30% discount on 1st class Swiss Travel Pass

30% discount on 1st class Swiss Travel Pass

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Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 12, 2016 - 6:54 AM

Dear travelers,

There's a 30% discount on the 1st class Swiss Travel Pass until March 29. Your first travel day needs to be no later than June 30, 2016. Please see these Rail Europe websites for the coupon code and further details:

Please note:

  • You qualify for this promotion if you have a non-European passport;
  • The discount only applies to print at home passes (e-pass);
  • The discount only applies to the Swiss Travel Pass for adults and youths. It does not apply to the Swiss Travel Pass Flex or any other pass;
  • The discount is only offered by the websites mentioned above. It is not available on any other Rail Europe website and not locally in Switzerland either;
  • If you can't take advantage of this promotion, please see here for the latest discounts.
Last modified on Mar 14, 2016 - 1:39 PM by Arno
priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Mar 12, 2016 - 9:14 AM

Hi Arno,

The line you wrote in bullet 2 is confusing

1. Anyway, one doubt is - What are the terms and conditions for cancellation of Swiss Travel Pass? Let me assume I make a booking for my travel in April 2016 with the option as e-pass (print at home).

In case due to some unforeseen circumstances, I have to cancel the pass, how much is the refund I will get for online travel pass (I mean print at home options)?

2. Also, is the online pass instantaneous? I mean is there a lag between the time I make payment to the time I will actually receive a PDF version of the same?

Regards

Priya

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 12, 2016 - 11:29 AM

Hi Priya,

Apologies for bullet 2, you are right. I corrected it. As for your further questions:

  1. Please check the terms on the linked websites. Usually a 15% cancellation fee applies, but please do check on the site. Your travel insurance may cover this 100%.
  2. From the top of my mind it takes a few working days (2 or so) to receive the e-mail with the PDF. But things like that change from time to time so do check with the retailer (Rail Europe in this case) directly.
sskundu
sskundu
127 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2016 - 12:34 PM

HI Arno,

I find it quite weird that Rail Europe's global site (www.raileurope.com) is advertising the 30% discount offer but its India website (www.raileurope.co.in) is not showing the same. When I tried to add the pass to cart and apply the code "ESwissSpring" its gave an error / failed. This is quite surprising as using the global site won't let me pay in my native currency (INR).

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 12, 2016 - 1:01 PM in reply to sskundu

Hi sskundu,

Let me explain why it works this way: Rail Europe is quite a complex organization. Raileurope.com is not their global site. It's their North American site (USA and Central America). So actually it's quite good that you can buy a print at home pass for travelers from other countries (India is listed as well). Raileurope.co.in is their Indian site and is not related to the North American site. They have their own prices and offers. I don't know why they do it that way (we're not Rail Europe), but that's the way it is. It has been the other way around as well.

The Indian site currently also has an offer, but a different one: myswissalps.com/forum/ topic/book-early-to-save-35-on-train-tickets. So you can either buy there and pay in INR, or buy from the site discussed in this thread and pay in USD. I think the offer discussed here works best if you want a 1st class Swiss Travel Pass, despite the fact that your bank may charge a fee because of the foreign currency.

I hope this was useful!

Last modified on Mar 12, 2016 - 1:05 PM by Arno
priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Mar 12, 2016 - 4:32 PM

Hi Arno,

I really appreciate the time you are taking to reply .

I have 2 queries:

1. Is this 1st class offer only available on Rail Europe and not the SBB.CH? Do you have any idea how they give selected offers like this?

2. Further, I see that the cancellation fee for paper tickets is 15% whereas online ones are an additional 7% making it a total of 22%? Is it safe to order paper ticket? Will it get shipped properly to India? Any idea on that?

3. From your experience , is there a chance that there is directly a better offer on buying in Swiss counters directly during Spring? ( I arrive on 7 April in Basel in morning)

4. Due to this offer, it is like 1st class is working out 12% costlier than 2nd class as compared to 60% higher. Other than the seat advantage, is there any other advantage? I travel with a senior citizen and a child. Was wondering if 1st class would guarantee a seat as against 2nd class during peak hours

Regards

Priya

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 12, 2016 - 7:38 PM

Hi Priya,

You're most welcome! As for your questions:

1. Yes, this is only available on the Rail Europe websites in my initial post. The SBB tourist webshop at www.swissrailways.com/ en has its own prices, and sometimes promotions (currently not though).

