Nothing punitive about Peter Pan’s reservations


To the Editor:

Reference is made to the column by Molly Purves regarding Peter Pan’s reservation system and describing it as being “punitive” if a passenger doesn’t show up for their trip. With Peter Pan your seat is guaranteed.

Unlike some other bus companies, when you buy a ticket on Peter Pan Bus Lines you are guaranteed a seat. A few years ago, based on overwhelming customer requests, Peter Pan changed its entire route system to a guaranteed seat/reservation system. When you buy a Peter Pan ticket, we take that seat out of inventory and cannot sell it to anyone else — we do not oversell.

Over 80 percent of our customers buy their tickets in advance to guarantee a seat — they want the assurance of a seat on the schedule they have chosen. Certainly, customers can still purchase a ticket at the last minute, at a ticket counter or on a mobile device, right up until scheduled departure time, provided there are seats available on the bus.

With other bus companies on the Cape, customers are taking a chance that there will be a seat available for them when they want to travel. What could be more frustrating/upsetting than to plan to take a bus to an appointment in Boston, or to catch a flight out of Logan Airport, only to find out the schedule you have chosen has been oversold and there are no seats available? That can never happen on Peter Pan. When you buy a ticket on Peter Pan, your seat is guaranteed.

We understand that customers’ plans change — life happens! If the customer has booked a guaranteed seat on a Peter Pan bus, and if they notify the company within two hours in advance of their departure, for a small change fee the customer can change their ticket to any other date/time they want. Furthermore, if a customer missed their bus within an hour of departure time, they can travel on any other available schedule that day for a small change fee — no other company offers such travel convenience.

Another huge benefit of our reservation system is that it allows our operations department to do better planning. For example: On busy Cape travel days, our reservation system allows our operations staff to see that a bus is filling up with passengers several days in advance so we can add an additional bus on that schedule — making sure that we accommodate all of the demand for that schedule.

When a customer buys a ticket on Peter Pan Bus Lines they know they have a guaranteed seat. With other bus companies you run the risk of not having available seats — with Peter Pan your travel plans are guaranteed.

Peter Picknelly, general manager
Peter Pan


  1. Let me get this straight, Mr. Picknelly. If I miss my bus because of a late flight, then I have to pay a small “Change Fee” in order to use my ticket for the next bus. The following is a confusing quote from Peter Pan’s website.
    “For tickets where the original fare is $10.00 and under, the exchange fee is $5. For tickets where the original fare is over $10.00, the exchange fee is $10. A transaction cost of $2.00 – $4.00 per ticket, will also apply. The ticket exchange must take place at least two (2) hours before the departure time (and date) specified on the ticket.”
    So If I miss my bus because of a late flight, then I have to pay a “Small” “Exchange Fee” and a redundant “Transaction Fee” for a total of $14 on a $35 ticket. 40% is NOT a small “Change Fee,” nor is a fee of $7 on a $10 ticket. That’s a 70% fee! What a load of poppycock-sprinkled codswallop!
    Also, if I know that I will miss my bus, and I don’t have a smart phone or access to the internet, and I can’t exchange my ticket 2 hours before departure, then I’ll have to buy a whole new ticket, which is a 100% re-buy fee!
    Why not just keep it like it was. If I missed my bus because of a late flight or something else, I would just use that ticket for the next available bus that isn’t fully booked. I would be interested to know what percentage of Peter Pan’s buses ARE fully booked. I bet there are not many. I’ve never seen one. I HAVE seen a fully booked bus that has a back-up bus directly behind it, which makes that particular trip NOT fully booked.
    “Guaranteed seat/reservation system” (laughable) is just another pile of white-washed Horsefeather-coated-Poppycock to SUCK more money out of their customers who have to use Peter Pan Bus lines because there is no alternative.
    I do have to say, that I’ve met some of the nicest and compassionate Peter Pan bus drivers over the years.

  2. With all these extra fees and service charges and notifications, especially trying to notify somebody when no one answers the phone, you would think they would have better trained bus drivers that don’t travel on the opposite side of the road going down toward the Steamship VH terminal. This company has a hell of a lot more to do than to charge people extra money. More training is needed and more common sense since we are their lifeblood.

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