NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT USE US COACHWAYS!!! Our trip with US Coachways was a DISASTER! I was fooled by the company's attractive website and online presence, as well as by Paul -- one fast-talking, slick sales agent. Paul said he was classifying our group up as a "VIP client" -- to ensure that we got one of their best buses and the very best service possible. What we got was a very broken down bus and a great big runaround.
1) The bus door was broken. When the bus arrived, we all stood outside the bus for five minutes while the driver proceeded to force/kick/pry the door open so that he could get off the bus and the passengers could get on. And we had to go through this routine each time we boarded, unboarded, and stopped at a reststop. Of course this was inconvenient. But more importantly, it was a critical safety factor! Had anything happened on the bus (an accident, a fire, etc.), we would have all been trapped inside that bus with no way out!!! This worried me the entire trip. And it's the kind of thing that could have serious legal repercussions for a bus company.
2) As soon as we got on the road, we learned there was no running water in the bathroom. So we were not able to flush the toilet or use the sink. I know that some buses have "dump toilets" that do not flush. But this was NOT a dump toilet. This was a bathroom with no running water -- in the toilet or in the sink. It was DISGUSTING!
3) We also soon discovered that the DVD player didn't work. It had a picture, but no sound. When your bus is full of small children for a 5-hour trip each way, a working DVD player is a necessity! I had a lot of unhappy children -- and thus very unhappy parents.
4) When we arrived in NYC on Saturday, I called dispatch to ask that our bus be fixed or replaced by Sunday's return trip. Karen in dispatch said she'd see what she could do, but she never got back to me. I had to track her down on Sunday, at which time she told me that the issues had been resolved (the door, the DVD player, etc.). I thus told the people in my group that the return trip was going to be fine, that all the problems on our bus had been fixed. Imagine our horror when the bus arrived and absolutely nothing was different!
5) Problems continued on the way home. On the trip up to NYC, air conditioning was not needed. However, the weather was very different for our return trip on Sunday. The bus was very hot -- but the air conditioning barely worked. Two-and-a-half hours into the trip, at our reststop in Delaware, the driver went under the bus and turned off the hot water valves. This helped a little, but not nearly enough. It was a very uncomfortable trip home and everyone was complaining -- children and adults.
6) Last, but not least ... In the price quote, Paul told us that our price included a tip for the driver. However, our driver confirmed that he receives no tips from the company. It would have been very unfair for our driver not to receive a tip for this trip, so I tipped him $100 out of my own pocket.
All of these problems would have been bad enough, but they were compounded by the fact that I had specifically spelled out our requirements for a clean, working bathroom and a working DVD player in our contract -- and I had been repeatedly reassured that we had been assigned "VIP" status which meant we were GUARANTEED to receive a bus in excellent working condition. Well, if this was VIP treatment, I'd hate to see what kind of bus their other customers get!
When I contacted the company to discuss some kind of refund, they gave me the runaround for weeks. Then they offered me a measley 5% refund and a small credit toward a future trip -- as if I'd ever use them again! BE WARNED ... AVOID THIS BUS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!