Seriously, PeruRail has done their best to make today a really crappy day. Let’s hope the next two days visiting Machu Picchu and seeing all my friends in Machupicchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) will make up for it. (Yes, I really have a lot of friends there that I’m excited to see.)
Today involved three trips to PeruRail offices and nearly four hours to take care of something that should have taken less 10 minutes as it always has before. The added stress involved made things even worse as I came very close to not going at all because I wasn’t sent the corrected tickets as promised.
I probably won’t go into as much detail tonight as I did this morning because I’m more than a little tired and still have to get ready for tomorrow’s early morning trip to Machu Picchu.
If you missed this morning’s initial nightmare with PeruRail, you can read about it here:
After I got home, I opened the email with my tickets and saw that the return trip stopped at the Poroy station outside of Cusco and didn’t include the short 30-minute bus ride back to the Wanchaq station near my home. While it wasn’t an emergency — I’m quite capable of finding transportation from just about anywhere to anywhere — I thought I had bought the full trip ticket and had even asked the man this morning if the ticket included the bus. (He said it did.)
I immediately printed out the tickets I was sent, but this time I made my way to the PeruRail office on Avenida El Sol. Inside it was very, very crowded with a short line extending out the door so I went to the ticket machine and again got a Preferential number hoping that this office would follow the law.
Sadly, once again they didn’t. I sat for an hour and a half waiting patiently until my number was finally called. I didn’t see anyone go before me this time who came later. I also was hoping to talk to Yesenia, the young lady who always helped me in the past, so I didn’t make a scene even they were obviously ignoring Preferential numbers.
I was helped by another young woman named Stefani who looked into everything, asked me lots of pertinent questions, and said she would change the tickets for me after apologizing for all the delays. Eventually she said that she couldn’t print the tickets, but would email them to me later in the afternoon.
No problem, I said. I appreciated that she was able to correct things for me. I told her that at the start that I wasn’t even sure I had purchased the correct tickets. Unfortunately, the email confirmation had no information on it and the man in Wanchaq didn’t show me the ticket, either, so I had to wait until I received the email to know what I had actually bought.
At 5:17 this afternoon I received an email saying my tickets had been changed, but the numbers didn’t match with the original ticket and there were no tickets included! I panicked and headed straight back to the Av El Sol office hoping they were still open. Thankfully, I made it with just a couple of minutes to spare.
Yesenia saw me walk in and I gave her a very exasperated look. As soon as she finished the customer she was helping, she called me straight over and asked what had happened. I explained what I had received and that I still didn’t have tickets for in the morning. She told me that I could just use the her co-worker had emailed and seemed quite surprised when I said that nothing had been sent!
Needless to say, Yesenia was amazing as always and very quickly had an actual printed copy of the correct ticket for Saturday’s return in hand to give me. I asked her about the Preferential numbers being ignored and she seemed quite surprised when I told her that people were helped who came in after I did.
So now, after many hours and a lot of stress, it looks like I’m headed to Machu Picchu in the morning. Yesenia was really surprised when I said I was actually going to the site this time. It’s obvious I travel with PeruRail an awful lot when their employees remember things like my name, even my email, and what I do when I go there!
Hopefully I’ll have some cool stuff to share from this trip. In the interest of carrying only one backpack, I’m leaving my laptop behind this time. (It’ll be good to stay off of it for awhile.) Looks like I’ll be busy editing pictures and maybe some simple video on Sunday morning.
[NOTE: I contacted PeruRail this morning and am still waiting to hear from them. This morning’s post has been read by hundreds of people so far. I wonder if they care about the bad publicity they’re getting over this plus the many comments across social media of other people’s bad experiences with PeruRail.]