Going from Boston to New York but not sure exactly when I'll be going, within a timeframe of an hour or two, as I'm coming from another location and won't know till I arrive.

What is the protocol if I make a reservation for 7 p.m. but I decide that I want to go at 8 p.m. or 6 p.m.?

MegaBus, Greyhound, Bolt, PeterPan etc.

  • Theoretically, if you have an internet connection, it might be possible to buy another ticket unless all places are sold, so I suspect, you're asking, if it's possible to buy ticket by driver? – Rg7x gW6a cQ3g Jan 10 '18 at 13:35
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    If you can be sure to catch the 8 PM bus, book that one and ask the driver/company friendly if you are earlier, that way you may have to spend a couple of hours waiting for your bus but you will not have to pay for a new ticket if you are late. – Willeke Jan 10 '18 at 16:24

There is no universal rule; you must check with each bus line you are considering as to their specific policies. That said, I am not aware of any unreserved buses on the busy Boston-to-New York City route. If you make a reservation for a 7pm bus and wish to travel on an earlier or later bus, you must therefore exchange your ticket.

Depending on the terms of the ticket you purchased, this may entail additional fees, and may need to be done a certain amount of time in advance of the trip. The more established services offer ways to change reservations at the terminal, online or using a mobile app, or over the phone (though different fees may apply); independent operators like some of the smaller "Chinatown bus" companies may have more limited offerings.

  • Megabus charges fare difference plus a $3 trade-in fee plus a $2.50 (or $7 by phone) new reservation fee if the exchange is requested more than 24 hours in advance of departure. The trade-in fee rises to $7.50 if done only 3 to 6 hours in advance.
  • The BoltBus terms state that changes are only available 24 hours or more in advance, with a $3 rebooking fee plus fare difference.
  • Greyhound's website and contract of carriage don't seem to specify an advance notice requirement, but the change fee on a non-flexible ticket is a stiff $20 on top of fare difference. For comparison, the lowest economy fare I see for this route is $9–20, whereas an "economy extra" ticket allowing free same-day changes is $35–39, and a fully flexible ticket is $43–47.

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