Ohio Charter Bus Service
S&S Coach Co.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: When do I need to book?
A: As soon as possible. Although we provide availability when we give the quote, we book on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a possibility we would be booked even a short time later. There are some dates that fill up as much as six months in advance.
Q: How do I book a bus?
A: Give us a call or contact us by fax or email. We will ask for billing and contact information, along with pickup address, departure time, destinations, and return time. We will send you a contract with the details of your trip. You will need to sign and return the contract and a 20% deposit as soon as possible to confirm your trip. (See payment terms for details.) Should you be unable to provide the full deposit, please contact our office to speak with our treasurer to make special payment arrangements. For trips booked within 30 days of departure, the signed contract must be returned promptly, usually by fax. Full payment is due 10 days prior to departure.
Q: What happens if I forget to return my signed contract?
A: Buses cannot be held indefinitely without a signed contract. We will try to contact you, the booking party; however, if we do not hear from you, your trip may be cancelled.
Q: What if I need to change my trip?
A: We ask that any changes be made at least 10 days prior to the departure date. After this deadline, drivers have received their orders, bus dispatch and maintenance has been scheduled and changes may be impossible to accommodate.
Q: Why do you need an itinerary?
A: An itinerary provides your driver with an outline of what you will need him/ her to do. It should include all important where's and when's. Include street addresses so that your driver can get directions if he/ she has never been there before. In addition, when you provide an itinerary at least two weeks prior to the trip we can review it to insure your trip goes off smoothly as planned. For instance, you may need to allow more time to get to your destination or your itinerary may violate the Federal Hours of Service Regulations making it impossible for your driver to accommodate your schedule. Such problems can often be solved by minor adjustment to insure your trip goes off smoothly as planned.
Q: What are your payment terms?
A: A deposit of 20% of the total charges is due at time of booking. Full payment is due 10 days prior to departure. Drivers cannot accept payment or make change. Cash payments must be made at our office. We accept check or major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover.) We recommend making your deposit payment by check. If a refund is issued more than 14 days after payment has been made, the refund will be issued by bank check minus the bank and processing fees and any other prepaid expenses. First party credit card payments may be made by phone during office hours. First and Third party credit cards can be accepted using the third party authorization form. Check payments must be received by the due date to assure processing time. Payments less than 10 days prior to departure should be paid in cash or by credit card.
Q: Will S&S Coach cancel my trip?
A: Generally, we do not cancel trips. When one of the following situations occurs, we will try to contact you, the booking party; however, if we do not hear from you, your trip may be cancelled. Situations in which S&S Coach may cancel a trip:
1. Group fails to make payments by the due date.
2. Group’s final itinerary is found to violate Federal, State, or Local law and the group refuses to revise itinerary to comply.
3. Group’s final itinerary is in excess of the miles/ hours originally contracted for and group refuses to pay the additional charges necessary to complete the itinerary; or, extension of the contract would create a conflict with our ability to complete other existing contracts.
4. Emergency Status prohibits use of roadways necessary to fulfill the contract.
5. Other reasons where permitted or necessitated by law.
Q: What if we have inclement weather and decide not to go?
A: S&S Coach will not cancel a trip for weather except in extreme cases. This occurs very rarely and normally requires an emergency or blizzard conditions closing the highways on your travel days. For example, a level 3 snow emergency in Richland County, the departure county, the destination county or any county through which You may choose to cancel or postpone your trip for inclement weather. Example: school is cancelled or the corporation closes for weather but a level 3 snow emergency has not been issued or the sports venue cancels the event for rain. If you have concerns you may need to cancel for inclement weather, please call during office hours to find out what time you would need to cancel by to avoid a 100% charge. You can cancel for inclement weather 24 hours a day by calling our emergency line: 800-544-5714. Remember in some cases, you may reschedule/postpone the trip for weather and avoid the cancellation fee.
Q: What if I need to cancel?
A: Give us a call and we will mail confirmation of your cancellation. Cancellations at least 31 days prior to departure date have no cancellation fee; however, any pre-paid costs shall be deducted from the refund. Cancellations any time 30 days or fewer prior to departure, have a cancellation fee (see below). Trips may be changed or postponed depending on availability. Any trip postponed within the 30 days may incur the cancellation fee if cancelled anytime thereafter.
Q: What is the cancellation fee if I cancel less than 31 days prior to my departure date?
A: If cancelled 30 days – 21 days prior to departure, you will forfeit half your deposit (10% of the total charges). If cancelled 20 days – 10 days prior to departure, you will forfeit your deposit (20% of the total charges). If canceled 9 days – 1 day or less prior to departure but prior to driver dispatch, you will forfeit 50% of the total charges. Trips canceled by the Charter party after a driver has been dispatched shall forfeit 50% of the trip amount plus S & S Coach Company's actual incurred costs (e.g. fuel, payroll costs, pre-paid costs and fees.)
