Swiss half-fare travel card vs swiss pass

Swiss half-fare travel card vs swiss pass

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Posts: 6. This thread is closed.
kathleenmarie
kathleenmarie
3 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2013 - 8:29 PM
Hello!
We are traveling by train from 1. Geneva airport to Zermatt. 2. Zermatt to St. Moritz via Glacier Express 3. St. Moritz to Tirano. 4. