The nightmare before Thanksgiving: Kennedy Plaza

The quiet before the storm

The calm before the storm.

As you may have learned, Amtrak tickets are overpriced, and Megabus can be sketchy. In the face of these less-than-attractive alternatives, many will opt to take Peter Pan/Greyhound buses that depart from Kennedy Plaza. For those of you following this strategy, there are some things you need to know.

Your ticket will only get you halfway there.

READ: A ticket does NOT guarantee you a seat on the bus. Peter Pan always overbooks its buses. Last year Long ago, one could purchase a “reserved seat” for an extra $5. This was akin to the system where all the rich people on the Titanic got to board the limited supply of life boats while everyone else was left to freeze, the only difference being that K-Plaza in November is slightly colder than the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Seriously, watch out for icebergs on your way down the Hill.

In any case, Peter Pan has done away with this ticket-reserve policy, so now plebeians and bourgeois alike get to vie for their seat on the bus equally.

Sorry Jack, this raft is reserved seating only.

Sorry Jack, this raft is reserved seating only.

There is no such thing as an empty bus during holiday season.

You will get down the Hill and spot a bus. But oh no, it’s not your bus. The next one in line? Not your bus either. Actually, your bus is all of the way at the end of the strip, by the beaten-up and undersized Greyhound sign. The rest of the plaza could be completely empty, and this little section will manage to be jam-packed with people who won’t seem to get out of your way. You just know that these people are tourists. Well… you don’t, but it seems to justify why you immediately hated them for wanting to travel during the same time interval as you.

The worst news is that by some cruel trick of fate, the bus is always half-full by the time it arrives for boarding at K-Plaza. There is nothing more devastating than finding out there are only ten seats left on the bus whilst you are surrounded by around 100 travel-hungry people. You can wave that dream of having a whole row to yourself goodbye.

There are NO lines.

Now it will occur to you, “oh gosh I must be so late, so many people are here.” Well, sucks for the people who got there early, because at K-Plaza everyone is either really non-comformist, or seriously disorganized. It does not matter what time you arrive for your bus, it’s all the same. The mob at K-Plaza makes the fight for the Iron Throne in Westeros look neatly organized. Fun fact: the Iron Throne is probably more comfortable than the bus seats on Peter Pan. [Ed–apparently this is a reference to a thing that’s on TV.]

The CEO of Peter Pan does not own a watch, and be prepared to use your suitcase as a shield.

As a rule, Peter Pan buses always come late. Their times are so imprecise that you could check the ticket time of the stranger next to you and chances are that said person’s ticket will be ten minutes earlier or later than yours, even if you’re on the same bus. When the bus finally arrives, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether it pulls up on the left or right side of the block. Then, you have to wait for the driver to come out, because only the driver can tell you whether the bus is going to New York, Boston, or whatever other lesser destination you are headed to. When someone has located the New York City bus, there is an elephant stampede that looks something like this:

Minus the "protective" body armor and leather underpants.

Minus the “protective” body armor and leather underpants.

Kennedy Plaza in 2012

Kennedy Plaza in 2012

It’s a dogfight to get to the bus, and you will see that your moral compass is much more out of whack/completely absent than you originally suspected.

Kennedy Plaza will make you look deep down into your soul, and then you will realize that you don’t have a soul:

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with separating a mother from her young children. It would be such an inconvenience to my travel plans to miss this bus, and those 5-year-old twins can always catch the next ride. Oh, they don’t have cellphones to call their mom? I’m sure they’ll find a pay phone. Those still exist for sure.

If the idea of trampling over others to assure that you see your family first sounds contrary to the Thanksgiving spirit… well, you’d be right. But hey, you’re really not that bad, all you’re doing is prioritizing your happiness over the happiness of others — totally kosher.

So yeah. Happy holidays.

Images via, viavia, via.

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