How to Read Your Megabus Ticket

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Photo of a Megabus driving through Hoston, Texas.
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Sure, Megabus may sound like a Transformer, but the only shape-shifting that takes place is getting you from Point A to Point B for super cheap. 🚌💨

Established in 2006, Megabus operates bus routes throughout the United States, as well as in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Unlike Greyhound, Megabus often departs from (and drops off at) curbside stops instead of traditional bus stations. The first ticket sold on every bus goes for just $1, and routes have minimal stops, getting you to your destination as fast as possible. 

And the (Optimus) prime place to score those $1 tickets is on Wanderu, of course! Where you can always find the lowest prices on bus and train travel — no additional Wanderu fees attached.  

After you have completed your purchase and that confirmation email arrives in your inbox, you’re bound to have some questions: Why is there no ticket attached? Where is the bus stop? How does seating work?

At first glance it may feel like these answers are as elusive as a rogue Decepticon, but fear not: The following FAQ has all the details you need to make your Megabus experience easy and relaxing.

How do I get my Megabus ticket?

After booking a Megabus trip through Wanderu, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the following subject line: “From megabus.com: Your reservations have been made.” That email itself — specifically, the reservation number contained within it — serves as your boarding pass. A combination of numbers and letters, an example reservation number looks like the following: 10-1843-090513-M21-1500-WAS-NEW. 

Unlike other bus carriers such as Greyhound, Peter Pan and BoltBus, Megabus does not provide a traditional “ticket” for the bus driver to scan, and you are not required to present a photo ID. The reservation number is all you need. However, because unaccompanied minors under age 17 are not allowed on Megabus, young adults may be asked to provide ID to prove their age, so best to bring your ID just in case. 

Do I have to print out my Megabus ticket?

Because Megabus does not provide any sort of physical ticket (see above), you are not required to print anything out. When boarding the bus, you can simply show the bus driver your confirmation email or provide your reservation number. If you’d feel more comfortable printing out a physical copy of your confirmation email, however, the bus driver will accept that as well.

What information is in my Megabus confirmation email?

Your confirmation email is loaded with valuable information to carry you through your journey. Find an example email below, along with a detailed breakdown of the contents. 

1. The top two lines make clear that replying to the confirmation email with customer service questions will not receive a response. If you have a specific inquiry, you can consult the full “Help” section on the megabus.com website, or you can call customer service directly at 1 (877) 462-6342.

2. This number (AIFJ56Y) represents your order number, which can be used to modify your ticket online at megabus.com.

3. Your reservation number (56/57-5655-070219-M22R-0500-BOS-NEW) is the most important piece of the confirmation email. This distinct code is connected to your seat reservation, and is what the bus driver will check before allowing you on the bus. Customer service may also ask for this number in the event that you have to call to exchange or modify your ticket.

4. Here is where you’ll find all the practical information for your trip: the date (July 2, 2019), point and time of departure (Boston, MA, South Station – Megabus Gate 25 [5:00 AM]), as well as your point of arrival and estimated arrival time (New York, NY, 7th Ave and 27th St [9:30AM]).

Note that in this example, Megabus departs from an actual bus station — Gate 25 in Boston’s South Station. As for arrival, this particular route drops off at a curbside intersection in New York City — 7th Ave. and 27th St. Note that when Megabus is picking up or dropping off curbside, it will often list an intersection instead of a specific address. These curbside stops are typically designated with some sort of posted Megabus sign.

5. This section of the confirmation email contains the number of passengers you’ve purchased seats for, as well as the total cost. So if you book Megabus tickets for more than one person, you will not receive multiple confirmation emails — your reservation number is linked to every passenger on the reservation, and this single email can be used as a boarding pass for your entire group.

6. The information at the bottom of the email can be considered your receipt. It details the total cost of the tickets (2 tickets x $19.99 a piece = $39.98), as well as Megabus’s standard booking fee of $2.50. Megabus adds the booking fee to all ticket purchases, regardless of whether they’re bought on Wanderu or directly from megabus.com. 

Where is my seat number?

The Megabus tickets sold through Wanderu are for the cheapest available fares in general seating, meaning that you will either pick your seat on a first-come, first-serve basis; or, if your route has a reserved seat option, your confirmation email will show your reserved seat number. 

Whether you want to snag a good spot in general seating or are curious as to where your reserved seat is located on the bus, we recommend arriving at least 20 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time to queue up before the boarding process begins.

Can I cancel my Megabus ticket?

Unfortunately, Megabus tickets are non-refundable. That said, you can exchange your ticket for a fee. Read on to learn more.

How can I exchange my Megabus ticket?

You can change or exchange your Megabus ticket a couple of different ways, though you will be charged a fee to do so. 

If you are changing your ticket more than 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure, you’ll be charged a $3 fee. If you change your ticket between 6 and 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure, you’ll be charged a $5 fee. If you change your ticket between 3 and 6 hours of your scheduled departure, you’ll be charged a $7.50 fee. If it is under 3 hours until your scheduled departure, Megabus does not allow you to make any changes to your ticket.

Changes to your ticket can be made online at megabus.com. Note that you’ll be charged an additional reservation fee of $2.50 for any changes made online. Changes can also be made over the phone by calling Megabus customer service at 1 (877) 462-6342. Note that you’ll be charged an additional reservation fee of $7 for any changes made over the phone.

What happens if I miss the bus?

If you happen to miss your bus, Megabus does not issue any credits or refunds. That said, we recommend calling Megabus customer service directly at 1 (877) 462-6342. All tickets are nonrefundable, but you may have a case for a refund or exchange under certain circumstances (for instance, if you missed a connecting Megabus because of a service delay on your first Megabus). Either way, customer service will review your case and help you sort out the situation.

How much luggage can I bring on Megabus?

One piece of stowed luggage and one carry-on item are included with each Megabus ticket. For additional information on baggage dimensions and how to purchase additional bags, visit our bus luggage policy guide.

What is the phone number for Megabus?

You can contact Megabus customer service at 1 (877) 462-6342.

Armed with the knowledge above, you should now feel fully equipped to take a ride with Megatron … er … Megabus. 

Still just kicking around a potential trip? Consider booking your next bus adventure with Wanderu — the simplest way to book bus and train travel across North America and Europe.

Desperate for some destination inspiration? Discover what nearby cities you can snag cheap tickets to with the Explore by Wanderu tool. Before you buy, take a minute to check out our tips for how to land the best Megabus deals, including $1 tickets, on Wanderu.

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About the author
Tyler Moss

Tyler Moss

Tyler Moss has danced on tables at Oktoberfest and petted alpacas in the Andes. He prefers to eat at restaurants where the menu is in a language he can’t understand, and likes bars where the lighting is dim and the drafts are cheap. His writing has been published by Condé Nast Traveler, The Atlantic, New York, Outside, Atlas Obscura, Playboy and other fine venues.