Swiss Half Fare Card activation & usage

Swiss Half Fare Card activation & usage

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Posts: 8. This thread is closed.
NehaY
NehaY
8 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2016 - 9:01 AM

Hi,

I will be in Switzerland from May 15-22 and have the following questions regarding Swiss Half Fare Card (valid one month) and more:

A. I reach/enter Basel on a Sunday (May-15) at 1447 hours (ICE 105) nd there is a direct train to Lucerne (my actual destination in Switzerland) at 1517 hours from Platform 15 which I want to take -

  1. Do you think this time interval of ~25 minutes is sufficient to get my travel card activated and also go from one platform to another? The next direct train to Lucerne is after more than an hour and I want to avoid waiting so much to get to my destination.
  2. And do we really need to get the card activated physically in Basel by someone?
  3. If yes, then would you be able to suggest the fastest option of doing that on a sunday?

B. Can I use this pass to avail the 50% discount even before the card is activated (during the one month valid duration)? Like I want to use it now to purchase a Basel -> Lucerne ticket for May 15 (I am also getting additional 50% extra discount on SBB.ch)

Thanks!

Neha

NehaY
NehaY
8 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2016 - 9:06 AM in reply to NehaY

Just to clarify - by activated I meant validated

NehaY
NehaY
8 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2016 - 9:15 AM in reply to NehaY

I read in the Swiss Half Fare Card resellers section that pass validation can be done in any international train bound for Switzerland - I believe this means I can get my pass validated when I board the train to Basel from Amsterdam, is that correct?

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 15, 2016 - 10:28 AM

Hi Neha,

Validation through railway staff is only required if you don't print your pass at home or if you receive a physical pass through the mail with an empty area that needs to be stamped. It explained on myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard/howt ouse. I would recommend the print at home option. It's the easiest and quickest way. Your Swiss Half Fare Card will be valid from the date printed on the pass. There's nothing else you need to do.

You can go to the SBB webshop at www.swissrailways.com/ en and select the "Online Ticket" option when they ask about your preferred delivery option. You'll receive the e-mail with the card in 1 to 3 working days.

You can buy a discounted ticket for a particular day even before you have the Swiss Half Fare Card, but the Swiss Half Fare Card must be valid once you board the train. With 25 minutes to change trains, you have plenty of time to buy your ticket from one of the machines in Basel.

By the way, you can edit your posts, as long as you do so within an hour. Good to know perhaps :-)

franfran
franfran
6 posts
new member
May 4, 2016 - 12:49 PM

Hi

I was reading the post and have a similar question. As you have explained earlier, we can buy a discounted ticket before we have the swiss half fare card but it must be valid at that point in time. I tried to book a train from Basel to Intelaken Ost via www.sbb.ch . When it comes to the details of the passenger page, it has a few option list under "Reduction", and one of them is the "Half fare travelcard". Is this the same as the "swiss half fare card"?

And also, it seems to me that the swiss half fare card is better (cheaper) than the swiss travel card. I will be staying at Wengen area for 4 nights before travelling to Milan. My intention is to hand around Wengen area and go to places like the Jungfrau the top of Europe, Kleine Scheidegg etc. Correct me if I'm wrong

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
May 4, 2016 - 2:16 PM

Hi franfran, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

The "Half fare travelcard" is nearly the same thing as the Swiss Half Fare Card. It's the one year version for Swiss citizens. You can pick the option for tickets within Switzerland. For international journeys things are different sometimes. Note that it's not necessary to book tickets in advance. Trains do not book out so you can also get a ticket from the machines a few minutes before departure.

There is no product called swiss travel card. Do you mean the Swiss Travel Pass? One can't say one product is cheaper than the other as it depends on your travel plans. The Swiss Half Fare Card provides 50% off on nearly all transportation. The Swiss Travel Pass includes free traveling, free museums, 50% off mountain transport (some exceptions apply: Jungfraujoch 25% off, Rigi is free, Schynige Platte and Mürren are free). A Swiss Half Fare Card would work out too expensive for some itineraries, but will be the better deal for others. It's a matter of doing the math as explained here.

Please see here for what's included:

Last modified on May 4, 2016 - 2:18 PM by Arno
franfran
franfran
6 posts
new member
May 5, 2016 - 2:45 PM in reply to Arno

Noted and thanks for your response

My concern is that I will be travelling from Paris to Interlaken via Basel. I will have to book the train ticket from Paris to Basel and then separately book the ticket from Basel to Interlaken using the Swiss Half Fare card. Are you saying that the train from Basel to Interlaken normally wont get book out? I'm just afraid that I might not be able to board the train just right after I reach Basel and I have to wait for the next available train.

Apologies, yes I'm referring to the Swiss Travel Pass.

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2016 - 4:16 PM in reply to franfran

Hi franfran,

These train don't book out. Even if all seats are taken (quite rare unless it's rush hour) you can still board. No worries!

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