Left Stranded by Bus Service

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Jan 23, 2019
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#1
I booked a ticket from Las Vegas to Los Angeles Union Station in November 2018. We took a break at Barstow, Nevada and the driver told us to be back on the bus by 4:35pm. Me, my friend, and another couple arrived at the parked location at 4:35pm and the bus was gone. I called FlixBus three times to see if we can get on the next bus and to inquire about my luggage. FlixBus would not do anything to bring us back to Los Angeles, nor did they offer any alternatives such as providing us a ride the next day or a ticket on Greyhound because the Barstow hub was a main rest stop for other buses.

So we actually found someone who knew someone else that was willing to take us back to Los Angeles. This was about 7:30pm when we got our travel situation settled and left Barstow hitchhiking on someone else's car. We paid the driver to take us to Los Angeles to get dropped off at the FlixBus drop off(Union Station) to check for our luggage.

We saw and asked other FlixBus arriving at the platform and they declined any help and knowledge of the company procedure. I emailed Lost & Found on FlixBus company website to search for my luggage as recommended by the representative on my phone call earlier.

I waited a couple weeks for a response and FlixBus tells me they lost the luggage and they are not responsible.

I was thinking of pursuing Small Claims but wanted to see if I could find a solution elsewhere first.


What's your desired resolution?

Refund for the purchase ticket plus compensation from paying the driver to drive me from Barstow to Los Angeles, plus compensation for my lost luggage. Also payment for punitive damages from embarrassment from pleading with FlixBus through email and from my phone calls for any type of resolution and agony being stranded for three hours in the desert with no where to go. My phone charger was in my luggage so I was not able to charge my phone.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
The problem is that maybe your watch and the driver's watch were not showing the same time. Remember the old TV line, "Let's synchronize our watches?" Your watch and the other couples' watch may have said 435pm, but if the drivers' watch was 5 minutes faster than yours, he left when his watch said 435pm.
So I don't think you will get very far with compensation for the missed journey; however, you should be able to pursue Flixbus for the lost luggage.
 

Neil Maley

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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
When they tell you 4:35, that means its leaving at that time- you should have been there at least 10-15 minutes before to get loaded and set on the bus.
You won’t be reimbursed for the cost of getting yourself to LA because you should have been at the stop earlier.

You should pursue the lost luggage but use the link Barry have to go up the executive chain to try to have someone look for your luggage.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
Do you think small claims is the way to go? And I was using my smartphone time. Isn't that a global time?
Smartphones depend on the internal clock chip and the network they are on -- or from servers. How the cell phone time corresponds to the atomic clock is unknown. But as Barry Graham pointed out, the time clock on the bus may be running differently. It is always a risk to show up at the last minute.

You will not get punitive damages for showing up at what your phone said was the last minute.

Focus on the lost luggage. Does the company have a protocol for forgotten items? Is it possible someone stole it? Do people load their own luggage?
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#7
Thank you for all your responses. I decided to use the contact list and gather information that way.

Flix responded with "In response to your missing luggage, we have exhausted all of our options to locate your luggage. However, if you would like to speak with the partner that operated your ride directly to describe the bag, it is possible the items are at their offices. You can reach Transportation Charter Services at: (714) 637-4300 during normal business hours. We truly hope they have a favorable reply!"

I called the number and Transportation Charter Services are no longer working with FlixBus. I asked them about the luggage and they claim they have nothing in lost in found.

Do I continue going up the chain at FlixBus in pursuit of my luggage until this get resolved?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
Flixbus has the following info on the website:

Liability shall be excluded in cases where the loss of baggage items was unconnected to an accident involving the bus, in addition to the mix-up or theft of the same, except in cases of intent and gross negligence.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,643
14,194
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Flixbus has the following info on the website:

Liability shall be excluded in cases where the loss of baggage items was unconnected to an accident involving the bus, in addition to the mix-up or theft of the same, except in cases of intent and gross negligence.
And there was no gross negligence on the part of the bus company.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
Just because someone says they are not liable it doesn't mean they are not. That's one of the reasons why courts and lawyers exist.
Yes that is the American way.

However one should always be aware of the terms and conditions that they agreed to as that is bound to come up.

What is problematic with the bus is that they do not seem to give claim checks but instead have the passenger load and unload their own bags.

My fear is that someone stole the bag.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,643
14,194
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
That’s exactly what I think happened. And it is all because the OP returned back to the bus too late- they were told to be back ON the bus at 4:35. They admitted they weren’t on the bus at that time- they arrived back to the bus by that time and the bus was gone.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#14
Yes that is the American way.

However one should always be aware of the terms and conditions that they agreed to as that is bound to come up.

What is problematic with the bus is that they do not seem to give claim checks but instead have the passenger load and unload their own bags.

My fear is that someone stole the bag.
I understand the concern, but I highly doubt someone stole all four pieces of luggage and one piece of carry on without arousing suspicion. Me and my friend had a carry on at our seats and two pieces of luggage stored below. The other couple that was left stranded were visiting from Texas and had brought much of their clothes and belongings for the trip.

Additionally, if someone did steal it, it would only make sense at the bus's final stop which was Santa Monica(2nd Stop). Our stop was at Los Angeles Union Station(1st Stop) where only a partial of the passengers got off the bus. Not to mention they would have to carry their own luggage as well if any. Unless you are implying that the driver stole it...
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#15
I understand the possibility that someone may have stole the bag, but there was four pieces of luggage and one piece of carry on that went missing. Me and my friend had a carry on at our seats and two pieces of luggage stored below. The other couple that were also left stranded were visiting from Texas and had brought much of their clothes and belongings for the trip and had at least two pieces of luggage between them.

Additionally, if someone did steal it, it would only make sense at the bus's final stop which was Santa Monica(2nd Stop). Our stop was at Los Angeles Union Station(1st Stop) where only a partial of the passengers got off the bus.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,643
14,194
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
If it was four pieces of luggage, I would tend to agree with you. While it wouldn’t be impossible for someone to take all four it is unlikely unless the driver simply left them out on the sidewalk and didn’t bring them into the bus depot. Have you gone to the last stop on the route and personally spoken to someone?
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#17
Please don't mind the duplicated post above. I was correcting the post.

No, I did not have the opportunity to catch up to the bus at Santa Monica. And witnessing how unhelpful the staff at Los Angeles Station was, I was hesitant to travel further because I had no means of transportation at that point. The driver that brought me back only agreed to bring us to Union Station.

I have included a GPS map of the bus I was on and it appears that Santa Monica was not their final stop. It seems unreasonable for me to be chasing down the bus all across the county.
 

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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,643
14,194
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
That complicates it further. On the stops the bus made while you were still on it, when people got off the bus, how did the driver identify their luggage? Did the passengers themselves point the luggage out so he knew what to remove or did he know who was getting off and what their bags looked like?

Were you able to contact the last stop on the route and ask if the driver left the unclaimed bag there?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
Is the Santa Monica stop a bus station?

I admit my first thought was theft because of living in NYC and thinking of the Port Authority bus terminal — and also being on buses and seeing the minimum security for luggage.

If there are additional bus terminals and stops would it be worthwhile to check each stop.

If the luggage does not have a claim ticket anyone can just grab and run—