Around Switzerland via STP Flex and SBB mobile app

Around Switzerland via STP Flex and SBB mobile app

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rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 25, 2017 - 4:53 AM

Hello at MySwissAlps

Well, we made it to Switzerland and are now in Lugano on the 6th day of our journey.

This message is coming to you from my iPad tethered to a hotspot on my mobile phone with Salt pre-pay SIM. Unlimited 4G full-speed ((upto 45 Mbps) data at CHF 2 per day is an unbeatable deal.

Also I have been able to confirm that a Class upgrade, when using a 2nd class STP, purchased via the SBB mobile app works fine. We just showed the upgrade barcode on the mobile on both the Glacier and Bernina Express. No problem.

This thread www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/how-to-buy-a-class-upgrade-in-the-sbb-mobile-app says . . . .

Important: this procedure does NOT apply to Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) holders. They can buy upgrades and only pay half the difference between 2nd and 1st class, but this has to be purchased from a staffed service desk.

I think you can safely remove that proviso Alpenrose666. ;-)

Enjoying our trip greatly. The weather is perfect and everything has gone smoothly so far and I put this down to all the knowledge I gained from this forum during the planning stage. Trip report to follow when we have time.

Arno
Arno
9360 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2017 - 8:15 AM

Great to hear everything is working fine for you Rockoyster, and thanks for taking the time to report back here! I was just wondering if you paid the right amount for those class upgrades? Did you actually select Swiss Travel Pass in the app or did you select something else? What did you pay for which exact route?

RadBas
RadBas
25 posts
new member
May 25, 2017 - 9:08 AM in reply to rockoyster

hi,

Would you be able to let me know where I can buy this Sim card - Salt pre-pay SIM. Unlimited 4G full-speed ((upto 45 Mbps) data at CHF 2 per day. Is this available in Zurich airport? Can we order online and pick the sim card from Zurich airport?

Thanks

Arno
Arno
9360 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2017 - 12:23 PM in reply to RadBas
rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 25, 2017 - 2:02 PM in reply to RadBas

Hi RadBas,

You can only buy a Salt pre-pay at a Salt store.

There is a Salt Store at Zurich Airport -

Salt Store - Shopping Centre Landside, Postfach 2433, 8058 Zürich-Flughafen

Open Monday - Sunday 08:00 - 21:00. See here for map www.salt.ch/en/store-locator/?search=Zurich

You can find location of other Salt stores here www.salt.ch/en/store-locator (You can't buy the SIM at their partner outlets unfortunately)

You pay CHF 10 for the SIM and it comes with CHF 20 credit. Hard to believe I know. Every day you use data they charge you CHF 2 so the initial CHF 10 purchase gives you 10 days internet access (providing you don't use up credits on phone calls and SMS).

You can find out detail of the offer at shop.salt.ch/en/plans/ prepay/ (you need to cancel the 50% discount pop-up to see the real deal).

The only problem I had was getting the hotspot to work. I have a Dual SIM phone. My Telstra (Australian) SIM was in slot 1 and the Salt SIM in slot 2. I could connect to the hotspot on my phone but no internet connection on the connected iPad. I swapped the SIMs over and the tethering problem is fixed.

Today I was in Locarno and this is the only place I have experienced poor (3G-only) signal.

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 25, 2017 - 2:08 PM in reply to RadBas

Hi Arno,

Yes, I paid the correct upgrade price, half the difference between 1st and 2nd class fares.

You just set the passengers to be travelling with a half-fare card to get the correct price.

I had emails from both RHB and SBB confirming I could use this method, which I carried with me as backup in case I ran into a problem with the inspector.

Arno
Arno
9360 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2017 - 2:32 PM

Thanks for confirming that!

Jayy123
Jayy123
75 posts
active member
May 25, 2017 - 8:06 PM in reply to rockoyster

The salt SIM card seems to be a great deal! Thanks for sharing the information, rockoyster! 👍🙌 But will this SIM help one with hotspot connections? Let's say there are 4 us of us, and 1 person buys it (coz I'm sure we won't use internet that often, but just in case we do), can that be used as a hotspot for the remaining three easily? Or is it a weak connection? Just wanted to know the precise hotspot experience.

Also, the SIM costs chf 10 and that gives you 20chf credit (that suffices 10 days considering 2 chf per day using the credit) so the total cost is 30chf for 10 days. What'd be the deal for more than 10 days? Like 13 days? Do we simply have to pay 6 chf more for the 3 day credit?

