Here’s another unsolved mystery, courtesy of Greyhound and Robin Collier. “Did space aliens abduct these Greyhound passengers?”
The temperature outside the Des Moines Greyhound bus terminal on a February morning fell to a dangerously frigid 17 degrees below zero. But the bus driver who dropped off Ankur Singh and 10 other passengers so that they could wait for a connecting motorcoach, knowing that it would be an hour before the terminal would open, didn’t seem to care.
“He had absolutely no sympathy at all,” says Singh, a documentary filmmaker who lives in Bloomington, Ill. “He was completely apathetic.”
Singh’s experience offers a glimpse into a corner of the travel industry that receives practically no coverage or concern from the travel media: the conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of people who travel by bus.
“Is Greyhound leaving passengers out in the cold?”
Question: I need your help with a bus ticket. A few days ago, I received a notice from Greyhound that a ticket I had earned as part of its rewards program was about to expire.
I tried to resolve this at the Greyhound station in Philadelphia, but they said their computers couldn’t handle an awards redemption. I called the customer service number they gave me, but they said they do not process award tickets any more, and they gave me another number. The person at that number was extremely rude and refused to help me. I was told to go to a Greyhound station in some other city that had the computer capability.
I sent an email to Greyhound and received a reply that they’d reimburse me for half a ticket if I paid for it.
This is a classic example of bait-and-switch. I am thoroughly disgusted with Greyhound. I don’t think they have any intention of keeping their promise. Do you? — Lois Shestack, Philadelphia
Answer: Are you sure you weren’t flying? The kind of behavior you’re describing — the silly rules, the endless runaround, the rude customer service — is typically associated with airlines, not Greyhound.
“Where are my Greyhound Rewards?”
Air travelers seem to delight in poking fun of people who ride the bus, but as someone who has driven coast-to-coast on Greyhound a time or two, I can tell you it was safe, efficient and inexpensive. Oh, and really long.
Not everyone has the same experience. Take Russ Judson, who bought a 21-day advance purchase e-ticket on Greyhound to drive from Minneapolis to Nashville to visit his daughter, who is sick. (That’s a 14-hour drive, in case you were wondering.) Along the way, Greyhound made a promise that it had no intention of keeping, according to Judson.
““They seem to have no compassion””
Rob Gerlach’s bus was late. Really late.
He was traveling from Toronto to Rochester, NY, with a stopover in Buffalo on Greyhound, and not only did the motorcoach leave after its scheduled departure time, but the driver also got lost — he took the wrong highway exit. (Maybe there’s a job waiting for him at Northwest Airlines.) Gerlach missed his connection in Rochester, forcing him to wait another four hours for the next bus to Rochester.
And that’s when the trouble started.
““They laughed at me and told me to move to the end of the counter””