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YAHglobal Best & Worst Lists for Attractions Around the World

Worst Greyhound Stations in the U.S.

 

We were concerned that this list wouldn't help our Greyhound advertising revenue stream too much, but after checking with our accounting department, our current accounts receivable from Greyhound Lines, Inc. is $0, so we decided to run it. Besides, this is by not an anti Greyhound rant by any means. It is simply a commentary on the state of a few select stations in the U.S. based on the experiences from our YAH Travel Team and feedback from the traveling public. From a more righteous postion, we can even consider this a call to clean up these hubs that round up the adventurous wanderers of this fine nation.

The list reads like an exerpt from Dante's Inferno detailing 5 of the 9 stages of Hell. Many venture in, but do we return as the same person we were before we braved the conditions known as the Worst Greyhound Stations in the U.S.? Only time will tell.

Proceed with caution...

1

Downtown Seattle, WA Station

 

This is hands down the worst of the worst greyhound stations. It's not even in a bad neighborhood, so you can't blame it on city planning. In fact its only a mere 2 blocks away from many of the cool things that downtown Seattle has to offer. You'd think that would be it's saving grace thus keeping it off of this list but that's not going to happen, ever.

 

First off, the station is small and therefore cramps dozens upon dozens of the most cranky travelers into a confined space. If you've ever done a long trip on Greyhound you will know that it is impossible to maintain a happy demeanor for long. So when the bus unloads for a layover at this sorry excuse for a station (its a sorry excuse even for a public bathroom) you will discover that Gandhi himself would have went balistic in this place. The actual bathrooms are the armpits of the sweaty bastard of a building, and have not been visited by a janitor since it opened its doors back in 1950 or whenever. The creatures that hide within the stalls creep out into the main waiting area from time to time to harass unsuspecting travelers to engage in conversation about random insanity.

 

The vending machines might as well be a row of individuals standing up against the wall in a weather beaten trenchcoat that when approached whips out a gun demanding your $1.25 and doesn't give you a Twix bar back in return. The 300+ individuals that die every year from vending machines falling on them (in trying to retrieve stuck product) probably all come from this one location. The security "guards" might as well be cardboard cut outs because when you tell them about the two failed attempts at the machines and that you lost your last $2.50 until payday they "respond" with what might pass for a shrug, if exaggerating.

 

Don't rest your elbows on the counter while waiting for the honors student working ticket purchases to figure out what it means when the next bus is scheduled in military hour form ("Umm...what does 13:00 mean? How is this possible!???""), unless you already have hepatitis. 

 

Avoid this place like the freaking plague and hitch a ride to the next station in SeaTac or Tacoma instead.

 

2

 

Sacramento, CA Station

 

Take one step into this station and you get the feeling that some very bad things have happened here. Its downright ugly and the bathrooms should be avoided at all costs. There is a mall around the corner so if you can spare 15 minutes (there and back) it would be best to handle your "business" there.

 

No one ever seems to be starting their trip in Sacramento, so the waiting area is filled with well weathered passengers eager to get to their final destination, stuck in a place that feels like a FINAL destination. The set up is confusing to say the least and the personel can never quite figure out what line up you're supposed to get into, thus changing the door/gate #'s frequently and screwing up the line heirarchy. If you are proud about being first in line and steadfast in holding your position (no bathroom breaks, no distractions) your efforts will be in vain as you miss the muffled announcement over the PA that only dogs can hear informing all passengers to Chicago that they will have to switch lines to door number 3, which usually means the guy that just walked in off the street with his questionably stained backpack is now ahead of the whole pack and you are stuck at the tail end of what looks like a soup kitchen line-up. 

 

The diesel fueled smelling boarding area outside is even worse with about four rows of sporadically parked buses all loading passengers with confused looks on their faces, trying to figure out if they are stepping aboard the correct vessel. None of this is aided by the agitated drivers who nod "yeah yeah...just get on" to pretty much any question you ask them.

 

Photo Caption: Satan says..."Welcome, come on in friend..."

