Greyhound Markets Priority Seating

In many places around the globe a bus ticket comes with a seat assignment — just like on an airplane. So why was I surprised that Greyhound has been selling early boarding passes at some stations?

Seating is still open – you choose where to sit when you board – but for $5 you can get on first. Sort of like “business select” on Southwest Airlines.

This option is available only at the ticket counter at 35 stations around the country, including Boston and New York. It’s been around for about a year, and Greyhound is promoting it now along with a slew of holiday discounts.

I’ve long had mixed feelings about this practice on airlines. When I pay extra, I’d like to get something extra — more leg room at least — not just convenience. I figure mass transit should be convenient for everyone, and I dislike charges for advantages that used to be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

That said, there’s no question that this kind of “unbundling” is all in fashion of late. I’ll be interested to see whether Greyhound ultimately expands this program (there are no immediate plans for that, a spokeswoman tells me) or phases it back out.

But, you tell me what you think:


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