Buses From Las Vegas To Los Angeles
Buses From Las Vegas To Los Angeles – Katie Genter is a freelance digital nomad who has been traveling full-time since June 2017. Her focus at TPG is Points, Miles, Loyalty and Credit Cards.
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Buses From Las Vegas To Los Angeles
FlixBus, the favorite bus company of Europeans and those traveling in Europe on a budget, just launched US routes at the end of last month. I enjoyed taking Flixbus in Europe, so I took the opportunity to go on one of the first trips to the United States. FlixBus launched several US West Coast routes on May 31st, and I went on a route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. This is my journey.
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When I booked my ticket, Flixbus was running three buses daily from LA to Vegas. Since I wanted to take the inaugural tour and board at the original location, I chose to leave at 5:55 a.m. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in the city’s Westwood neighborhood.
I booked my ticket on May 16th 15 days before departure. Although tickets on the LA-Vegas route were available for as low as $2.99, mine was $4.99, as I was not one of the first customers to book. There was a $2 service fee for all transactions, so I could have actually purchased a ticket for $4.99. I paid a total of $6.99 – still a great value. I booked the trip with my Citi Prestige card because of the wide range of travel benefits offered by this card. This purchase only earned me 1 point per dollar spent, but since the spend was so low, it didn’t matter that I didn’t earn bonus points.
If you like to make last minute plans, Flixbus tickets increase in price 15 minutes before departure. For the inauguration of the FlixBus No. 2009, a ticket from Downtown Los Angeles to Las Vegas was priced at $14.99 the morning of departure, but rose to $39.99 15 minutes before departure.
I took the Flixbus to the first stop, UCLA. Most passengers arrived early and used ride-sharing services to get there. About 12 passengers, including a German news crew, boarded this leg.
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I have done several Flixbus trips in Europe and Megabus trips in the US, but this was the first bus trip I took where the passengers did not form a line at the pickup point. Instead, passengers piled in easily when the bus arrived 10 minutes before departure at 5:55 am.
Passengers fill their bags in the compartment under the bus and the bus driver checks the ticket as the passengers board.
Although the first six rows could be reserved and my reservation confirmation said unreserved seats would be indicated by a green sticker, once we got on board there was no way to tell which seats were reserved. I hope FlixBus will start using green stickers soon.
FlixBus does not own any buses. Instead, they contract with independent bus companies to operate their routes. Because of this, I’ve experienced many different styles of FlixBus vehicles – some in Europe don’t even have FlixBus wraps. So I didn’t know what to expect. I was happy to see the orange and green bus crash.
Los Angeles To Las Vegas
I was more than happy when I got up and found a new bus – complete with that new car smell (or should that be “new bus smell”?).
The bus has overhead storage compartments that easily store hand luggage such as small bags. This is certainly an advantage compared to the US Megabus vehicles, which have no overhead compartments, meaning that passengers have to place hand luggage at their feet. Note that the car was closed in some places, (seats 25 to 32 in my bus).
Every seat except the first row had a 13.5-inch by 10-inch table, a flexible cup holder and a footrest. The cup holder was under the table and was not easily accessible when the table was down.
Each seat has an overhead light and air vents. During my trip, none of the seats had overhead lights.
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Normal car-style seat belts – with connected lap and shoulder belts – were on each seat. At the beginning of the journey, it was announced that passengers must wear seat belts. This was also stated on the laminated information card left in each row.
Passengers can reserve specific seats during booking. Front row seats were $4.99 each, while seats in rows 2 through 6 were $1.49 each. Seats in rows 7 to 14 cannot be reserved.
I have not reserved the seat. Instead, I walked around the cabin to try different seats. The seats were generally identical, except for the front row seats, which had leather, less legroom, a small, fixed table with built-in cup holders, and a small shelf under the table.
Given these factors, front row seats were not desirable – except for the front view. Since the first two rows are gently sloping, I chose to sit in the second or third row to have a large table and footrest, while still having a decent view out of the windshield.
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The seats were comfortable, although they only had 19.5 inches of armrests and 31 to 32 inches of pitch. Each seat can be reclined about 4 inches, although there are limited points in which the seat can be locked when seated.
The information sheet on each row states that some FlixBus vehicles have seats that can be separated into seats, but this bus was not among them.
On this trip, the free Wi-Fi was 15 MBps download and 8 MBps upload, which is faster than many hotels and certainly better than what I had on Megabus in the US.
The Wi-Fi sign-in page originally said that data was limited to 150 MB per device per day, but when I reconnected halfway through the trip, it said that data was capped at 300 MB. The web page didn’t show how much data I used, but my connection never got cut, so I guess I didn’t hit the cap on any of my devices.
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FlixBus also offers a library of entertainment while on a Wi-Fi network. The selection is stored locally on the bus, so participating in movies, TV shows, audio and games will not affect the Wi-Fi quota. The entertainment can be accessed through a web browser, so unlike Megabus, no additional apps or software are required. I tried some of the 24 movies, 10 TV shows (36 total episodes), 10 audiobooks and 20 games. The selection is diverse, current and loads almost instantly.
There was a chemical toilet at the back of the bus. There was no running water, but there was toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
The FlixBus website said that while snacks and drinks would be available for purchase on board, none were available on this trip. However, the driver said that this service will be provided soon.
Since this trip was the first FlixBus between Los Angeles and Las Vegas on its launch date in the United States, a company spokesperson gave a short welcome and introduced FlixBus to everyone at the departure point. In addition to this reception, the inaugural tour continued with a special fanfare.
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There were two stops between Los Angeles and Las Vegas: Montclair and Victorville. A passenger was about to board in Montclair, but no one was at the stop when the bus arrived 15 minutes late. After stopping and searching for the passenger, the driver proceeded. The bus did not detour to the Victorville stop, as there was no need to get off or pick up passengers.
There were two Las Vegas stops – one on the Las Vegas Strip and one in downtown Las Vegas. Almost all passengers exited the strip; Only the German news crew and one passenger continued to the center stop.
The ride was quiet and generally comfortable. Since the bus was only half full, most of the passengers were able to claim a row for themselves.
Although not listed on the schedule, the driver decided to take a 10-minute break outside of Barstow, California, halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to make a call. Most passengers seemed to appreciate the opportunity to buy drinks and food.
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Buses generally ran on time, arriving only a few minutes late at each stop in Los Angeles and about 10 minutes late at the Las Vegas Strip.
Five hours and 50 minutes between UCLA and the Las Vegas Strip (or four hours and 45 minutes between downtown Los Angeles and the Las Vegas Strip) seemed too long. But when compared to the time and expense to get to and from the airport to the origin and destination, or the hassle and expense of renting a car, you can certainly argue for taking the bus.
In particular, it may be better to take a bus when the route is relatively short and there is a bus stop near your origin and/or destination. Most visitors to Las Vegas stay here or nearby
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