3

San Fransisco, CA Transbay Station

 

Pigeons. There always seems to be pigeons crusing around INSIDE this terminal. Perhaps they qualify for a reduced fare? And as pigeons do, they crap everywhere. I guess they are not all that different from some of the Greyhound passengers in that manner, so it kind of makes sense that they frequent this establishment.

 

It would be too exhausting discussing the physical condition of this place, although it has been cleaned up a bit since they filmed scenes from The Pursuit of Happyness in here (bathroom scene). Afterall you can't bring Big Willy into a cesspool, "Those splattered stains on the wall over there Mr. Smith? Oh, that was done by the set designers for added effect...honest.". 

4

Los Angeles, CA Station

 

We expect that most Greyhound stations will be found in the less than desireable zip codes, but c'mon this is ridiculous. The L.A. station is in one of the most depressing looking neighborhoods with the smog lingering somewhere around eye level. We didn't even include a picture of the station for this one, instead we chose to show the view from the station. The surrounding area is dusty and desolate creating a miserable scene before you even arrive in the terminal. Inside isn't as bad as those mentioned above in the list, but you've already lost hope at that point. The characters inside are taken directly from some bad post apocolyptic straight to DVD movie that you will be forced to watch depending on how long your wait/layover is.

 

Between LAX and the LA Greyhound Station, one has to wonder if they are simply trying to control the growing population of the city by turning people off upon arrival. 

5

Denver, CO Station

 

This one comes down to cutomer service, or lack thereof, pure and simple. This station has received the most negative feedback from the general public and has a history of abuse by security and local transit policing. Apparantly the ticket booth personel never answer the phone should you have any questions that you can't get the answer to online so don't bother trying. If you do try and they do happen to answer, you will receive an impromptu course on what not to do when entering the field of customer service. If you feel the need to launch a complaint with site management and they can actually track him/her down (coffee breaks are known to last 2-3hrs at this station), you will be introduced to what only could be a robot in obese humanoid form progammed to answer "yes sir, yes mame, sorry sir, sorry mame, I'll attend to the situation right away." After which, as you are about to hang up or walk away, you can hear the same obese robot snickering with staff as if you have been the butt of a practical joke.

North America's BEST Airports

 

Airports are judged on the following criteria: % of delayed arrivals/departures, % of lost/damaged baggage, ease of check-in, security (efficient BUT courteous), foodcourt options, service, and interior design. Exceptions are also made to recognize other non traditional aspects (e.g. Celebrity in/out flow, benches to sleep comfortably on during layovers, etc...).

The who's who in surveying; JD Power & Associates, supplied some of the more technical details, but they still continue to neglect the "asshole factor" when analyzing data about the aforementioned customs officers, TSA/security, and others that can make or break your experience at these mini-cities called airports. The YAH Travel Team considers itself a trustworthy source in uncovering the "inner-jerk" within services personel. I guess we simply bring out the best in people ;)

1

Detroit Metro (DTW) - Detroit, Michigan

 

This one is kind of suprising and it took a lot of research to validate but DTW truly has topped many a list in 2010 based for the most part on customer satisfaction and pretty darn good baggage claim results. They also have an awesome commuter train and a really long movator (flat version of an escalator) thats elaborately lit like a night club, for those that hate to walk (stupid heel to toe!). 

 

Their retail selection reads like a small shopping mall with brands such as Motown Music, Brooks Brothers, Borders, and a PGA Tour shop to name a few.

 

The dining and beverage options are also ridiculously diverse that include Chili's, Ruby Tuesdays, Grey Goose Martini Lounge, Jose Cuervo Tequileria, Thee Irish Guiness Pub and PB&J (a GOURMET Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwhich Cafe that alone is worth the flight to Detroit!) in addition to standard and even more not-so-standard eateries found in major international airports. In fact, YAH recommends certain airports, including DTW as a great first date spot. Here's the angle: Tell your date that you have an unexpected flight to catch on the night of said date, but that it's still important to you so you agree to meet there. This way if the date is going sour, you look at your watch and "Oh wow, where did the time fly? I have to head to the gate!". If the date is going great, you look at your watch and "You know what? I can switch to an early flight in the AM. I'm having such an amazing time that I don't want it to end." You will appear to be the most romantic hero/heroine that he/she has ever met.

