My trip began in Albert Lea, MN and ended in Philadelphia, PA.
I caught the Jefferson Lines bus (no Greyhounds leave from my town) at 3:30 AM on June 19. It was fine. Kind of sketchy, people were drinking on the bus, etc. I was a bit scared to be honest. I took the bus to the Minneapolis Greyhound terminal. I had to get off the bus and connect a few different times. My first stop was to be Chicago. The bus was supposed to leave Minneapolis at 6:30 am, but left about 45 minutes late. I had a bad feeling, but thought maybe things would get better. We continue to take the bus and are in Milwaukee when we find out... our driver is out of hours for the day! Good going guy, so glad you were keeping track of that. If he had been, he could have called someone ahead of time.
So we sit there and sit there while he tries to get a hold of another driver, who finally shows up an hour later. The original driver told us, "If you have any connecting buses in Chicago, you're not going to make them" and laughed. I thought, Great... I had a bus to catch in Chicago at 5 pm. He said to go to customer service once we got to Chicago.
We had already been running late, and after that fiasco and some typical Chicago rush time traffic, we arrived in Chicago around 7, two hours after I was supposed to catch a bus to Cleveland.
I had to wait in line at customer service for about 15 minutes, behind some other disgruntled riders. I told the guy at the desk my situation and he walked away. Another guy walked up, who had been on my bus, maybe helping the driver? Not sure. He was an employee of some sort. He asked me what was up because he could tell I was about to cry, and he chuckled and said, "Oh... umm... yeah, I can't help you dear!" So the original guy comes back and tells me everything is full until 7 am. 7 am?! What am I supposed to do? Sit at the bus terminal for 12 hours? Having to stay awake to watch my stuff? No. way. in. hell. So I asked if he could please find something sooner, but everything was full. I asked to talk to a manager. They had me move over to the side for another 15 minutes, while they whispered stuff. They found a bus to put me on, but it was leaving *RIGHT* then, so I had no time to get food or use the restroom in the bus station. That sucked, but I sucked it up. This particular bus was headed to Indianapolis, and I would get off there and figure out what was going on with customer service.
I knew things wouldn't be on time at this point, and that there was no way in hell I would make it to Philly by 11:40 am the next day. I thought I would only be a couple hours late though. So we get to Indianapolis. I go to customer service, and there are a few other angry people in front of me, who had been trying to get to Philly/east coast area for the past few hours with no luck and not much help from the staff at all. I waited half an hour until it was my turn to talk to the guy behind the counter. I calmly told him the situation, trying really, really hard not to cry even though I just wanted to get to Philly to see one of my best friends that I hadn't seen in seven months and don't get to see much, obviously, since she lives out there. It was about 1 am at this point. He told me the bus that was about to leave was full (of course!) and that the next bus wasn't leaving until 4 am. There was nothing else he could do. I walked away from the counter and counted stop myself from crying. I was extremely upset and called my friend. At that point, I really didn't know if I would ever get there.
4 am finally rolls around. We sit on the bus until it finally leaves at 4:30 am. I believe I took that bus to Columbus. (There was so much switching, and it's not at all like my itinerary, so I can't remember exactly what went down.) We finally got there, I switched and took a bus to Pittsburgh. After that, I finally got on my final bus to Philadelphia.
All in all, it was two days of hell. I thought I was never going to get there. I flew home (but did have tickets for round trip...I had no idea this would happen), but I know I can send in my tickets and get half of what I paid back (well... there will be a 20% fee on it that I won't get). Should I even try to fight them for the full cost ($255.00) of my round trip ticket back, or is it not worth it?