2. The promotion does not apply to paper passes (see my initial post). Paper passes do not get shipped to India via the websites offering the discount discussed here. You can buy a print at home pass and pay in INR if you visit the Indian site at www.raileurope.co.in/p ass/swiss-travel-pass-82.

3. There's always a chance, but most promotions only apply if you buy online. Buying online is more comfortable anyway: you can print your pass at home so you can immediately start traveling without going to a ticket office first.

4. Please see myswissalps.com/ train/practical/ 2nd1stclass. First class does not guarantee a seat but usually there are less travelers so lower occupancy. People in 1st class generally prefer to be quiet, and some coaches actually have quiet zones (no talking, no phone calls, so that might be less convenient with a child). But you don't have to sit in such a zone. Please see here as well.

I hope I've helped you out!

priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2016 - 5:59 AM

Hi Arno,

You have greatly helped me in making my decision that I will for many reasons take the 2nd class

My mainly was tempted to consider 1st class thinking my mom(70) may find it difficult to stand during peak hours and we may also have more space. If we are getting 1st class with additional 12% of second class, it was worth it. Nevertheless, I have decided to take the 2nd class travel pass once I am in swistzerland

1. The intent is to have fun and joy- which we love to talk and interact. I am afraid if I have to maintain discipline as needed in an office environment.

2. Also, the hassles of making an online payment and claiming the refund (which is 22%) in case I need to cancel is not worth. I got a time-out or page not found error when I tried to delete the products from Rail Europe. This was a cause of concern since I tried it several times and it was not a one-time error.

3. One last question- I saw the money for taking the Wilhelm tell express, It says we need to buy the upgrade pass- I see that 33 CHF is the price in Winter (Till 16th April, they mentioned it as a winter ticket cost) .So, if I travel in 2nd class Travel pass and buy 3 upgrade tickets for Wilhelm tell express, I will be able to get the food, souvenier and a good view. Is this correct?

Looking forward to your reply

Regards

Priya

sskundu
sskundu
127 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:02 AM in reply to priyag2016

HI Priya,

If your travel is confirmed (dates and plan) then it would be worth buying the pass online. I wouldn't prefer to keep things till the last moment (on the spot or otherwise). I myself am travelling to Swiss from Paris on 22/4 and will be getting the Swiss Pass before hand. Your pass does not get activated unless you validate it the first time. If totally unused, I guess you can get a full refund (though Arno / Annika can correct me if am wrong). Rail Europe's India website is expensive, not sure why. I purchased my Paris to Geneva ticket on TGV through them and felt its expensive that what I would have paid buying directly on TGV's website (even after the currency conversion). I am buying the Swiss Pass from www.sbb.ch/en, which is CHF 251 per person in 2nd class for 4-days. For two of us, I pay CHF 502, which when converted to INR is still less than what Rail Europe is charging for the same 4-day pass (I guess that last time I checked was less by almost 1k - 1.5k). That's coz Rail Europe will also charge you a booking fees at the final payments page unlike www.sbb.ch which shows all inclusive prices from the start.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:17 AM in reply to priyag2016

Hi Priya,

I'm glad to hear the help you got was useful for you.

1. Not sure what you mean here, but I'm sure you will have fun in Switzerland!

2. If you prefer to buy last minute anyway you can do so more comfortably through the SBB webshop at www.swissrailways.com/ en. You can print the pass at home and skip the ticket office queue upon arrival. You can go straight to your first train. You can buy up to 3 working days in advance, so by that time I'm sure your trip is fixed. Pick the delivery option called "Online Ticket".

3. You can ride the Wilhelm Tell Express for free if you settle for 2nd class, and without seat reservations and reserved lunch. You can buy lunch on your own anyway. If you prefer the special Wilhelm Tell Express package you will need to book that package but also buy an upgrade to 1st class. That will be more expensive that CHF 33. Please see myswissalps.com/wilhel mtellexpress for details and links.

priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:25 AM

Hi Annika,

1. I seemed to get an impression from Arno that 1st class is more business and we are not allowed to make noise. I was therefore deciding to go with 2nd class since we will definitely be talking (if not shouting and screaming :) )

2. Is Rail Europe as much safe as Swiss Railways? Is it ok to go ahead and make the booking and print the pass online?

Regards

Priya

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:30 AM in reply to sskundu

Hi sskundu,

Thanks for your feedback! Cancellation policies vary per retailer, but in general one gets a 85% refund; also for unused passes. Of course you can minimize that risk by buying online only a week or so before your trip, and by having travel insurance which is recommended for other reasons anyway.

