Greyhound Makes Good On Travel Nightmare - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Greyhound Makes Good On Travel Nightmare

Phyllis Redmond's mother-in-law, Jennie; and her sister, Myrtle Phyllis Redmond's mother-in-law, Jennie; and her sister, Myrtle

by Brent Frazier

Sparta, TENN. - Phyllis Redmond's mother-in-law, Jennie; and her sister, Myrtle, have fond family memories to take back to Ohio. But their Greyhound bus trip home last weekend was nothing short of tumultuous.

"These are problems that should never have occurred," Redmond told NewsChannel 5 Sunday afternoon, from her home in rural White County. Redmond is the one who delivered the two women, ages 77 and 73, to the Greyhound bus terminal in nearby Cookeville, TN. She said each woman had an advance ticket for the 8:05 p.m. bus from Cookeville to Knoxville, but that bus was full.

"And then I'm like, 'Well, then what's the point of a reserved seat?'" Redmond asked the person or persons she got on the phone that fateful night, as she struggled to make an immediate repair, and find the women alternate transportation to Knoxville.

Redmond grew increasingly frustrated as the evening wore on, and eventually gave in to the conditions and took the two women back to her house, some 20 miles away. Redmond said Greyhound staffers were less than helpful.

"The ladies were extremely stressed. They didn't know if they were going to be able to get on the bus. From the sound of it, it could've been days!"

Redmond said the driver of the 8:05 p.m. bus, whose ride was completely full, did promise the two would-be passengers that a second bus was roughly 20 minutes behind his, virtually empty. Problem is, that follow-up driver, according to Redmond, by-passed Cookeville entirely, thus leaving the women stranded for the night.

Redmond, who works in customer service, said she got the runaround that night, that Greyhound staffers refused to help, and only placed blame on who might be at fault. She said the two women spent a combined $300 on bus tickets, roundtrip.

"Those seats were technically taken at that point and I think they (Greyhound) have major holes in their scheduling," Redmond said.

Truth is, Greyhound's tickets are good for a full year after purchase date, and the only real function of buying a ticket ahead of time is to earn a customer discount, according to Timothy Stokes, a Greyhound company spokesperson out of Cincinnati, OH.

Stokes told NewsChannel 5, an advance ticket in no way guarantees a passenger a seat on a particular bus route. He explained that the bus line operates on a "capacity flexible scheduling" method of timing. Simply put, bus routes are added as ridership demands them.

Stokes said the company regrets any grief the return trip to Toledo, OH, caused the two women; and the company is vowing to refund every dime Jennie and Myrtle spent on those Greyhound bus tickets.

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