SF man calls 7 On Your Side to help in luggage mixup

The Megabus is a popular way to travel, but one man experienced a luggage mixup that made his ride a little bumpy.
December 6, 2013 10:08:58 PM PST
7 On Your Side has told you about a super low cost bus service that is becoming more and more popular. The Megabus advertises long distance fares as low as $1, but it wasn't all smooth sailing for a Bay Area man.

The ride itself was terrific. It had double decker bus, comfy seats, a great wi-fi connection. The problem wasn't the on the bus. It happened when he got off.

You may have seen them on the roads -- the aptly named Megabuses transporting passengers to cities across North America.

"I could sleep on the bus and wake up in Los Angeles by morning," said Fernando Villalobos of San Francisco. He says it's easy to hop a bus to visit friends in Los Angles and best of all, he says it's cheaper than flying -- only $60 to L.A. and back. But problem free? Not on his last trip.

"I was pretty tired, it had been a long trip," said Villalobos.

The bus arrived in San Francisco and handlers unloaded all the suitcases onto the sidewalk, like they always do.

"I was one of the first ones to jump off the bus because I just wanted off," said Villalobos.

He was bleary-eyed when he grabbed his suitcase from the sidewalk, hopped into the nearest cab and headed home. Only then did he take a closer look at that bag.

"I unzip it, and there's a bunch of girl's things in there," said Villalobos.

He had picked up a bag which looked an awful lot like his own, but wasn't. Someone out there was missing her stuff -- and what about his?

"I immediately called Megabus, like within minutes to let them know," said Villalobos.

He offered to run back and make the switch, but no -- a Megabus clerk told him to send an email to the lost and found, located in New Jersey.

"'Isn't there a way we can move faster?' and the representative said, 'This is the protocol,'" said Villalobos.

So he sent an email, but there was no response. He kept emailing and calling. Weeks later no one at Megabus could say whose bag he had or what happened to his.

"There were some pictures, little souvenirs that I had got while I was visiting that kind of meant something to me," said Villalobos.

Finally, he contacted 7 On Your Side and we spoke with Megabus director Byrony Chamberlain.

"Somebody in New Jersey did not follow through the case properly," said Chamberlain.

Chamberlain says an agent mixed up the descriptions of the bags. She said the bag would have been driven back to Los Angeles. And in fact the next day Villalobos got the call.

"And they said, 'We've found your luggage. It's here,'" said Villalobos.

"People can pick up the wrong suitcase. It will happen in an airport, it can happen on a train," said Bryony Chamberlain-Megabus Director

It's easy to do. Villalobos' bag since it looks so close to the bag he grabbed; its owner still unknown. Villalobos is glad to have his stuff back.

"It's kind of like Christmas in a little bit of a way like I just got a present," said Villalobos.

We'd like to thank Megabus for stepping up to make things right for Villalobos. Not only did the company pay to ship his suitcase back to his home, it also offered him a free round trip ticket to Los Angeles in the future.

The company recommends to tag your bags and watch which ones you grab.

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