Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 15 times, I must be an idiot.
I had to journey from Philadelphia to New York City tonight and had two options—Amtrak for $50 and MegaBus for $17. I had not been on MegaBus since May and because of the price differential and the still-advertised amenity of onboard WiFi, I booked a ticket with them. In fact, I booked several tickets as I have a couple trips to Washington coming up next month. Those trips were cheap enough–$5-7 each because I was buying in advance, but now I am questioning whether to even utilize them.
Onboard, the internet was not working, as usual. The signal was there—it indicated connected—but no data transmission and another two hours of limited productivity followed. I still had my laptop with power as well as a book to read, but I had clients waiting on award bookings and the early evening on the East Coast is the prime time to knock out award research (when even the airline elite phone lines tend to be a bit more clogged). Needless to say the internet was missed.
The bus also happened to be full, which was a major annoyance though not something I have any right to complain about. While MegaBus is fine when you have an open seat next to you, it is downright uncomfortable when the bus is crowded.
Amtrak’s Northeast Regional service has in-seat power, decent WiFi (it has always worked for me, without exception), and room to spread out. Amtrak trains, especially during rush hour, can be crowded too—but at least you have legroom and a slightly larger armrest.
So I made a mistake today. The $50 would have been better spent on Amtrak. And once again I put too much faith in MegaBus. With full busses, I won’t hold my breath that they will make the necessary capital expenditures to solve their long-running internet connectivity issued.
I considered taking BoltBus tonight (which was sold out) or Greyhound (which would have required a subway ride into Center City Philadelphia to catch), but went with the tried and (un)true MegaBus option. Have I finally learned my lesson? Or will I be like the poor woman that continues to return to her wife-beating husband? Forgive the analogy, but I cannot think of a more apt one.
And my story is not done: guess what wasn’t waiting for me when I stepped off the bus? Does Chase Sapphire cover lost bus luggage? We’ll soon find out…more on this tomorrow.