Greyhound promises probe into holiday travel headaches
CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:02PM PST
Greyhound has promised to launch an investigation into service disruptions that allegedly left dozens of passengers stranded over the holidays in B.C.
Delays and unexpected trip cancellations reportedly left some passengers waiting for hours in chilly bus stations and forced others to miss Christmas with their families altogether.
Kathrina Vallesar-Mack boarded a bus in Edmonton on Christmas Eve expecting to reach her home in Langley 17 hours later. Her arrival was delayed five hours.
“I just wanted to be with my family,” Vallesar-Mack said. “I feel like [Greyhound] didn’t care.”
The passenger has filed an official complaint, alleging that not only did the company inconvenience customers at an important time of year, it may have broken the law.
Vallesar-Mack said drivers exceeded their allowed time behind the wheel without a break, and that her bus was so full that passengers were forced to sit in the aisle.
“They were angry. There was so much anger on that bus. They were scared,” she said.
Company spokeswoman Maureen Richmond told CTV News she was surprised by the allegation that customers were improperly seated.
“That’s not a practice that we condone at all. That’s not something that we do for safety reasons,” Richmond said over the phone from Cincinnati, Ohio.
“It’s certainly something I will alert my team to and we’ll do an investigation.”
Another seven hour delay was reported in Kamloops for passengers on their way to Calgary. One witness said there were more than 50 people, including pregnant women trying to keep warm while awaiting their trip.
The company said weather conditions were responsible for numerous delays in Western Canada this week.
Passengers with complaints are directed to call Greyhound’s customer service line. The company said that it determines whether to issue refunds depending on each individual case.
Kathrina Vallesar-Mack said she has made repeated requests to get her money back, but is still waiting for an answer.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Hurst