The official SBB webshop for tourist passes can be found on www.swissrailways.com; that's where you end up if you go through the domestic SBB site too. Their prices are the "standard" ones and they don't have promotions that often. The Indian Rail Europe site is indeed expensive at the moment. But they make much more changes to their offers. Last year they were a lot cheaper than the standard rates, for example. They have a promotion right now (not directly related to passes though), and may have a new offer any time. So things can change frequently, hence the price overview. That allows you to easily pick the best offer. If you're interested in more background information, please see myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/wheretobuy.

Last modified on Mar 13, 2016 - 9:53 AM by Annika
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:35 AM in reply to priyag2016

Hi Priya,

1. Indeed 1st class in more business than 2nd class, but anyone can buy a 1st class pass. It's certainly not business people only. You're not allowed to make noise in the quiet zones, but in other carriages one can talk. In general people traveling in 1st class are more quiet and don't appreciate a lot of noise, but there are no rules for that other than in the quiet zones.

2. Both are perfectly safe. We only list trusted retailers here.

sskundu
sskundu
127 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:36 AM in reply to Annika

HI Annika,

Yes I did book by Paris to Geneva tickets on TGV via Rail Europe and while they allowed me to print my tickets @ home but they also charged a booking fees per tickets (two of us), which was not something I was expecting. I haven't seen much offers on their site and the one currently about getting a discount on tickets is only applicable if your total booking amount is INR 27,500 (i.e. about CHF 403) which is quite high if you plan on taking a pass. Other than that I haven't seen any good offers for Switzerland in past 4-5 months (except once when they were giving +1 day free with any of the Swiss Travel Pass back in Nov.)

That's why I suggested to use the SBB website to save on few bucks even after bank charges the currency conversion + some markup charges.

aplopez
aplopez
8 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2016 - 1:42 PM in reply to Arno

Hello Arno and Annika,

My wife and I will be in Switzerland from 30 June until 9 July. We are staying in Zurich until 2 July then taking train to Wengen, where we will be for one week, then will take train to Rome, Italy and will return by train to Zurich 14 July to take flight back to USA 15 July. My question is whether the Swiss Travel Pass would make the most sense for us, given our itinerary. We will be sightseeing in Zurich, and then in Wengen area mostly hiking or taking train or other transport into the mountains. I am considering this first class pass for 8 days or 10 days, given the discount. .

I would appreciate your recommendations based on our itinerary, since we are not in Switzerland just to travel around the country.

Thank you

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 4:36 PM in reply to aplopez

Hi draplopez, welcome to MySwissAlps!

It's a bit hard to say whether the Swiss Travel Pass is the best choice, as that depends on the exact day trip you plan to make. If it's just short cable car and train trips from Wengen, a local pass or Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi might work better, and 1st class is less of a necessity. If you travel longer distances, and also include boat trips for example, it might be a good fit. Please see here for how to find out. Note that there is no Swiss Travel Pass for 10 days. All details are here: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass.

If you have more questions about the passes, please open a new thread. For questions about the promotion, feel free to post here.

sumsum
sumsum
15 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2016 - 6:05 AM in reply to Annika

HI,

I tried to purchase for 2 and first travel date on 31 Mar. but they showed that my code isn't vaildate. Am I eligible to use this offer?

Thanks

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2016 - 8:01 AM in reply to sumsum

Hi sumsum,

Please double check if you tried on www.raileurope.com/rai l-tickets-passes/swiss-pass/index.html (not another website), and picked the 1st class print at home pass (e-pass). Not 2nd class, not physical delivery. Then it should work (at least it did on March 12).

Last modified on Mar 14, 2016 - 8:43 AM by Annika
sumsum
sumsum
15 posts
new member
Mar 16, 2016 - 8:15 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno

I have successfully purchased 2 X 4 days pass with 30% discount (total USD588)

Regards,

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2016 - 9:07 AM in reply to sumsum

Great, enjoy your travels!

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