Swiss Half Fare Card vs Jungfrau Travel Pass

Swiss Half Fare Card vs Jungfrau Travel Pass

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Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 3, 2016 - 3:02 PM

Hello,

I will be travelling in late August-early September to Wengen. Given below is a brief overview of the final plan, prepared with all your help. I looked at both the Swiss Half Fare Card and Jungfrau Travel Pass and would like your help again to identify the best pass based on my routes/ modes of transport:

- travel by train from Zurich to Wengen

- Wengen > Cable car to Männlichen> train to Grindelwald > back to wengen by train

- Cable car from Grindelwald to First Flyer > First Flyer to Schreckfeld and trotti bike ride > cable car to Grindelwald> train to Wengen

- wengen to Brienz by train > cogwheen train to Brienz Rothern and back > Lake Brienz cruise > Interlaken Ost to Wengen by train

- Almend to KlineScheidegg by train > Wengernalp to Wengen by train

- Wengen to Lauterbrunnen by train > post bus to Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen > train to Wengen

- Wengen to Lauterbrunnen by train >cable car to Grütschalp > narrow gauge train to Mürren> back to Wenegn by train

- Wengen to Rome by train via Lauterbrunnen etc

I have looked at the relevant passes and the routes which they cover. But, would like to have your first hand experience too.

Thank you.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 4, 2016 - 7:38 AM

Hi Traveller3,

Some of the options have been discussed in your previous threads, e.g. here. Good that you've been comparing the options now. Have you been making calculations as well, as suggested earlier? And if so, what's the outcome? In fact that's the only way to tell for sure which pass is best.

Here are some considerations other than the economical factor. The Swiss Half Fare Card will for sure work. You'll only need additional full fare tickets from Domodossola to Venice www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy. Do keep in mind that you'll have to buy 50% discounted tickets for each and every trip.

The upside of the Jungfrau Travel Pass is that it allows free traveling on quite some of the routes you've described, so that's more convenient. However, it doesn't cover all rides (e.g. the Brienzer Rothorn) and it does keep you bound to a specific and small area. If weather or other circumstances force you to change your plans and visit other regions, that may be a disadvantage. You'll need additional full fare tickets for your inbound and outbound trips.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 4, 2016 - 5:40 PM

Hi Annika,

Thanks for your reply.

The estimated cost comes to 670 CHF with the first flyer package. I couldn't figure out certain specific train station names, so like Grindelwald as opposed to Grindelwald Ground etc, so thought of sorting that out when I'm actually in Wengen.

Im a first time traveller to Europe. So the information about the various travel passes is quite overwhelming. As such I focused on only the above 2 types of passes.

Please let me know if in addition to the Swiss Half Fare, Jungfrau travel pass, regional Bernese Oberland and the swiss travel pass combi, are there any other passes which I should be looking at, based on my route?

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 5, 2016 - 7:59 AM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

I would not add more passes to your research. I'm sure you'll find a good pass after comparing the ones you mentioned, plus taking into account Annika's tips. I would probably even omit the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi (that's the last one in your list, right?), as it proves to be too expensive in many cases. But the math will reveal that.

Last modified on Aug 5, 2016 - 8:01 AM by Arno
Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 5, 2016 - 11:28 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks. I haven't looked at the combi pass yet. Time is running out, so getting quite worried!

1. On the SBB website, when you click on fare/purchase, are they referring to the Swiss Half Fare card under "Reduction"?

2. Also, if I purchase the Zurich to Wengen train ticket in advance and miss the particular train, can I use that same ticket for the next train?

Thanks.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 5, 2016 - 11:51 AM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

1. You should select "No reduction" there to compare regular prices. This step is explained in the calculation link Annika gave you. The SBB site is geared to Swiss residents so it does not list tourist passes there. They do list the slightly different 1-year Half-Fare travelcard for residents, but that's not relevant to you.

2. You don't need to purchase in advance. If you do, the ticket is valid all day. It is convenient to buy the Swiss Half Fare Card in advance: you can visit the SBB tourist web shop at www.swissrailways.com/ en. After filling out your address, they will show the delivery options. Pick "Online Ticket" from the bottom of the list. They will e-mail the card within 1 to 3 business days (no delivery fees), so you can print it at home. With the card in hand, you can prevent waiting time at the staffed ticket office and get a ticket straight from the machines. If you prefer to buy that particular ticket (to Wengen) online, you can pick the "Half-Fare travelcard" as it provides the same discount as the tourist version.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 5, 2016 - 2:02 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks so much. I did check the calculation link, but got confused and did a manual calculation :)

I am determined to finalise the decision on the correct pass within the next couple of days. Might need to bother you for advice again.

