Swiss half fare card Milan/Lucerne

Swiss half fare card Milan/Lucerne

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Oct 8, 2012 - 12:08 PM
Hi,

My family of 5 (including 18,17 & 14 yr kids) are planning a short trip to Lucerne in Dec. We will be coming in by train from Milan and will leave via Zurich airport.

Our primary interest in Lucerne is 2 separate day trips to Jungfrau and Mt Titlis. I understand it is not time wise to do day trip to Jungfrau from Lucerne and both trips are subject to weather. However I am only doing my cost evaluation at the moment.

Based on the 2 day trips, I estimate that it is worthwhile for us to buy the swiss half fare card (chf 110 x 4 plus chf 30 for 1 junior card) as the train fares for the following routes are half :

1) Milan to Lucerne 1 way sbb train (I am not sure if applicable)
2) Lucerne to Jungfrau roundtrip (should be Yes ?)
3) Lucerne to Mt Titlis roundtrip (not sure if applicable to the 1 day ski pass)
4) Lucerne to Zurich 1 way sbb train (should be Yes ?)

In addition, pls let me know if I can buy the swiss half fare card at Milan so as to enjoy half fare for Milan/Lucerne train leg.

Thank you so much in advance !
Arno
Arno
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Oct 8, 2012 - 1:36 PM
Hi shuens,

The trips are indeed half price, except the leg Milan - Chiasso on your way to Lucerne, as that's in Italy. A map can be downloaded from the Swiss Half Fare Card-page. That page also lists all points of sale I am aware of; I don't know any in Milan. You don't need a Junior Card; the free Swiss Family Card is sufficient to allow your 14 year old to travel along for free.
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Oct 15, 2012 - 6:05 AM
Hi Arno,

Thank you for your earlier reply, it is clear now the swiss half fare card is cost effective for my family based on the above itinerary.

The only question left is where do I buy the swiss half fare card on my journey from milan to lucerne.

Should I buy the swiss half fare card along with the appropriate train ticket at Chiasso or Arth-Goldau for the switzerland leg ? (I will be buying Milan to either one of these point from trenitalia advance booking)

Thank you once again for your kind help as I am trying to avoid buying swiss half fare card online and ship to my country.
Arno
Arno
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Oct 15, 2012 - 6:22 AM
Hi shuens,

Having the Swiss Half Fare Card and Swiss Family Card shipped to your home address would be the easiest option. There's also the option to order through swissrailways.com and have the card delivered to any address in Switzerland or Italy (e.g. your hotel). That would cost CHF 6 for Switzerland or CHF 20.50 for Italy. The only other option I know of is get off the train in Chiasso to get the card there to enjoy the full discount for the Swiss leg. But that means you have to wait for the next train. The train ticket itself does not have to be purchased at the same time, but you should posses both when you board the train.

I hope this helps!
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Oct 16, 2012 - 5:14 AM
Hi Arno,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply ! I need your confirmation on my following cost research and that option 2 is the cheapest !

Assuming I have ordered and received the swiss half fare card,

1) Buy Milan to Lucerne SBB ticket when I arrive in Milan train station (SBB: chf 23 for Milan to Arth-Goldau and chf 6 for Arth-Goldau to Lucerne half fare rate)

2) Book advance Trenitalia ticket for Milan to Arth-Goldau from home (Trenitalia : Euro 14.20 for GA switzerland 2 as I have swiss half fare card) and
arrive at Arth-Goldau and buy SBB ticket for Arth-Goldau to Lucerne (SBB: chf 6.10 for swiss half fare rate)

3) Book advance Trenitalia ticket for Milan to Chiasso from home (Trenitalia : Euro 9 for super economy rate) and
arrive in Chiasso and buy SBB ticket for Chiasso to Lucerne (SBB: chf 30.50 for swiss half fare rate)

I do understand that both options 2 & 3 will have later arrival time in Lucerne than option 1.

Appreciate your input on the above !!!
Arno
Arno
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Oct 16, 2012 - 5:57 AM
Hi shuens,

I don't know what exactly Trenitalia is offering. Tickets to Arth-Goldau are not required if you're traveling to Lucerne that same day. Please note that "GA" means Generalabonnement, which is any pass that offers free traveling. You won't be entitled to that with a Swiss Half Fare Card. A Swiss Pass would be one of the passes that qualifies as a "GA". All you need with a Swiss Half Fare Card is a ticket Milan - Lucerne with the Swiss leg being half the fare. If you don't mind to spend extra time in Chiasso, then you can split it and buy a ticket Milan-Chiasso in Milan, and the Swiss Half Fare Card plus the discounted ticket Chiasso-Lucerne in Chiasso (your option 3). If the exact traveling time is not important to you, you may be able to save even more with the Supersaver Tickets (these tickets are for specific trains only, and will be available from a few weeks before the trip).
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Oct 16, 2012 - 8:58 AM
Hi Arno,

Thanks a million for pointing out my error. With your clarification, option 1 now looks the cheapest and at the same time most time convenient option !

Can you advise if I can request for the free swiss family card to mail together with my order of 4 swiss half fare card or I can only get my free swiss family card when I arrive in Switzerland ?

I guess I will have to show my swiss family card when I purchase the SBB ticket for Milan/Lucerne over at Milan train station for my 14 yr old child. (Her ticket should probably be exactly the same as adult at chf 23+6 under option 1 ?)

Thank you for your kind patience !!!
Arno
Arno
7312 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:07 AM
Hi shuens,

Yes, swissrailways.com allows you to order both the Swiss Half Fare Card and the Swiss Family Card. Once you have those, you don't need any ticket for your 14-year old in Switzerland. You just need some proof (e.g. passports) that you're the child's parent.

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