Q: What if I choose to postpone my trip?
A: Trips may be postponed based on availability. Trips postponed or rescheduled at least two weeks (fourteen calendar days) prior to the driver's scheduled start time/date will not carry a rescheduling fee; however, any pre-paid expenses, such as permits or non-refundable driver hotel reservations, shall be incurred. Trips postponed less than two weeks (fourteen calendar days) prior to the driver's scheduled start time/date may incur a rescheduling fee in addition to any pre-paid expenses. Trips must be rescheduled to depart within the next few months. Any new trip of equal or greater value can take the place of your rescheduled trip so you can change the itinerary or destination if your original trip would no longer work. You would be responsible for additional charges as may be incurred by the new dates and other changes.
Q: What is the rescheduling fee if I postpone or reschedule less than 14 days prior to my departure date?
A: Non-weather related: When rescheduling for non-weather related reasons less than 14 days prior to departure, a minimum 10% rescheduling fee shall apply. When rescheduling for non-weather related reasons less than 7 days prior to departure, a 20% rescheduling fee (minimum $100 per bus per day) shall apply. All non-weather related rescheduling must be completed at least 24 hours prior to the driver's report for duty time.
Weather related: When postponed/rescheduled for weather prior to the driver's report for duty time, a minimum rescheduling fee of 20% (minimum $100 per bus per day) shall apply. Any pre-paid, non-refundable expenses shall be billed in addition to rescheduling fees. Extreme weather, such as a blizzard closing the highways necessary to complete the trip, will not incur a rescheduling fee when postponed to the next day or week/weekend, though pre-paid expenses may be incurred. In the rare case where the return home must be delayed due to highway closures as a result of extreme weather, S&S Coach shall not charge an additional daily fee, though other delay related expenses, such as driver hotel, may be incurred.
Q: What if we go over the hours or mileage we have contracted?
A: A detailed final itinerary with all times and addresses will help circumvent this situation. When you submit your final itinerary by the due date (10 days prior to your trip) it allows us to check it over and identify potential issues such as use beyond the quoted rate. Changes or additions to the itinerary occur on some trips. Small changes, such as changing the dinner venue to a new location in the same neighborhood probably aren’t going to be cause for concern. However, a significant change, including but not limited to a day trip outside the destination town, the hotel location changing to a new town or suburb, or adding hours to a day trip may add cost. The increase cost will vary based on your exact needs. When this is found prior to your trip, we can contact you and quote your cost.
When changes are made during the trip, it can be difficult to access the exact cost. Some changes may impact other parts of your schedule or be impossible to accommodate on short notice. Review your plans with your driver as soon as you know the schedule will change so he may advise you and contact dispatch if needed. We cannot add a relief driver to a trip with less than 48 hours’ notice. Please note that changes or delays resulting in arrival back to the hotel less than 9 hours prior to scheduled morning departure time may result in delays to the morning schedule.
We make every effort to accommodate changes and special requests where ever we can. For your convenience, we can discuss the changes and estimated cost then invoice any overage once you return and we can obtain the driver’s trip records. We can take a credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover) payment over the phone during business hours and email a copy of the receipt.
Communication is key to a successful trip. Please contact us to discuss your plans or ideas and we can often help to find ways to minimize your costs.
Q: Are there limits on luggage?
A: Most bags which normally fit into airline overhead compartments will generally fit in our overhead compartments too. Checked bags (those bags and equipment traveling in the under floor luggage bays) must be limited to the size of the opening of the luggage bay door and weigh less than 50 pounds for your driver to lift safely by him/ herself. Bags, trunks and other equipment weighing in excess of 50 pounds cannot be safely lifted solely by your driver. Groups with any equipment weighing in excess of 50 pounds must be prepared to assist with lifting and loading their luggage at each stop where luggage access is needed. Equipment, such as risers, which are long or awkward, also will require group assistance in loading and unloading. Luggage may not be stored in the lavatory or in the isle under any conditions.
Q: Are we allowed to bring snacks and beverages?
A: The deluxe coaches have large luggage bays which can easily accommodate your supplies, including coolers. You will be required to post the $100 Clean-up & Damage Deposit if you intend to consume snacks or beverages (other than bottled water) on board the motor coach or will be visiting venues where consumption of alcohol can be expected. The Clean-up & Damage Deposit will be retained until our staff has completed their inventory and inspection procedure after your charter is complete. Should they find the vehicle excessively dirty or that items are missing or damaged, the cost of additional cleaning hours and/or the cost of repair or replacement of the property will be deducted from your deposit. The remainder of your deposit that is not applied to these expenses will be refunded via bank check. The option of charter party to waive the clean-up and damage deposit exists for any group who agrees to prohibit consumption of any snacks or beverages (other than bottled water) on board the motor coach and will not be visiting venues where consumption of alcohol can be expected. You remain responsible for, and will be charged for, the cost of any excess cleaning, damage, repair, or replacement, including any invoice associated with your charter that is subsequently presented.