Thank you for your help.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 9, 2016 - 3:46 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Appreciate if you can help me with the following:

1. If I were to purchase the Wengen to Rome ticket on-line using the Swiss half fare card, how can I find out the cost of the ticket, as the reduction option is not displayed for Swiss half fare? According to SBB, the entire trip will cost 198 CHF. I need to figure out the cost for the Italian leg, which I presume starts from Domodossola and ends in Rome?

2. If I were to purchase the Jungfrau pass, Annika has said that I will need to purchase "additional full fare tickets for your inbound and outbound trips - does this mean, tickets from Zurich to Wengen and Wengen to Rome at full cost?

3. if I were to purchase the Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi, my understanding is that it will cover the Zurich to Wengen trip. What about the trip from Wengen to Rome? Does it cover only Wengen to Domodossola?

4. Are all swiss train tickets flexible? Meaning are the tickets valid for anytime during a particular day, even if you miss a particular train? I know you have answered this in relation to Zurich to Wengen.

Thanks a lot.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 9, 2016 - 4:15 PM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

1. The one year Half fare travelcard for Swiss residents should be displayed; it grants the same discount for trips within Switzerland. There could be a difference for international journeys, but not for Italy as far as I know. However, you only need to pre-purchase a ticket from Domodossola to Rome: myswissalps.com/train tickets/italy/price. The ticket to Domodossola can be purchased at any time in Switzerland.

2. Yes, that's what it means, as the Jungfrau Travel Pass only covers a very small area: myswissalps.com/jungfr autravelpass/validity. You could save a bit with a Swiss Transfer Ticket instead of a regular ticket.

3. Yes, that's all correct. It does not cover anything beyond Domodossola as that's in Italy. So you need the additional ticket I explained about under point 1. here as well.

4. Yes, unless you buy a seat reservation, which is not needed in Switzerland, or unless you buy a Supersaver ticket as these are train specific and non-refundable.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 9, 2016 - 6:18 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you.

1. I did check the Italy train ticket link earlier as well. But, its from Italy to Switzerland. I will be travelling from Switzerland to Italy.

2. Somewhat confused about item 1 and 3 in your answer. SBB states that CHF 198 is for the entire journey from Wengen to Rome. You have said that the ticket from Domodosolla to Rome needs to be pre purchased. But wouldnt it be included in the entire package from Wengen to Rome, if I buy the tickets either on line through SBB or in Wengen?

Apologies if I am not understanding how this works.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 9, 2016 - 8:11 PM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

No problem, this can indeed be complex if you're new to this.

1. The direction of travel does not matter. The listed websites sell all tickets to/from Italy.

2. The SBB website is mainly for Swiss citizens. They do not sell tickets for the tourist passes like the Swiss Half Fare Card. As I said under 1. in the previous post it will probably work for Italy. It will for sure work if you split it in two tickets like I suggested. You can buy one ticket for the entire ride in Wengen too. That might be more expensive if the Italian leg includes trains with cheaper fares if booked early. Hence my suggestion to get the Italian leg online. You can search for the lowest fares and secure your seats. The Swiss leg can be purchased at any time when there: no reservations, fixed prices whenever you buy.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 10, 2016 - 12:53 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for your patience. It is much clearer now and less complicated.

Appreciate your help very much.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 11, 2016 - 3:42 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

I have finally selected the Swiss Half Fare card for my trip.

I will be purchasing the Swiss Half Fare card in advance through the website www.swissrailways.com/ en/node/90.

I would also prefer to purchase the Zurich to Wenegen ticket in advance. Please let me know if the SBB website is the only official website for purchasing online train tickets. I am referring to the SBB online ticketshop.

Also, when validating train tickets, is there a particular procedure to be followed before boarding the train?

Many thanks.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2016 - 3:56 PM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

You can simply get the ticket to Wengen from any of the machines. There is no validation. Just buy the ticket, board the train, and show it on request.

There are many websites selling train tickets, but the discounted tickets for the Swiss Half Fare Card are currently only available through the SBB website. Or through the machines, or the staffed ticket desk. Tickets do not sell out, nor do prices change closer to the travel date.

Enjoy your trip!

Last modified on Aug 11, 2016 - 3:57 PM by Arno
Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 11, 2016 - 4:24 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks so much for your help.

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2016 - 3:34 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Just one quick question. According to the Swiss transfer ticket details on the website www.myswissalps.com/sw isstransferticket/vali dity, the stretch from Brig to Domodossola is free. Is there any reason why the stretch from Wengen to Domodossola is not not free with the swiss transfer ticket, as Domodossola is the border station?

Thank you

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2016 - 6:27 AM in reply to Traveller3

Hi Traveller3,

That stretch is entirely free. Where did you read otherwise?

Traveller3
Traveller3
60 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2016 - 6:37 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thought so, as the website link I sent to you says Brig to Domodossola is free. So I was wondering about the balance portion of the Swiss part of the trip and whether that's excluded.

Thank you

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