half dozen folks waiting with her. When the promised 7:45 pm bus didn’t show up she called me and I got on it.
I first called their contact us number (1-877-462-6342 per the website) and was informed that all buses had been canceled for the entire day due to weather. The guy I spoke with seemed rather surprised that we hadn’t been alerted.
I quickly checked the weather and saw that there actually was an advisory that we were not aware of, it certainly didn’t affect her flight.
The guy at 1-877-462-6342 told me that I could contact 773-890-6342 or inquiries.megabus.com (which I later found was email@example.com an email address rather than a web site).
Calling that number got me put on hold and then eventually I was offered the option, if my call was regarding ongoing service disruptions to speak to a dispatcher. What I got was a lady (with loud laughing and raucous people in the background) who was somewhat confused that I was talking to her and she gave me the number of the New Jersey dispatch office (908-282-7420).
At *that* number I spoke with someone who knew what was going on who contacted the megabus dispatching office in Canada and determined that there would be NO service between there and Buffalo tonight.
She further determined that Coach Canada *was* running service and that we could likely get on one of their buses. At first she offered that, if we could get a Coach Canada ticket and keep the receipt, they would be willing to reimburse is, then she backed off and offered to refund the original ticket price saying that I could send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to explain what had occurred and that they might be able to work something out with us.
She also provided me with the Coach Canada phone number (1-800-644-5197 ext 1) .
So I called Michelle back to see where things stood for her before making any arrangements and found that she, and the other stranded passengers had managed to purchase tickets on the Coach Canada bus that had been sitting there at the airport while they were waiting for their Megabus.
So I’m going to send this story to Megabus and see what they say. I’ll update this post with any response. But my main points are:
- We were never contacted regarding the outage. I had given them MY contact information as anybody who knows me also knows that I am VERY reachable via the web and phone. Had we suspected an issue we would have made arrangements many hours earlier.
- Looking at my reservation screen below which I captured at about 35 minutes *after* departure there is still no indication of an issue with the reservation even though apparently ALL buses had been canceled.
- I’m surprised that there is no agreement between the bus companies or that Megabus does not have any facility for ensuring that stranded passengers are handled. The new ticket was about twice as expensive as the original and, had Michelle had to wait overnight that would have been that much MORE expensive.
- I’m further surprised that they wouldn’t run their buses while Coach Canada didn’t seem to have an issue continuing to service their routes.
What do I want from Megabus?
- An acknowledgment that they screwed up the notifications and maybe some assurances that they have maybe done something to correct that issue.
- Obviously I want the ticket refunded. I think it would be a nice gesture if they went the extra distance and reimbursed us for the extra ticket cost too. But the amount of money is not huge.
Anyway, I passed their contact information on to Michelle so that the other passengers could make whatever arrangements they may and she is now en route to Toronto and will arrive only a couple of hours later than planned.
I post this so others can know about our experience. If it’s an isolated incident then this post will get lost in the shuffle, if it’s a regular occurrence then my voice will be added to others who may choose to post as well.