Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bad Company: Twin Hearts Express, Taos, NM

Welcome to the Hotel Albuquerque. You can check out anytime you like...

Travel is full of indignities. This afternoon in New Mexico it just got fuller. Here's what, in a fit of righteous indignation, I just submitted to RatePoint:
On the morning of March 13, 2008, I reserved a seat on the 1:30 p.m. Twin Hearts Express shuttle from Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) to Taos, NM. At 1 p.m., I got to the Twin Hearts ticket window and purchased my $85 round-trip ticket. The Twin Hearts driver/cashier told me I should be at the waiting area beyond the escalators at 1:30. I was there at 1:25. I waited there about twenty minutes until a shuttle driver for a different company called passengers for a Santa Fe trip and everyone around me got up and left.

Back on the other side of the escalators, the Twin Hearts counter was deserted, but staff at adjacent transportation services told me she had left not only me stranded at ABQ for two hours (the next shuttle is at 3:30) but an elderly woman in a wheelchair. I tried phoning Twin Hearts and got a busy signal for 15 minutes. When I finally got through, what sounded like a teenage girl answered the phone and had no idea what had happened or what recourse I had. She suggested I call back in 15 minutes, refused to take my name and number, and hung up on me mid-sentence. Helpful adjacent transportation staffers made some calls on my behalf, and word came back that the Twin Hearts driver/representative had no memory of speaking with me or taking my money. And yet, somehow, there's a receipt in my wallet.

As I was writing this review, I got a call from Robert Noga, the man in charge at Twin Hearts. He said he'd spoken to the driver, who had no idea how she'd missed me (us!). One wonders what ideas she does manage.

Meanwhile, Noga said he'd give me $10 off my ticket. I like to think my time is worth more than $5/hour, but it's the thought that counts so I'm upgrading my rating from one to two stars.



Blogger Helen said...

Twin Hearts Express must enjoy offering us the unexpected -- the chance to leave behind our habitual routines and expectations. Last summer '07 it was fleas in the seats and an unnervingly random departure process. As far as I know, however, everyone who needed to get to Taos made it. To return to Alb., I chose to stay overnight in Santa Fe and then take Sandia, very sweet and simple.

May 10, 2008 2:33 PM  

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