What's a Release Date Ticket?

Release Date Tickets are for trips that you can reserve now, but the processing time required to send you the ticket will take longer than our usual six hours.  Here's the three basic steps of a Release Date Ticket:

Order Date

The date you buy the ticket online.  

You get a receipt of your payment and a notification of your Release Date.  

Your payment is refundable minus the payment processing fee up until your Release Date.

Release Date

The date you receive your ticket.

Your ticket will arrive to your inbox between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on this date.  

After 9 am on your Release Date, your payment is not refundable.  If you need to cancel, do so before 9 am.

Trip Date

The date of your trip. 

Take your ticket to the boarding point described in your ticket mail that you received on your Release Date, and present it to the bus company noted.

Relax and enjoy your trip!


Why the Release Date?

It may be one or a combination of reasons.
1) Many bus companies throughout Latin America have permanent departure times, but they don't issue the tickets until a specific bus number is assigned to accommodate the expected number of passengers.  They often do these "fleet assignments" the first day of the month for all the trips that month, but some only do their fleet assignments the day before your trip.  
2) A courier may be involved to manually fetch the bus ticket from the bus company's office, which takes extra time.  
3) The bus company may require an extra step of validating the payment to their bank before they can release the ticket. 

What's an example of a Release Date?

Let's say your trip is on August 15th, and you place your order two months earlier on June 15th.  Your Release Date may be as soon as June 16th, the day after you placed your order, if the processing perhaps only requires a courier. Or, the Release Date could be as late as August 14th, the day before your trip.  The exact date will depend on what operational rules the bus company has in force, which requires one of our agents to verify before sending you a Release Date.

When will I be notified of my Release Date?

Usually, in just a few minutes after you place your order, but no longer than six hours.

What happens to my payment before a Release Date?

Your payment, minus the payment processing fee (e.g., the fee taken by PayPal or the credit card processor) is set aside in escrow until 9 am on your release date.   At any time between your Order Date and your Release Date, you can ask for the payment minus the processing fee to be returned to you, no problem.

At what time on my Release Date should I get my ticket?

We try to get all tickets released in the morning UTC-5 timezone, but our guarantee is before 9 pm.  

How will I get my ticket on my Release Date?

It will be attached to an email sent to you.  The email will also give you all the details of your boarding location, a map, photo orientation, and other travel tips for the route.

Are all bus tickets subject to a Release Date?

No. There are many bus routes in which you get the ticket the same day as you order, even in just minutes. You will be alerted and have to acknolwedge when you select a route that belongs to the category of a Release Date Ticket.

Will the bus fill up while I'm waiting for my Release Date?

No. In fact, AndesTransit is loved by our customers for being first in line with bus companies so that we can get our customers the best seats.

Is there a best time to order a ticket so that I can minimize the wait for a Release Date?

Yes. First thing you should do as a traveler is get to know the holidays of the country you are visiting! You want to avoid ordering (or even traveling) on a weekend or the day before or after the holiday. The holiday itself is usually fine for travel because most people have already settled into their destination, but the holiday is not a good time to order because staff are reduced everywhere. Therefore, always place your orders plenty in advance of a holiday or a weekend.

Can I show the ticket from my phone?

Before COVID-19, we usually said no, as bus companies in Latin America are serious about paper, paper, paper. But, the pandemic changed all of that very quickly, and now to comply with most government tourism mandates of contactless travel, most bus companies actually prefer you show it from your phone. Still, print it if you can to be on the safe and sure side.

What if my trip date is on the 1st of the month?

We and bus companies are aware of these situations and accommodate accordingly. If a bus company doesn't make their fleet plans until the 1st day of a given month, and that's the same date as your trip, AndesTransit will make special arrangements with that bus company to release your ticket at least on the last day of the previous month or even a few days before that.

Is it possible for my release date to be the same date as my order date?

Yes, in fact this is quite common. As long as your order is placed by 9 am, and we determine that it's a Release Date ticket that can be released the same day, we will dispatch a courier to fetch your ticket and send it to you by email no later than 9 pm at the end of the day, but usually that same morning.

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