With the liberalization of the German long-distance bus market, one company has made it to the top of the market: FlixBus. What began as a small start-up now offers a huge route network throughout Europe. Find out everything you need to know about the long-distance bus company here. I’ll tell you the story of the young long-distance bus company. Furthermore, you will learn how to book and cancel FlixBus tickets. I give you an insight into the routes, stops, and schedules. Read on and learn more!
What is FlixBus?
FlixBus is a long-distance bus company founded in 2011 under the name GoBus and based in Munich. In 2013, the mobility provider was renamed FlixBus. In March 2016, the FlixBus company changed its name to FlixMobility and has been using FlixBus as its in-house brand ever since. The mobility provider has grown steadily in recent years, taking over various other insolvent bus companies, and now has the largest long-distance bus network in Europe. With its fleet, FlixBus travels to around 1,700 destinations in 27 different countries in Europe. Since March 2018, FlixMobility has also entered the rail transport business in Germany. With FlixTrain, the Munich-based company now distributes not only long-distance buses, but also express trains. Learn more about the unprecedented success story of FlixBus in the next section.
The unprecedented success story of FlixBus
It all began in 2011 when two founders launched the long-distance bus company under the name GoBus. Approximately two years later, the company received its current name FlixBus. In the beginning, there were four lines in Germany. In 2014, the company was already making a profit. This was followed by mergers and acquisitions with and from other long-distance bus companies. The company now offers around 250,000 connections per day. Thousands of drivers move the huge fleet. In 2015, the long-distance bus company took off internationally. The green buses travel daily to around 900 cities in Europe and an expansion to the USA is being planned.
Merger of FlixBus and MeinFernbus
In 2015, two giants of long-distance bus companies joined forces. FlixBus and MeinFernbus from Berlin merged. Previously, the companies competed and shared highways. The goal of the collaboration was to build Europe’s largest long-distance bus route network. Before the merger, both companies had a good route network. As a result of the cooperation, the number of connections and destinations has grown many times over. You can find the stops in over 27 countries in Europe. Initially, the merged company appeared with the name “MeinFernbus Flixbus”. Since May 2016, you can see the green buses exclusively with the FlixBus brand name.
Acquisition of other bus companies by FlixBus
After the successful merger of FlixBus and MeinFernbus, the success story continued. In June 2016, Megabus was transferred to the company. FlixBus thus took over the German, Italian, French, and Dutch route network of the British bus company and increased its market share in Europe. The company announced another milestone in its success story in August 2016. Postbus, the long-distance bus brand of Deutsche Post, was transferred to the company in November 2016. This was followed in May 2017 by the purchase of the long-distance bus brand Hellö, from Austrian Federal Railways. Hellö’s operations were discontinued on August 01, 2017, and the route network was transferred to the Flixbus portfolio.
Cooperation between FlixBus and other companies
Since May 2016, the company has been cooperating with PolskiBus. The Polish long-distance bus provider has a strong route network in Poland, which the Munich-based company added to its portfolio. A total of twelve cities in Poland are available to travelers. First, guests travel from many German FlixBus stops to Berlin. From there, PolskiBus continues to Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and many other Polish cities.
How does the booking of FlixBus tickets work?
Booking a FlixBus ticket is simple. You go to the website and directly see a search mask. If the search mask does not appear, click on the “Booking” tab. Fill in the start and endpoint. Here you enter the names of the respective cities. Enter the dates of the days you want to travel. Then you need to specify the number of adults and children traveling. If you need to transport a bicycle, you can also specify it in this step.
As an alternative to the website, you can use the FlixBus app to book your tickets. You can download the app for free and install it on your smartphone. In the app, you get a comprehensive overview of all trips and prices. You select your favorite route and book your seat. When the journey starts, you show the long-distance bus ticket saved in the app to the driver.
Another option is to book via the FlixBus hotline. Customer service can be reached at +49 30 300 137 300. The company also has its own sales outlets where you can buy tickets. Many travel agencies also sell tickets. The last option is to buy tickets directly from the bus driver.
There are regular promotions on the website and in the app, where you can buy tickets at reduced prices. If you buy your long-distance bus tickets directly from the bus driver, you always pay the normal price and do not receive any discounts. Another disadvantage of buying tickets from the driver is that there is a risk of not getting a ticket because there is no free seat.
How do cancellation and rebooking work with FlixBus?
You can cancel your trip or change the details online. To do so, log in to the website with your booking number and your e-mail. You will then have the options to change your details or cancel. If you want to change the travel date, you must first cancel the booked trip. You will then receive a FlixBus voucher in the amount of the cancelled trip. You can redeem this voucher for your new booking. If the price for the new tickets is higher than the old ticket, you pay the difference. As a rule, you can change the name of the passenger free of charge up to 15 minutes before the start of the journey. There is one exception: If the ticket price is higher at the time of the change or name change, you will have to pay a surcharge.
What payment options are available with FlixBus?
