What's covered in the Swiss 4-day Flexi Pass?

What's covered in the Swiss 4-day Flexi Pass?

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billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2016 - 6:16 PM

We are a group of six who will be taking round-trip trains from Champex to Zermatt in mid-July 2016. Does Swiss 4-day Flexi Pass cover full fare or half fare for this trip? We have the same questions for subsequent trains from Geneva to Montreux, Golden Pass from Montreux to Luzern, and then Luzern to Zurich and on Innsbruck?

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 8:00 PM

Hi billw, welcome to MySwissAlps!

Please see the map on www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex/vali dity for what's covered in the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. Austria is not included; the pass is only for Switzerland.

Last modified on Mar 13, 2016 - 8:00 PM by Arno
billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2016 - 9:06 PM in reply to Arno

We know that the Swiss Flexi Pass is not valid when we leave Switzerland to Inssbruck. What about the other trip segments, particularly Champex/Zermatt?

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2016 - 9:53 PM in reply to billw

Hi billw,

The rest is all covered. Didn't the map work for you?

billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2016 - 2:16 PM in reply to Arno

When I tried the SBB Ticket Shop for a hypothetical trip in March (since July cannot be booked yet), only a half-fare discount choice was shown for Champex/Zermatt, not full fare coverage through use of a Flexi Pass. Since we are only using trains for four days for the travel outlined in my original post, we are trying to understand whether expensive 4-day Flexi Pass or inexpensive Half Fare Pass would be best choice? Thanks for your assistance.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2016 - 2:50 PM

Hi billw,

You don't need any tickets if you choose the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. Just board any train with your pass. You do need tickets if you prefer the Swiss Half Fare Card, but booking in advance is not required. Buying a ticket on the day works just fine. You don't need the SBB site, except for checking train schedules.

I would assume a Swiss Half Fare Card works out cheaper, but you need to do the math to be sure. The below pages help you out:

Regarding the transfer to Innsbruck: it's recommended to book that in advance so you will have a seat reservation for the train from Zurich to Austria: myswissalps.com/ traintickets/ austria.

billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 16, 2016 - 4:55 PM in reply to Arno

So we would not need to worry about space for the round-trip Champex to/from Zermatt without advance tickets in mid-July?

We are also looking at alternatives from Lucerne instead of going through Zurich and Innsbruck. The route that interests us is from either Lucerne or Arth through Goschenen/Andermatt/Disentis to St. Moritz. Would all of this route be covered by a Swiss Flexi Pass? If not, which sections aren't covered (I've seen contradictory posts) and what would fares be for those? Would we need reservations for some or all of this route? I'm finding it very hard to find fares for this route and thus hard to compare Flexi Pass vs Half Fare Pass. Thanks

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 17, 2016 - 7:02 AM

Hi billw,

People do not book seats in Switzerland, apart from a few tourist trains like the Glacier Express. The trains are more like a subway system: you'll either have a pass or a ticket and get on board. If you miss the train you take the next one. Booking seats is not even possible for most trains/buses from Champex to Zermatt. Trains can be crowded, but's it's rare when there are no seats available at all.

The wonderful route you suggested from Lucerne to St. Moritz is covered too (see the link in my first post). No need to book seats either, except if you prefer to take the actual Glacier Express from Andermatt to St. Moritz: myswissalps.com/ glacierexpress/ tickets. That could be an option as it's a direct train, so a bit more comfortable than the local trains with at least one change. Schedules are in the timetable.

The first link in my previous post explains in detail how to compare the overall costs of various passes. It also has a spreadsheet to help you.

billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 17, 2016 - 2:07 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks for your response.

1) Our understanding is that Glacier Express leaves from Andermatt at 10:54 am, 11:54 am and 12:54 am to St. Moritz at 16:03, 17:03, and 18:03, respectively. So these would be direct trains without transfers and only Glacier Express supplement of 33 CHF/person if we had Swiss Flexi Passes?

2) Best connection from Vitznau to Andermatt looks to be train NFB2 from Vitznau at 8:34 am through Brunnen & Goschenen to Andermatt at 10:04 am. Explored possibility of boat across Lake Lucerne to Fluelen with connections to Andermatt but these schedules don't seem to connect well to Glacier Express.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 17, 2016 - 2:32 PM in reply to billw

Hi billw,

1) Yes, that's correct.

2) NFB2 is a bus as there are no trains from Vitznau to Brunnen. Apart from that option you can take the 9:10 boat to Flüelen, arrival at 10:55. Then change to the 11:14 train to Göschenen and change to Andermatt where you'll arrive at 12:04. I checked for a random date in July so please double check this for your date.

billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2016 - 7:44 PM

Your responses and links provided have been very helpful. We will probably purchase either 4-day Flexi Pass or 4 day Flexi Pass Combi with Half Fare Pass as we will be using trains for four non-contiguous days, with possibility of another day or two of brief use. A couple additional questions & clarifications.

1) Is there any difference in fares between Flexi vs Combi Pass for private trains between Champex and Zermatt and taking the Gornergrat (with advanced ticketing not needed)?

2) When we complete Mont Blanc hike several days later, we are debating whether to overnight in Les Hoches, Geneva or Montreux. There appear to trains hourly between 4-7 pm with about 3 hrs travel time to Montreux with Swiss Passes not valid from Les Hoches or Chamonix or on Mont Express train with discounting only from Swiss border or from Martigny? What are these fares without using any Swiss Pass vs Flexi Pass vs Combi Pass?

3) Based on your previous responses, Flexi Pass fully covers fares on Golden Pass train (with reserved seats purchased separately), boat on Lake Lucerne to Vitznau + train up & down Mt. Rigi, and connections from Vitznau to Andermatt + Glacier Express to St. Moritz (+ Glacier Express supplement fees at about $34/person)?

Thanks

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 20, 2016 - 9:10 AM in reply to billw

Hi billw,

You'd best study the Swiss Travel Pass Flex validity map for details. To get you started:

1) That depends on whether or not you use a free travel day of your Swiss Travel Pass Flex (Combi). To summarize:

  • with a free travel day: Zermatt-Champex for free, Zermatt-Gornergrat 50% discounted
  • without a free travel day on a Swiss Travel Pass Flex: full fares for all journeys
  • without a free travel day on a Swiss Travel Pass Flexi Combi: Zermatt-Champex and Zermatt-Gornergrat both 50% discounted

2) It gets bit complicated here. Les Houches (I think that's what you mean, rather than Les Hoches?) to Chamonix isn't included, so full fares apply there in all cases. Chamonix-Martigny is for free on a free travel day of your Swiss Travel Pass Flex. If you get the Combi variant though and use one of the 50% discounted days for this trip, Chamonix-Martigny is excluded from this 50% discount. Sometimes such strange differences occur, due to arrangements made with local/regional transport companies. Full fare prices for all trips can be found in the Swiss timetable.

3) Yes, assuming you'll be using free travel days, all trips you mention are fully covered apart from reservation fees.

billw
billw
13 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2016 - 6:23 PM in reply to Annika

The Swiss timetables link provided for Chamonix-Montreux via Martigny aborts after listing train schedules but without providing ticket prices. Similar results using other sources. The date we would travel would be July 17, but I've also tried nearer-term dates in March or April without success.

The information provided and the Swiss rail map link have been helpful. However, the scale and quality of graphics for the Swiss rail map make it difficult to read for some routes, either on a computer screen or in hard copy.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 20, 2016 - 6:42 PM in reply to billw

That's true indeed, it does not provide prices for some routes that are not in Switzerland. I don't know that fare either.

Please note that you can zoom in on the map. Perhaps you already did but it helps me a lot in some cases.

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