Thanks in advance for any help you provide!

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 26, 2017 - 4:50 AM

Hi Jayy3,

The first 10 days costs CHF 10. Each day you use data reduces the initial CHF 20 credit by CHF 2.

I am in Switzerland for 3 weeks so I bought the card plus a CHF 20 recharge giving me CHF 40 credit in total and therefore 20 days usage. Total cost CHF 30.

Every hotel we have stayed has had reasonable wifi but this is much more convenient AND secure. Great for looking up directions when you get lost in a city.

My wife and I have an iPad each. There is no noticeable difference in performance when both using the hotspot.

Last modified on May 26, 2017 - 4:51 AM by rockoyster
Jayy123
Jayy123
75 posts
active member
May 26, 2017 - 4:53 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you so much, rockoyster ! 👍

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 26, 2017 - 11:30 AM

Last night I had a couple of mis-steps with the SBB mobile app. I was trying to buy a class upgrade for the Gotthard Panorama Express. I couldn't find the upgrade option for the full trip so I thought I will get an upgrade for the Bellinzona - Fluelen leg. Did that but then realised I was a day out. So then I tried again with the correct date and that worked OK.

Then I went to upgrade for the Fluelen - Luzern boat leg but couldn't find the correct departure time.

At this point I decided I needed expert assistance so this morning I went to the Lugano SBB ticket office. A charming young lady with perfect English sold me the correct ticket and processed a refund for my previous purchases including the one with the wrong date.

I am in awe of the Swiss rail system.

Lucas
Lucas
2464 posts
top member &
moderator
May 26, 2017 - 4:05 PM in reply to rockoyster

It is their thing here ;) trains and chocolate!

globetrotter
globetrotter
11 posts
new member
May 27, 2017 - 3:34 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hey rockoyster thanks a lot for sharing some amazing information especially the salt sim we are going to be Switzerland for 15 days can I get a recharge of 10 francs that will suffice for total 15 days thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 27, 2017 - 3:54 PM

Hi Globetrotter,

Glad you found the info useful.

I'm not sure what the minimum recharge amount is but just check when you buy your SIM. I found the Salt staff super helpful.

globetrotter
globetrotter
11 posts
new member
May 27, 2017 - 4:09 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks a ton

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
May 29, 2017 - 4:47 PM

So we've arrived in Luzern last evening via the Gotthard Panorama. The Salt SIM is cracking 4 bars on 4G out in the street but in our hotel the reception is very flaky. Fortunately the hotel wifi is first rate and I have a subscription to a VPN service (VPN UNlimited) for added security.

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
Jun 4, 2017 - 1:24 PM

We are now in Konstanz for a few days. As we are staying just a few 100 meters over the border I thought the Salt SIM would still connect to Salt. It seems to want to switch fairly randomly between Telecom.de and Salt. Was fine today when we went to Rhine Falls via Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen.

Lucas
Lucas
2464 posts
top member &
moderator
Jun 4, 2017 - 3:32 PM in reply to rockoyster

Yes, gets a little tricky on the border regions! I'm with Salt on a normal contract and my phone is on airplane mode whenever traveling until I cross the border into Switzerland - to be safe!

Debra
Debra
52 posts
active member
Jun 5, 2017 - 2:31 PM

Hi Rockoyster, I have an iphone 7 and cannot find any information about using it with the salt sim. The salt site lists functions that I don't have on my phone (for example carrier and mobile data, but I suspect that one is what my setting calls cellular). AT&T can't say whether my phone is locked or unlocked so I don't know if I can even use this sim. Do you know of anyone with a US iphone who has used the salt sim? I have spent hours trying to find out info. Thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
504 posts
top member
Jun 5, 2017 - 4:33 PM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra,

The only thing that would prevent you from using the Salt SIM would be if your phone is locked to your US provider or if you want to keep your US phone number active. Only they can tell you if your phone is locked. In Australia you can get a phone unlocked for a fee. If you need to pay a fee then you would need to weigh up how that affects the economics of the Salt deal.

I have a dual SIM phone so I only used Salt for data and still had my Australian SIM active for voice and SMS.

iPhone refers to mobile data as cellular data. Salt are very responsive if you email them your questions. They usually respond in 24 hours. The guy in the Salt shop in Basel set up my phone for me.

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