The choice of payment options depends on the booking location:
- for online booking: direct debit, credit card, PayPal, instant bank transfer
- at the bus driver: cash payment; card payment is not yet possible on board
- Sales outlets or travel agencies: Cash payment and other agency-dependent means of payment
How do you find the right FlixBus stops?
The easiest way to find the nearest FlixBus stop is via the app. There you can select a stop and you will be navigated directly there. For a complete list of all departure points, click on the menu item “Stops” in the app. There you will see the address of the stop for the respective city and also a map. The maps are also shown on your booking confirmation. The stops are marked as such directly on site.
If you don’t have the app, you can find an overview of all bus stops on the website. Under the tab “Bus connections” you will find all bus stops and timetables. The cities in which there is a bus stop are sorted alphabetically. If you click on a city, you will see the stops of that city with addresses on a map. On the same page, you will also get information about the timetables. You can see the arrival and departure times of the stop, as well as the bus numbers and the route.
How much luggage can I take with me on FlixBus?
You can take one piece of hand luggage and two pieces of luggage with you free of charge on every trip. It is recommended to label your luggage with your name and address.
- limited to one piece of luggage, maximum size 42 x 30 x 18 cm; maximum weight 7 kg
- you must carry all valuables in your hand luggage
- limited to two pieces of luggage, maximum size 80 x 50 x 30 cm.
- the total circumference of luggage must not exceed 160 cm
- you can take a total of 20 kg of free luggage per person
- in exceptional cases, if there is still capacity, you can take a second piece of luggage with you
- maximum size 80 x 50 x 30 cm, maximum 20 kg
- the additional luggage has to be announced – if possible – at the time of booking or at the earliest 48 hours before departure of the bus at the customer service by phone at +49 (0)30 300 137 300
- Cost of the extra piece of luggage: $2
- If you have luggage that exceeds the normal dimensions of the luggage, you will pay a fee of $9.
- dimensions of the special luggage: total circumference of 240 cm (height in cm + width in cm + depth in cm), maximum 30 kg
- you must declare the luggage to the customer service 48 hours before the departure of the bus
- skis, musical instruments, and similar items are considered special luggage
- bicycles and orthopedic aids are subject to special regulations
- some items are excluded from the carriage (have a look at the terms and conditions of FlixBus)
FlixBus delay – these are your passenger rights.
Long-distance buses cover long distances and use European highways to do so. A traffic jam means that the FlixBus is delayed. The question arises as to what rights you have and whether the company will reimburse you for the ticket price. The following passenger rights apply: If the departure is delayed by at least 120 minutes, you have two options. Either you use the next long-distance bus to your destination via another route, under the same conditions, and without further costs. Alternatively, you can claim back the full fare. The same applies if the booked connection is cancelled.
If you choose a route with a three-hour travel time and the long-distance bus is delayed by more than 90 minutes, you have the right to assistance. By assistance is meant drinks and food as well as accommodation. This does not apply if bad weather or natural disasters are the reason for the delay.
FlixBus service – WLAN, power sockets and legroom
Since you sometimes sit in the green buses for a long time, you should be comfortable. This requires good service. To avoid boredom, you can log on to the WLAN free of charge. With LTE speed, you can surf the web, watch series and answer e-mails on the green buses. Please note that only FlixBus connections guarantee WLAN. Routes operated by the company’s partners do not always offer Wi-Fi. Other services include inexpensive snacks and drinks, power outlets, toilets, and plenty of legroom. All these amenities ensure a comfortable bus ride.
The FlixBus route network and popular connections
The company’s route network connects all major cities in Germany. In addition, there are connections to many neighboring European countries. The most popular domestic stops are those in major cities. These include Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, and many others. In addition to the major cities, the long-distance bus company also connects smaller towns and cities in its extensive route network. The connections outside Germany are also interesting. These include, for example, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, and England. Popular long-distance bus destinations in Europe are Amsterdam and Milan. With the different destinations, you can explore almost the entire of Europe by long-distance bus. The route network is structured in a way that offers you many transfer options. This means that if there is no direct long-distance bus connection to your desired destination, you can change to other lines at various bus stops and reach the destination.
Coupons and coupon codes for FlixBus
FlixBus vouchers and coupon codes are available on a regular basis, giving you tickets at reduced prices. If you use the Fernbus app, you can benefit from regular savings campaigns. With the vouchers and promotions, you save money when buying tickets. Furthermore, there are often last-minute tickets that you can get for various routes at a bargain price. So that you don’t miss the discount promotions and vouchers of the Fernmbus company, keep up to date on my blog about it. As soon as I find a coupon code or an app promotion runs, I’ll let you know right away!
FlixBus is definitely a great alternative to traveling by train. If you want to get around a lot for little money, the coach is the ideal solution. In modern buses, you can use all kinds of extras like WLAN. This ensures entertainment during the journey. This type of travel is also ideal for meeting new people.
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