There are a lot of options on inexpensive bus service from Southern California to Las Vegas including Greyhound, Bolt Bus, Mega Bus and now the newest competitor Flixbus from Germany. Unlike the other competitors Flixbus doesn’t actually own their own buses and is a app an website where they take care of the booking of tickets as well as back end technology as well as the routes and marketing for the company; Each of the green Flixbus logo buses are run by independent bus companies that Flixbus has partnered with who provide the drivers and buses.
The first day of operation for Flixbus in the United States was May 31st but for time reasons on what would be a short time trip to Las Vegas from Anaheim, California; I went with their main competitor Megabus on an overnight bus which is a service that Flixbus doesn’t yet offer. On the return trip the next day, yes i told you it was a short trip i decided to book with Flixbus from Las Vegas to Anaheim to try out there service and i also got a great rate which i will talk about later. On June 1st the bus had a 2 pm departure time from Downtown Las Vegas across the street from the Bonneville Transit Center.
The directions said to wait next to the tour bus signs but there wasn’t any signs but there was a no parking area across from the terminal and the directions did say to stand in that area. The bus showed up early in its green Flixbus livery and some of the people at the stop were from Flixbus journeys that had been cancelled the day before.
The driver asked if anyone was scheduled on the San Diego bus as we should have been contacted to make alternative plans as the Las Vegas to San Diego bus via Anaheim had been cancelled. My heart sank as it looked like i would either have to pay another night in Las Vegas or pay for a Mega Bus or Greyhound ticket which wouldn’t have been the end of the world except i would be paying last minute premium prices. The driver then asked where my final destination was and i said Anaheim and i would be fine as the Los Angeles bus would be ending at Anaheim today although a single male passenger and a visiting Indian family would have to take the train from Anaheim to San Diego and Flixbus would reimburse them later.
I found out from the driver that the company that was mean’t to operate the Southern California to Las Vegas service didn’t have all its permits to operate right away which was why several services had been canceled. Issues with brand new services happen but i’m sure Flixbus will get it solved and most likely by the time of this publishing they will have. Either way the driver and a second driver who was just riding back to Southern California were friendly and courteous.
After i had my ticket on my phone scanned i got on the bus which was a brand new single decker bus which had a comfortable seat as well as a folding table on the seat back in front as well as a cup holder. The bus also had wi-fi which seemed to work faster than the wi-fi on Megabus but the Flix Bus was only half full at its busiest point so that might have been why. Another nice touch that the competition doesn’t have is once you sign in to the Flixbus wi-fi you get a screen with recent movies and television shows that you can steam for free.
The bus stopped center Strip at Caesars Palace which is where most people got on before heading for California, one thing Flixbus doesn’t do at present is have a 20 minute stop at a Truck Stop or Barstow Station like its competitors do for the customers to use the restrooms, stretch your legs or purchase some food or drink but i can see this changing in the future. The first stop for the bus was in Victorville and the next stop was scheduled for Montclair but the drivers asked their dispatch to skip the stop as no one was scheduled to get on or off so they could save time so the people heading to San Diego could meet the 8:55 pm train from Anaheim to that city.
The next stop was in Downtown Los Angeles in a parking lot across the street from Union Station bus terminal but not actually in the terminal itself. The final stop on the journey was the Anaheim Artic Center which is couple of miles from Disneyland but is near to the Honda Center where the Ducks NHL team play and near Anaheim Stadium where the baseballs Angels who were paying at home when i arrived. The bus arrived on time at 8:05 pm giving plenty of time to the passengers that still had to complete there journey on the 8:55 pm Amtrak train to San Diego from the Artic Center train station.
The ticket price for this journey from Las Vegas was 99 cents and yes you did read that right they were advertising rates at $2.99 as a low rate to get people to try the new service although when i booked they had for a while moved the price down to 99 cents. These introductory prices won’t last and the normal prices would most likely be in the $20 to $30 range although i can see prices in the $10 to $20 range lasting for quite a while as the new company does battle with its main competitor Megabus in pricing as well as other competitors Greyhound and Bolt Bus. It will be interesting to see who will win this competitive price war although i could see the part Greyhound owned Bolt Bus pulling out of this market, whoever ultimately wins for the moment it means really inexpensive tickets for the customers which is a good thing.
I would use Flixbus again as long as the price was right as they do offer a better service than their competitors and new service problems will be worked out if they haven’t been already, either way its less expensive option when traveling to Las Vegas from Southern California and, well worth checking out.