Confused about route coverage of Swiss Pass

Confused about route coverage of Swiss Pass

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Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
ashmc
ashmc
11 posts
new member
Aug 5, 2015 - 3:44 PM

Hello, all. I hate to ask another rail question, but I promise I have really tried to figure this one out on my own. Rail Europe has confused me! I was getting ready to do the summer promotion for an 8 day Swiss Pass for my husband and myself. I ran the numbers and although the pass might be about $100 more total, the convenience of it is worth something to me, so I was willing to pay it. I started a chat with Rail Europe to ensure it was what we needed and she told me that the gondola/cable cars from Lauterbrunnen to Murren and the rails from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen are not included. She said I could purchase those tickets at a 50% discount with the pass, but they are not free anymore.

When we were there two years ago, we used our passes countless times to hop on and off. We stay in Murren, so finding out that the passes won't give us free travel each time we go to/from Murren is quite shocking. We used both the Winteregg and Grutschalp cable cars to come up from Lauterbrunnen and then we went to Wengen twice. Is she correct in this new fee? Does anyone know if something has changed in regard to validity of passes on the cable cars and small trains in and around Murren & Wengen? I am hopeful she misunderstood me and thought I was trying to get to Schilthorn or something, but she was adamant. Thanks so much for your help!

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 5, 2015 - 7:11 PM

Hi ashmc,

You can ask any question you want! I'm afraid you got incorrect information from Rail Europe. The cable cars and trains to Mürren and the trains to Wengen are absolutely free with a Swiss Travel Pass. You can verify by downloading the map and zooming in on that area. I'm not sure what caused the confusion. Perhaps she was talking about Eurail Passes, which indeed do not cover this for free. The Swiss Travel Pass does cover this, no worries.

I'm not 100% sure which promotion you mean, is it the one at www.raileurope-world.com/deals/great-deals-to-tour-Europe? That's a good deal indeed, and you can take advantage of it until August 26.

Note that the pass is called Swiss Travel Pass. Swiss Pass is something entirely different, see here.

I hope this helps you out!

Last modified on Aug 5, 2015 - 7:12 PM by Arno
ashmc
ashmc
11 posts
new member
Aug 5, 2015 - 7:51 PM

Thank you so much! Yes, that is the link I have used to look at pass prices. I bet you are right. I bet she thought I was referring to the Europe Pass. Regardless of why, she sure had me confused!!!

While I have you, I will ask one more question regarding the Swiss Travel passes :-) I think the 4 day within 1 month pass makes the most sense for us and then we can buy the ticket to get out of Murren on our last day if we have used all 4 of our days (those tickets are one way and only $20 each). Even with buying our one way out of Murren on the last day, it saves about $100 over the 8 day pass and breaks even with the point to point tickets I would expect to purchase. We arrive in Switzerland early on a Friday and depart the following Wednesday andd I thought the 4 days in 1 month pass would give us some flexibility with our plans in the event the weather didn't cooperate with us the entire time.

Do you see any gaps in my logic? Are there any tricks or differences in the Swiss Travel Pass for 4 days in one month as opposed to a consecutive day pass? If we activate the pass on Friday at 9am, I assume until 8:59am Saturday would be day #1, then the next time we use it would restart another 24 hour clock to count as day 2, etc. Am I thinking of that correctly or have I misunderstood?

Again, many thanks for your response. It was beyond helpful!

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 5, 2015 - 8:13 PM

You're welcome! Just to be sure: what's your destination when you leave Murren on your last day, and what's your country of residence?

ashmc
ashmc
11 posts
new member
Aug 5, 2015 - 9:20 PM

Our country of residence is the US. We are leaving Murren for Interlaken...picking up a rental car there and driving to Chamonix, France. The car will be returned to the Swiss side of the airport when we fly home from Geneva a few days later. While in Murren we plan to hike on both side of the valley. We missed out on hiking around the First area 2 years ago, so that is definitely on our list.

Does that help?

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 6, 2015 - 3:10 PM

Hi ashmc,

Thanks for the additional information. You're doing your "homework" pretty good, but there are a few gaps:

  • I see why you're considering the 4-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex. It would indeed work for you, provided that you realize you won't get any discounts on tickets during the 2 remaining days of your 6 -day trip. The pass costs € 233 per person. A 8-day consecutive pass (Swiss Travel Pass) costs € 295, so that's a difference of only € 62 or about $ 67. You can find these prices on www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-pass.
  • That difference could be worth it, as the 8-day pass would give you the freedom of visiting Bern or doing a boat trip for free on a bad weather day. Also you could consider this for your last day: take the Golden Pass line to Montreux and hire a car there instead of in Interlaken. It's a very nice route to finalize your stay in Switzerland. Alternatively you could continue by train to Geneva or Martigny if it makes more sense to hire a car there to reach Chamonix.
  • The difference between the two passes is actually even less if you order before August 26: you would get a € 10 discount on the Swiss Travel Pass Flex order, or a € 25 discount on the Swiss Travel Pass order. Please see www.raileurope-world.com/deals/great-deals-to-tour-Europe.
  • Both passes offer the exact same advantages. The only difference is that the Swiss Travel Pass Flex only offers them on the days you choose. How these days are defined is explained on myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpassflex/ howtouse. They're not 24 hour blocks, but calendar days.

I hope this was useful!

Last modified on Aug 6, 2015 - 3:12 PM by Arno
ashmc
ashmc
11 posts
new member
Aug 6, 2015 - 3:39 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you, Arno! This is VERY useful. In explaining our options to my husband last night (and making my spreadsheet with all of my notes), I realized the 8 day pass was likely the safest, less "agenda-like" option. We like freedom with our schedule on vacation to account for changes in weather or simply changes in our mood, so I think limiting ourselves to 4 days of travel would stress me out. The 8 day pass it is!

We have actually already rented the car in Interlaken based on some advice from folks on TripAdvisor who have done the journey several times. It seems like the shortest route, but I may have to look further into the rentals in the other cities, just to see if that is possible.

Thank you so much!

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