Tag Archives: baggage

The NEW Greyhound Website Has Major Issues — Healthcare.gov Redux.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


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Amtrak baggage check at Penn Station.

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greyhoundnew1212

Click at YOUR peril. Best call 1-800-268-9000 though they have issues too.


greyhounderror


Until May of this year, when we had to get to Philadelphia to pick up our Jaguar XJ8, and Amtrak had had its Amtrak 188 Brandon Bostian crash, I had never been a great believer in buses as a means of long distance transport. Yes, we had taken an airport bus to Boston a few times but we really considered that a shuttle rather than anything else.

But the trip in May, when we used two bus services, one from Dover, NH to South Station in Boston (C&J), and then Greyhound from New York to Philadelphia, made a believer out of me. I am now convinced that Greyhound is THE BEST way to get from New York to Philadelphia. It takes exactly 2 hours (barring mishaps). That is about 30 to 40 minutes longer than by train. But it is less than half the price. $44 vs (say) $16 for 30 to 40 minutes — given that you have to hang around stations anyway.

Well I was trying to make a reservation on Sunday. The NEW system kept on giving me the above ERROR message or crashing. WOW. How could Greyhound have gone live with that? That is STUPID. I had no choice but to call the 1-800 268 9000 number. She was helpful enough. She admitted that the new system was NOT working. But here is the crazy part and I was NOT amused. Her system crashed TWICE while she was doing my reservation and she initially quoted me a price that was 50% higher than what it proved to be — because that was what the system told her.

Not good. If Greyhound can’t process reservations they will run into trouble quite quickly.

In my days as a BIG system consultant this was our golden definition of what a MISSION CRITICAL system was — any major airline would go belly up if there reservation system was down for 72 hours. I can’t see that that has changed much over the years and as such Greyhound is flirting with disaster.


The Best Kept Secret In New York City — Amtrak Baggage Check At Penn Station.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Wyndham Hotel
, Philadelphia Historic District.
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Philadelphia ‘Zooballoon’.
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Running up “Rocky Steps”.
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Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.
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Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.

>> Anthony Melchiorri responds.
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‘Woodstock Lodge’ on ‘Hotel Impossible’. … …

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia & ‘Jaguar’ for other posts >>>>


Temporarily storing some of your luggage while you sightsee in New York City can be a bigger problem than you would typically expect. It all has to do with heightened security. Luggage lockers in New York City are basically a thing of the past.

Yes, of course, if you have a hotel reservation it is not a problem. You can check in the luggage at the hotel — even if it means going out of the way to first get to the hotel.

Penn_Station_concourse

Main floor on Penn Station.

Well we had a different problem when we went to NYC, on our way to Philadelphia in May, to pick up the Jaguar XJ8 from “Car Cheer“. Thanks to the antics of Brandon ‘bloody’ Bostian we could go all the way to Philly by Amtrak. We could only get as far as NYC — and then take a Greyhound. Well the kids wanted to do a bit of exploring in NYC, since it was 4 years since we were last there, so I got the Greyhound tickets to give us 6 hours in NYC. We didn’t have much luggage BUT we did have one big bag for the three of us. I did not fancy lugging that around New York, in the hot humidity of a May day. Deanna was sure that there were lockers. I knew better.

Trying to get or find a definite answer as to whether Amtrak provided a baggage check at Penn Station was HARD. It appears that it is security again. People just don’t want to talk about it. YES, I found one commercial service, outside of Penn and not that far from the Port Authority (from which Greyhound departs) which did what I wanted for $10+ an item. Bit its biggest drawback was that it really was neither HERE-or-THERE; i.e., it wasn’t at Penn or at the Port Authority. I persevered. I was sure that Amtrak MUST offer some kind of baggage check. Then I was told that it was ONLY for outbound passengers — and I did NOT have a outbound ticket. I was coming as far as Penn with Amtrak and then doing the rest by road.

Well here is the good news. Amtrak has a very competent, affordable (I think $6.25 a piece) baggage check on the ‘Main Floor’ of Penn Station. You can use it both INBOUND and outbound. All you need is a valid Amtrak ticket for THAT day. They staple your baggage tickets to THAT ticket. That is there security measure. Worked great. I gather that it can get busy and they suggest you get there with 30 minutes to spare. On the Saturday afternoon we were there it was ’empty’. When we came to pick up our bags there was no line.

It really worked well. We had to ask a few people BEFORE we found it. But it is well SIGNED if you look for the signs.

The folks that worked there agreed that it was NYC best kept secret. That is why I am sharing it with YOU.

So if you are going to New York City by Amtrak do remember that they do have a GOOD baggage check facility.