200,000 Free Seat Giveaway With Megabus 2019 — and One Dollar Fares are Available Now Through February 29, 2020

As a way for you to try its service for yourself, 200,000 free — well, almost free — seats are being given away on select routes which are operated by Megabus while supplies last for travel between Wednesday, January 8, 2020 and Saturday, February 29, 2020…

200,000 Free Seat Giveaway With Megabus 2019 — and One Dollar Fares are Available Now Through February 29, 2020

…and my experience suggests that the “free” seats are actually rather easy to find.

Click on the image for a larger view. Source: Megabus.

On my very first try, I found a “free” seat one way from Atlanta to Charlotte on Thursday, February 20, 2020 — but I wanted to see if I can find a “free” seat on a longer route…

Click on the image for a larger view. Source: Megabus.

…so I decided to try Atlanta to the District of Columbia — and “free” seats were readily available on Friday, January 10, 2020.

If that day is not good for travel for you, look at the blue bar at the top which has either prices or magnifying glass icons underneath each date. The magnifying glass icons will help you to hone in on dates which have “free” seats available.

When you click on the yellow Add to basket button, you will be directed to the next step…

Click on the image for a larger view. Source: Megabus.

…but do not be confused: this step of the process is only for seats which are reserved in advance — each of which have a premium cost of between two dollars and ten dollars added. If you want one of the “free” seats, do not choose a seat. Skip this step by clicking on the yellow Continue button…

Click on the image for a larger view. Source: Megabus.

…which will take you to the Booking Summary of your reservation — and you will know you scored a “free” seat when you see it displayed in the Booking Summary…

Click on the image for a larger view. Source: Megabus.

…but when you scroll down, you will notice that your “free” seat actually costs $3.25 for the trip, which includes a $2.50 fee just to book your reservation, which is why the word free is enclosed with quotation marks in this article; and for certain destinations, a facility fee is also added to the total amount — such as the District of Columbia, in which case a facility fee of 75 cents is added for the use of Union Station, where the Megabus line is located in a covered garage instead of an outdoor bus stop. The garage at Union Station is not enclosed, however — so dress warmly and appropriately during the winter months.

To be fair, you will see the statement All transactions will incur a $2.50 booking fee clearly at the top at the beginning of the process of finding a route with which to book your reservation.

Terms and Conditions

Free seats are limited to a maximum of two per reservation and are available on a first come first served basis. Free seats are offered on select routes for travel between January 8-February 29, 2020. Free seats must be found by the customer and obtained through the US and Canadian megabus.com websites only. Free seats are not available via customer service representatives. Resale of free seats is not permitted. Megabus.com reserves the right to cancel reservations that were obtained in a fraudulent nature.

Should You Hurry and Scramble to Get a “Free” Seat?

Financially, $3.25 is an excellent deal to get from Atlanta to the District of Columbia one way — but is the experience worth your time and potential hassle?

As I originally wrote in this article, I am not sure I would use Megabus again, as it does not have the best customer service; and the ride can be long and draining depending on where you go — especially when there is a significant delay. The report of my first trip as a passenger on Megabus was posted as well. Regardless, I am hoping that this notice could help to save you money, if you are so inclined.

Also, Megabus regularly offers fares for one dollar — plus the fees, of course — on a regular basis whenever the schedule is extended further into the future.

If you purchase a return fare — that is, one dollar each way round-trip for a total of two dollars — it could cost you a minimum of five dollars. The booking fee is $2.50 — whether the itinerary is one way or round trip — and a facilities fee of $1.50 is added on certain routes whose origination or destination uses an actual building instead of an outdoor bus stop. At four dollars, the fees could easily cost more than the entire trip — and those fees do not include the cost of reserving a seat or checking any bags beyond the included allowance of one small carry-on bag and one checked bag.

Some trips only have a booking fee of $2.50 for the entire trip — meaning that the round-trip could cost you a minimum of $4.50 in total.

Essentially, you save a whopping total of one dollar each way if you snag a “free” seat during this promotion if you are able to procure a seat for one dollar plus fees; so while the “free” seats are indeed the least expensive seats which you can purchase for trips on Megabus, missing out on this promotion is really not a big deal because of the seats which are usually available for one dollar on a regular basis.


“I personally prefer bus travel to air travel if the bus travel time is going to be 3-4 hours or less, especially when I need/want to go city center to city center. Worth checking your travel dates if you have some short trips coming up (or don’t mind longer bus trips).”

I agree with that sentiment by William Charles, who wrote this article at Doctor of Credit pertaining to this promotion by Megabus — and I must say that I completely agree with him.

My advice is to take an overnight trip — especially if you are able to sleep on the bus. This way, you do not lose time in which you could be doing something else; and you could save money on a night in a hotel room. I had not had luck accessing the Internet via the Wi-Fi which is supposed to be available aboard each bus; but your experience may vary.

Day trips are not a bad idea if you enjoy watching the scenery go by without having to worry about driving…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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