 

Wow, we really digressed from the topic. Umm sorry. So yeah, Detroit Metro International Airport...great airport.

2

Denver International (DEN) - Denver, Colorado

 

From Detroit to Denver at #2. Who's making these lists? We started this topic expecting to see some of the "sexier" cities airports in top positions (e.g. L.A., Miami, NYC) but it turns out that those are more likely found on our other less prestigious list "North America's Worst Airports". There seems to be a direct correlation between Hot Spot cities and junky airports. It's kind of a "Well, we know you're going to visit us no matter what so why waste the money???" Jerks.

 

Anyhow, DEN fell slightly behind on the technical scale for customer satisfaction, baggage claim, security and all of that good stuff. As far as the other points of interest are concerned DEN is still quite top notch. They have a large selection of retail venues, albeit not as brand heavy as DTW, which to some is a good thing. Their dining options are far above par and still contain the go to airport options such as Jamba Juice and Panda Express (of course). Hixson Popcorn Shop lures you in as the aroma of freshly popped corn distracts you from hearing the final boarding call on the last flight of the day to that place where you have that important thing to do in the morning.

 

Their facilities and services are pretty standard. The overall design on the inside feels as if a silver screened hollywood movie was filmed here decades ago, perhaps to pose as some grand train station in Europe. The outside is quite impressive as you fly or drive into DEN with massive white tents encompassing the airport in points as if to mimic the mountainous snow capped peaks of Colorado.

 

 

DEN is a pleasant suprise.

3

McCarran International (LAS) - Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Yeah we know, but c'mon...they have slot machines in the airport. We had to add them here!

 

Also aside from being quite competent in the criteria, next to LAX, this airport has the highest "celebrity" traffic flow on a daily basis. You can almost guarantee that if you spend more than 3 hours people watching in McCarran International, that you will see at least one B-List celebrity in line at Starbucks.

4

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) - Vancouver, B.C.

 

Customs and Security is a little on the a**hole side of the spectrum (Oops, we just screwed the YAH Travel team for all future trips through YVR...sorry guys/gals), BUT otherwise this is one great looking airport (photo opportunities galore!) with awesome amenities, decent service and an eclectic array of people travelling in and out of the mix (celebrities included). Most of this is the result of a troubled past reputation, which works to our benefit because that, in conjunction with the 2010 Winter Olympics making YVR a world recognized hub for international travel, has created an "all eyes on me" aura that consequently made Vancouver International Airport step up its game and find its way onto this very influential list. 

 

You're Welcome YVR (does that make up for the customs/security comment???).

5

Hartfeild Jackson International (ATL) - Atlanta, GA.

 

Big, bright, and this is definitely "where the players play!". You can feel the cool (not temperature) in the air.

 

This is one of the friendliest (check-in, security and other services) airports we've come across which sets the tone for for the travelers passing through this extremely busy airport (usually busy is condusive to grumpy, but not in this case). Lots of cool stuff to look at and places to kill time if your ride is late (as they always are) and excellent dining choices. It's a great place to arrive early, check-in, and browse around before hopping your flight. 

North America's WORST Airports

 

Airports are judged on the following criteria: % of delayed arrivals/departures, % of lost/damaged baggage, ease of check-in, security (efficient BUT courteous), foodcourt options, service, and interior design. Exceptions are also made to recognize other non traditional aspects (e.g. Celebrity in/out flow, benches to sleep comfortably on during layovers, etc...).

