Customer Service

Customer Service Information

For your comfort, all Northwestern Stage Lines coaches are equipped with air conditioning, an on-board restroom, reclining seats with headrests, footrests and tinted windows.  Feel free to bring reading materials, radio headsets and a small pillow for your enjoyment, or simply enjoy the scenery from the large windows.  You are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on-board for your personal consumption.  

Radios, laptops and other electronic items may be carried on-board, provided that they do not disturb your fellow passengers. The use of headphones are required for audio.  External power outlets are NOT available.  Northwestern Stage Lines schedule buses do not utilize on-board videos for movies; however, charter groups may utilize this equipment.  (Please see Charters for more information).

Our customers with disabilities who need travel assistance should see further information below under Accessibility.

For everyone's safety and comfort, Northwestern asks that our customers please follow a few restrictions while on board.  Federal law does not permit smoking on Northwestern buses.  We have zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, weapons and unruly behavior on our schedules. 

For your safety and the safety of those around you, we ask that passenger remain seated while the bus is in motion.  For your safety exiting the bus, please be aware of the steps.  Use the hand rails to assist you.  Please wait until the driver has exited the bus and is positioned outside the door to assist you.  Please allow sufficient space between you and the passenger in front of you to navigate the steps and exit before your departure. 

Dogs, cats, birds or other animals will not be transported on our buses.  However, a service animal, trained for the purpose of accompanying a disabled person, will be permitted to travel with the disabled person at no additional charge.  Please see Passengers with Special Needs for more information. 

Northwestern Stage Lines operates its programs without regard to race, color, and national origin.  To receive additional information on its discrimination obligations, including its complaint procedures, please contact our customer support center at or 509-838-4029. For scheduling information, you can call 1-800-366-6975.

Sit back and enjoy your ride with Northwestern Stage Lines!

Additional Policies

Unaccompanied Minors
U.S. Border Customs

Unaccompanied Minors

  1. Children sixteen (16) years old & younger may not travel unaccompanied. They can travel if accompanied by an adult 17 years or older.
  2. Children seventeen (17) years old may travel without restrictions.

Bicycle Policy

  • All bicycles must be placed in a bicycle box and securely closed.
  • A fee of $20.00 is charged for transporting all bicycles.
  • Bicycles are transported based upon space available in luggage bins at the time of the transport.
  • Bicycles cannot be checked as passenger luggage.
  • If you are continuing to other transportation carriers, please check with that carrier for their rules regarding transportation of bicycles.

Baggage and Luggage Information

Passengers are responsible at all times for their luggage.  Assistance is available, upon request, for passengers needing special assistance, including elderly passengers, passengers with disabilities or adults traveling with small children.

All luggage, including checked luggage and carry-on luggage, must have an identification (ID) tag securely fastened to the luggage. ID is also required inside the baggage.

Passengers are responsible for having their baggage loaded into the baggage bays of the bus.  Take your baggage to the bus side and give it to the driver.  If the driver is unavailable, stay with your baggage until he returns.  Do not leave your baggage unattended and do not load it yourself.

Once you arrive at your destination or transfer location, you are responsible for picking up your baggage next to the bus.   Drivers do not transfer luggage from one bus to the next.

Baggage Restrictions

  • One (1) piece of baggage may be checked free of charge for each adult ticket and each child ticket. It cannot weigh more then 50 pounds.
  • One (1) additional piece of baggage weighing less than or equal to 50 pounds may be checked for a charge of $15.00..
  • Five (5) more pieces may be checked at a charge of $30 to $40 per piece depending on destination.
  • Baggage carried beyond the allowed two (7) pieces will be charged based on Northwestern Package Express rates.
  • If a single piece of checked baggage weighs more than 50 pounds but less than or equal to 75 pounds there will be charged an extra $30 to $40 depending on the destination.
  • All other pieces including pieces weighing more that 75 pounds, have to be shipped as regular express.
  • One (1) small,  bag up to 25 pounds may be taken aboard for each adult or child.  Carry-on luggage must fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat.  Luggage may not be stored in the aisle or on an adjoining seat.
  • Baggage must not exceed 62 inches when adding the total exterior dimensions of the piece (length plus width plus height).  A charge will be applied to any baggage above the 62-inch limit.  (See below for exemptions for bicycles, skies and ski poles.)
  • Passengers who show up less than 30 minutes before departure time with excess baggage or baggage that needs to be shipped are not guaranteed that the bus will wait for them.
  • See agent for other policy requirements.

Acceptable Baggage

Acceptable baggage includes suitcases, duffel bags, toolboxes, trunks and securely tied cardboard boxes.  A plastic and/or paper bag is NOT acceptable as checked baggage.

Unacceptable and Prohibited Items for Checked Baggage

The following is a list of items which are prohibited from being placed under the bus as Checked Baggage:

  • Acids
  • Ammunition
  • Animals
  • Combustible liquids
  • Compressed gases
  • Corpses
  • Cremated remains
  • Electronic equipment (televisions, stereos) may be sent using Northwestern Package Express with appropriate packaging.  See exemption below for laptop computers
  • Explosives
  • Firearms of all types
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable liquids
  • Furniture, hazardous materials (poisons, radioactive materials, etc.)
  • Materials with a disagreeable odor
  • Matches
  • Merchandise for resale
  • Protuding articles
  • Unsecured items

Laptop computers are considered "electronic items" and are prohibited as "checked baggage".  However, a laptop computer may be brought aboard as one of the allowed carry-on items.

Money and prescription medication may not be checked as baggage and must remain in the possession of the passenger at all times.

