Megabus fights with passengers over compensation for burned bags

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Megabus fights with passengers over compensation for burned bags
Image Credit: @frugaltraveler
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Megabus is something we talk about a lot in the world of Clark because it lets you do cheap interstate travel with bus fares starting at as little as $1.

But passengers are finding that rock-bottom price doesn’t leave the company a lot of wiggle room to dole out fair and equitable treatment after you lose your luggage in an accident.

Read more: 15 tips and apps to make your travels cheaper and easier

What happened?

Last month, a Megabus en route from a Chicago suburb to Minneapolis started smoldering on the interstate and then erupted into a raging fire. While no one was hurt, many passengers on the bus had all their luggage engulfed in the flames.

Megabus policy states the company “assumes no liability for the loss of or damage of baggage in excess of two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars.’ Yet the bus carrier reportedly made select offers of between $400 and $500 in compensation to a handful of people. That’s according to a New York Times travel writer who was on board the flaming bus. (Can you imagine the company’s bad fortune in having a travel influencer who could really broadcast this disaster on board this particular bus?!)

Some people balked at the increased offer of compensation, arguing the contents of their luggage was worth twice that amount. Even if passengers had receipts to prove it, the adjuster reportedly told them they wouldn’t be made whole. That put people in the uncomfortable position of having to haggle over replacement value and depreciation on laptops, clothing and other personal belongings.

What’s the solution?

Here’s the thing: Maybe this hassle could have been avoided if passengers bought travel insurance with baggage protection.

Now, Clark says travel insurance policies should always be purchased when you are taking a cruise, a tour or traveling on a trip that requires pre-payment of thousands of dollars. Obviously a Megabus trip is the polar opposite of that kind of money! But the sad thing is at least one person on board the bus was moving and using Megabus to move himself and his few belongings in lieu of hiring a traditional mover.

Consider this: If you were doing a traditional move, you would want to purchase optional insurance from the mover that covers replacement value should something go missing or get destroyed. That’s something you would do before the move. So maybe the idea of travel insurance with baggage protection is not so far-fetched after all for a Megabus trip!

Or here’s another possibility: If you’re looking at using Megabus to move yourself and your belongings, stop and consider UShip.com. Movers will bid on your job to drive down the price in a reverse eBay sort of way. This works especially well if you have large oddly shaped piece of furniture that needs to be moved. You can use this site for your stuff and then just book a cheap one-way ticket on Megabus. Just make sure you bring the least amount of clothing and personal belongings on the bus!

Read more: How to hire the best moving companies

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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