Q: Are we allowed to bring alcohol?
A: Ohio has an open container law. The language of the law exempts a person when: the person or guest is located in the limousine (the license plates issued to these limos have the word “livery” printed at the bottom of the plate) but is not occupying a seat in the front compartment of the limousine where the operator of the limousine is located. The law does not extend to the rear seats of any other commercial or private vehicle, including buses. For more information visit: Ohio Open Container Law No contract or additional payment may supersede the law. A law enforcement officer may choose to issue a violation to anyone with an open container in a public space. Your driver will ask that you dispose of any open containers prior to boarding the bus at any stop. Un-opened beer, wine and liquor can be transported as well as properly resealed wine containers; however, resealed wine must be stored in the luggage bay and not in the passenger compartment.
Q: A member of my group requires the assistance of a service animal. Do we need to make special arrangements?
A: No special arrangement is required. A service animal must remain within the control of the person at all times, and must comply with local animal safety regulations. If the animal gets out of control or causes a major disturbance, the animal may be removed from the coach and turned over to the local animal control authorities if necessary. For example: howling, biting, running around. S & S Coach Company will not be held liable for any damages caused by a service animal. All damages caused by a service animal are the liability of the animal owner. A service animal will never require its own seat.
Q: Are we allowed to smoke on the bus?
A: The Ohio Public Smoking Ban law prohibits smoking in public locations where employees are exposed to second-hand smoke in their work environment. The law includes all private clubs and organizations, for-profit or non-profit, so long as they have one employee. Smoking will not be permitted on any motorcoach operated by S&S Coach.
Q: What is the fuel surcharge?
A: Any trip booked after March 14, 2008 has an estimated fuel-surcharge included. On-highway diesel fuel retail prices, which averaged $2.46 in 2009; $2.99 in 2010; $3.84 in 2011; $3.97 in 2012; $3.92 in 2013; are projected to average $3.90 in 2014 (Independent Statistics & Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration, June 10, 2014.) The US Department of Energy projects on-highway diesel to remain about $4.00 per gallon again this year.
All 2014 prices include an estimated fuel-surcharge to guarantee your price would not increase due to fuel cost fluctuation, provided the per gallon cost of on-highway diesel fuel would not exceed $4.00 a gallon with taxes. However, we cannot eliminate the possibility of a fuel surcharge should these predictions prove to be inaccurate.The recent jump in regular gasoline well above the $3.50 projection for 2014 has not yet led to a similar increase in diesel. However, should fuel increase beyond $4.00 per gallon, trips will have an additional fuel-surcharge added to the final invoice. Diesel fuel costs approaching $4.50 per gallon will add $15-$20 per bus to a standard day trip. We sincerely regret any inconveniences this may cause.
Q: I've never paid sales tax on my trips before, why am I charged sales tax?
A: Transportation of persons, within Ohio, except by public transit systems or commercial airlines, is taxable. Ohio assesses sales-tax on intrastate charter bus travel on and after August 1, 2003. More information can be found at Ohio Department of Taxation Frequently Asked Questions. You shall find the current Richland County Ohio sales tax added to the invoice. Travel service and event planners may be exempt for the purpose of resale. Should you have any question as to whether you are tax exempt, please contact your accountant and/or the Ohio State Department of Taxation. Groups currently exempt from sales tax (schools, churches, some fraternal and service organizations) shall need to submit a tax-exempt form to have the tax removed from the final invoice.Ohio Sales-tax Exemption Form. You need only file one form, as the tax exemption shall be considered a part of each order you place with us, until revoked, unless the order specifies otherwise. You need not file a form if you are not tax exempt.
Q: We wish to conduct business under our own contract/agreement. Will S&S Coach use our argeement in place of the charter contract?
A: If stipulations within your organization prohibit you from signing a contract, your business office may sign an agreement incorporating the charter contract terms in to all bookings and naming you as an authorized booking agent. A separate document, a confirmation letter, can then be signed by you for each charter you book. All charters are conducted under the terms of our charter contract which is compliant with PUCO and DOT regulations and Ohio law. A copy is available on our website. Any other agreement can be reviewed but must not alter or supersede our charter contract or violate any law or regulation with which we must comply or require us to violate any preexisting contract or agreement or the rights of any employee or agent of the company.
Please call with any questions you may have,