The who's who in surveying; JD Power & Associates, supplied some of the more technical details, but they still continue to neglect the "asshole factor" when analyzing data about the aforementioned customs officers, TSA/security, and others that can make or break your experience at these mini-cities called airports. The YAH Travel Team considers itself a trustworthy source in uncovering the "inner-jerk" within services personel. I guess we simply bring out the best in people ;)

1

La Guardia (LGA), New York

 

This off-brown stone look might work for the trendy little neighborhoods of New York, but to us its just plain ugly as a first impression when you walk through the doors of LGA. Inside isnt' much better with an extremely limited selection of..well, anything. Baggage claim is a disaster, of course that's IF you are actually able to claim your bags before they get sent off to Idaho. The security, check-in, and service personel are on constant "Hate My Life" mode. But it's not their fault, they have to go to LGA everyday. 

 

We tried to give LGA the benefit of the doubt so we went to their website to find some positives. It (the website) looked more like a 8th grade html course final exam IF the 8th grade course focus of study was "what websites looked like in 1990".  

 

2

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

 

The second worst on this list is EWR. Thery should remove the "R" and replace it with another "W". "Eww.."..get it? Anyhow this other uninspired architectural creation from the Big 3 New York area airports falls under the same basic assessment as its illegitimate bastard of a brother LGA with respect to baggage claim, security, check-in and a non existent selection of food, beverage and retail options.

3

JFK International Airport (JFK)

 

Yet another New Yorker on the list. JFK qualified more as a 4th or 5th place finish but we found it more amusing to see 3 New York area airports fall in line one after the other for dramatic effect.

 

Before you think we're NY bashing let it be clear that YAH loves NYC and thinks it among the greatest and most alive cities in the world. But it is a fact that the Big 3 New York airports account for approximately 80% of all flight delays in the U.S.. 80%! Maybe they should have brought on Guiliani to deal with this mess once he was finished with Times Square. 

4

Miami International Airport (MIA)

 

MIA wishes it was MIA on this list. How could anything be bad in Miami you say? Good question, we thought the same thing at first when our research team brought us the list for editing.

 

Aesthetically is a pretty good representation of all that is Miami so it gets marks for design and decor, with displays of local art plastered throughout the terminals. Food & Beverage options arent bad at all either and retail representation is above par. They even have a Ron Jon surf shop. But as with "anything" that looks good and has all the right moves and says all the right things, there is that vacant stare when it comes to what's really important. Accessibility, Baggage Claim, Check-In, and Security were all considerably lacking.

 

You could still hang out here for the day and enjoy yourself, but if for some reason you are taking a flight, being that you are at an airport, you might prepare yourself for a less than stellar experience.

 

Photo Caption: "Babe, we are way too cool for this airport. Let's ditch this dive and spend another day on South Beach."

5

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

 

LAX, LAX, LAX... The sign is cool and it's fun to say "I gotta hop a flight to LAX". They even named a nightclub after it. But there is a serious Jeykll & Hyde thing going on at LAX. The departures area looks great (neat and clean and such) but when you "arrive", especially if its your first time at LAX, you are completely underwhelmed once you head to baggage claim. Arrivals is the underbelly of LAX, almost an analogy of the city itself. You have Beverly Hills and then you have the poverty stricken neighborhoods that the "Welcome to California" commercials dont show you. The tiles (wall and floor) are old and on a warm day there is a smell that emanates from them akin to a public bathroom that has just been cleaned with reused PineSol. Baggage claim is hit or miss so pack what essentials you can to last for at least 24 hrs, just in case. Service is limited and the outside transportation area is confusing and down right irritating if you have to take a shuttle somewhere. 

 

 

Food and Beverage options are pretty limited. We never understand why a WolfGang Pucks is found at airports. We're also pretty sure that the Starbucks at LAX is the most expensive in the country. It must be the special LAX TAX.

 

Positives include fairly decent Check-In and Information services staff as well as a fairly fluid security check point. You are also more likely to see Celebrities passing through LAX on a regular basis given the proximity to Tinseltown and Malibu. Many had to sell their private jets due to the reccession and all, so have your cameras ready. These points kept LAX off the top of this list, but not enough to keep it off completely.