Northwestern Stage Lines' Liability on Lost Luggage

The maximum liability to Northwestern Stage Lines is $250.00 for all baggage checked (not including items checked as overweight, oversized and/or excess baggage, see below) per adult ticket and $125.00 per child ticket.  Neither Northwestern Stage Lines nor other participating bus carriers are responsible for the loss of or damage to baggage in excess of the value allowances.  Northwestern Stage Lines will only be responsible to the extent of the actual loss or damage sustained based on the actual baggage at the time and place of checking and will NOT accept any liability for unchecked baggage.

For items checked as overweight, oversized and/or excess baggage, the maximum liability to Northwestern Stage Lines is $100.00.  Neither Northwestern Stage Lines nor other participating bus carriers are responsible for the loss of or damage to baggage in excess of the value allowances.  Northwestern Stage Lines will only be responsible to the extent of the actual loss or damage sustained based on the actual baggage at the time and place of checking.

Passengers may purchase declared value for items checked as overweight, oversized and/or excess baggage up to a maximum of $300 per transaction.  Please see your ticket agent for this service.

Passengers may also insure their baggage (not including items checked as overweight, oversized and/or excess baggage) up to a maximum of $1,000 per passenger ticket.  Please see your ticket agent for this service.

Luggage cannot be stored on an adjoining seat.


We at Northwestern Stage Lines wish you the most convenient, pleasant and safe journey as you travel with us. We are here to assist you with boarding and de-boarding buses, helping with your luggage, making transfers, or stowing and retrieving your mobility devices. We will help you during transfers, meal and rest stops and other times as reasonably requested. We will help you if you are traveling alone or with a personal care attendant, using various mobility devices, or traveling with a service animal.

In order to help you best to prepare and enjoy your trip, we ask that you do three things:

  1. Contact our operators at 800-366-6975 at least 48 hours prior to your travel date;
  2. Tell the operator what your specific needs are how you wish our assistance; and
  3. Inform our staff, including your driver, of your needs during your trip.

When using a wheelchair lift-equipment bus, please remember:

  • The combined weight of the passenger and the mobility aid cannot exceed 600 pounds.
  • The mobility aid can be no more than 30 inches wide and 48 inches in height.

With 48-hour notice, we can assist you. If you do not provide this notice, we will make every reasonable effort to help you if such accommodations will not delay departure of the schedule on which you wish to travel. If a wheelchair lift bus is not available, we may be able to utilize other means of assisting you onto the bus at some of our larger boarding stations, but this equipment is limited and should not be depended upon to be available. We do not lift passengers onto the bus and it is important that you plan ahead and let us know of your needs so that we can respond efficiently to you.

You may travel alone on Northwestern if you can travel independently and do not require assistance of a personal nature, which Northwestern personnel and its agents are not required to provide. If you require personal assistance that we cannot provide, you may wish to include a personal care attendant in your travel plans.

Storing and Handling Your Mobility Aids

Your mobility aids may travel inside the bus if they can be stored safety in the overhead compartment or under your seat. If your aid cannot be stored safely inside the bus, it can be stored underneath the bus. You must obtain a claim check (see Baggage Information) and affix it to your mobility aid. If an item that is placed in the baggage compartment under the bus is damaged or lost, a maximum reimbursement of $250 is allowed per adult ticket purchased. Claims for damaged mobility aids must be filed within seven (7) days of completing your trip. Additional baggage insurance is available. Please see your ticket agent for this service.

The maximum dimension of the baggage compartment is 33 inches x 33 inches x 48 inches. The maximum weight limit for mobility aids is 200 pounds. Mobility aids that exceed these dimensions and/or weight limits will not be accepted. Please allow sufficient time for the loading and storing of your aid in order to avoid delays in the departure of the bus.

Traveling with Oxygen and Respirators

Portable oxygen and respirators may travel with you on Northwestern Stage Lines. You may carry up to four (4) oxygen canisters - two (2) aboard the bus and two (2) under the bus in the baggage compartment. All canisters that are stored in the baggage compartment must be in protective cases with safety caps on the valves.

The maximum size for the container may not exceed 4.5 inches in diameter and 26 inches in length.

All customers are responsible and must ensure that they have sufficient oxygen to complete their trip.

Remember: Please keep all your medications with you. Do not place them in your luggage that will be stored under the bus.

Traveling with a Service Animal

At Northwestern Stage Lines, our passengers with disabilities who wish to bring their service animal are always welcomed on-board. The service animal is the responsibility of the owner and must be under the control of the owner at all times. Please use a leash, harness, or other means to control your service animal. Your service animal must ride in the bus within your space. It may not travel in the aisle or occupy a seat.

We reserve the right to refuse passage to any animal that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other customers, our personnel or contractors.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Checks

The information contained on this page is provided as a courtesy for our passengers and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Passengers should contact their own attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue or factual situation.

Immigration Issues That May Affect Bus Passengers

During your journey, federal agents from United States Customs and Border Protection might board the bus and ask passengers questions about their immigration or citizenship status. Under Northwestern Stage Lines policy, neither Northwestern Stage Lines drivers nor its other employees will provide consent to warrantless immigration enforcement checks of its buses. However, Northwestern Stage Lines’  employees will not physically resist or otherwise prevent federal agents from boarding our buses should they do so even without our consent. This policy has been implemented for the safety of Northwestern Stage Lines passengers and employees.

Additional Help and Resources

It is important you know your rights should an immigration enforcement check occur. The following links may contain useful information.1 If you have specific concerns about your rights during an immigration enforcement check, you should consult an attorney.

1. Northwestern Stage Lines does not represent that information on any third-party websites is accurate and nothing contained herein should be construed as legal advice from Northwestern Stage Lines.

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