How low can Megabus go? The bargain coach company that returned to the Los Angeles market this month is known for selling $1 seats. Now the company is giving away free seats -- 200,000, to be exact -- that riders can reserve in advance. It's not a giveaway but a gimme, if you catch my drift.
The deal: Megabus left the L.A. market four years ago but returns with low-cost service from L.A. to Oakland, San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Jose. (Greyhound also offers cheap fares and this year expanded its L.A. service to include Express buses tricked out with Wi-Fi, power outlets and comfy seats.)
The deal applies to all destinations that Megabus serves. Passengers can book the free seats by using the code "TryMegabus."
When: The offer is good for travel Jan. 9-Feb. 28.
Tested: I checked random dates in the window period but didn't have much luck finding free seats on weekends. The freebies most often come with a round-trip ticket that costs $1 for the outbound journey.
For example, I found availability for L.A. to Las Vegas (about five hours and 45 minutes each way) for $1 on the outbound ride Feb. 10 and free on the return trip Feb. 12. I also found L.A.-San Francisco (about 7 1/2 hours each way) for $1 outbound on Feb. 10 and a free return on Feb. 13. (Note the website charges 50 cents for the transaction fee, so the entire trip comes to $1.50.)