Megabus is a bus service that goes from city to city, and is meant to compete with Amtrak and Greyhound. They offer decent prices, occasional great specials, and free wi-fi. On a trip during Easter weekend, Mark learned that the service offers another perk he didn’t exactly want: a 4-hour complimentary Megasauna. The air conditioning on his bus failed, and the passengers roasted down the East Coast.
He blogged about the experience, and also sent this e-mail (still unanswered) to Megabus.
April 4, 2010
4400 S. Racine Ave.
Chicago, IL 60609
Dear Customer Service,
I must regretfully report an extremely uncomfortable experience aboard line M21, from New York to Washington, DC on April 4. My reservation number was [redacted], for two passengers. I am requesting a full refund of our fare.
As soon as we stepped on board, we noticed that the A/C wasn’t working. Shortly after leaving, the driver informed us that it indeed had failed and was blowing heat only. On Sunday, in New York city, the temperature reached a high of 75 degrees, and being seated on top of the bus made for a very uncomfortable experience.
During the trip to Washington, the temperature and conditions became so uncomfortable for us that a woman seated behind us proceeded to sleep with her shirt up, revealing her bra and plenty of skin. On Easter Sunday, this was unacceptable, but given the circumstances, and ignoring the offensive behavior temporarily, somewhat understandable.
At the half way point, with the conditions only moderately improved after the driver opened the top vents, he was authorized a stop, due to the “emergency” we were experiencing, so we could get some refreshments. We were thankful that basically we were “allowed” to drink water while sweltering. This treatment is nothing short of inhumane.
Although advertised, your wi-fi service didn’t work on much of the ride, either, presumably the server was being fried due to the extreme heat.
I was really looking forward to riding Megabus, as it was my first time for my fiancÃ© and me, and what we thought was a viable alternative to the train. However, we will be reconsidering other options in the future.
I’ve found that the Megabus Twitter account was quite responsive to problems in the past, and they’re worth contacting in this case. The service makes it clear to passengers that lack of wi-fi does not justify a refund, but does over 4 hours of severe discomfort?
Trip report: Megabus from New York City to Washington, DC [The Consumer’s Edge]