I am reporting on a rather unpleasant incident regarding the Swagman Fly the Bus March 24-27, 2013.
I have used this service from manila to Angeles several times over the years. On March 24th we arrived at the Ermita Swagman at 11:00 am expecting to take the 11:30 bus to Angeles. When attempting to pay for 2 one way seats the girl at the desk told me that there was no air conditioning on the bus as it was broken. "Is that OK" she asked. as it was already about 90 degrees I assured her that it was not OK and I told her ewe would find another way to AC.
I called one of my very reliable taxi drivers and we were on our way in about 15 minuets for 2500 PHP. Oh Well!!
On Tuesday evening March 26 I telephoned the Swagman Fly The Bus Angeles office. I specifically asked if all the air conditioning problems were solves as I wanted to leave Angeles the following day for Manila. I was assured that the necessary repairs were made and that the air conditioning was working perfectly. I made the reservation for the following morning and their van picked up at our hotel before noon and took us to the Brass Knob where the bus was waiting. From there we stopped at the swagman for a few minuets and then proceeded towards the expressway.
It soon became apparent the the air conditioning was not on. I asked the attendant if there was a problem with the air conditioning and was told that it was broken. She also told me that the bus was experiencing overheating problems. I was again an extremely hot day. Physically, it could have been dangerous for me to be stuck in the hot bus for 2 hours. The attendant suggested that the passengers just open the windows and everything would be fine. After some additional discussion she even offered a 100 peso discount for the lack of air conditioning. Are you kidding.
At that point I told her that I would be unable to take the trip. There was much discussion between her and the driver and the driver by phone with their office. According to my girlfriend who was interpreting, the driver did not want to drive all the way to Manila with no Air.
We stopped at the Expressway entrance and was told a van was coming to return anyone who, wanted to go to their hotel. I demanded and received a full refund.
About 30 minuets later a van came. We had them drop us at the Brass Knob. When we arrived there we almost immediately boarded a very comfortable Southern Cross van to the Southern Cross in Ermita.
Traffic was very heavy this afternoon and I am sure that the Bus would have taken about 3 hours.
I will be using Southern Cross transport in the future. They have much nicer and better maintained vehicles that Swagman Fly The Bus.
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