Flixbus, line number 056, from Amsterdam via Arnhem to Dortmund.

The train in the Netherlands is on strike that day, so we cycled to the Amsterdam Sloterdijk bus station instead.

According to the specifications, we have registered our folding bike with transport bag as special luggage, 5.99 euros extra.

The cover isn't even put on when the authoritarian driver comes and refuses us the ride.

But isn't this a folding bike?

"Doesn't matter.

It's a bike!” We're actually quite sure of ourselves – but when a rider is so assertive?

We make a request and he finally takes us with him “for once” – “but not next time”.

During the trip, we check the Flixbus rules on our smartphones: everything has been done correctly.

We show this to the ruler of the bus upon arrival.

He also smugly waves this hint away.

Incidentally, he had forbidden his passengers to eat any food on the bus – this also goes against the rules, because Flixbus only asks that nothing strong-smelling and crumbly be eaten.

The thing with the folding bike is really serious, because we almost didn't get a ride.

Complaining to the company only brings a standard phrase answer.

So: With Flixbus you can get stranded because the drivers don't know their own rules - or don't want to know them.

You have power over the passenger.

When the train goes on strike, you can't get away.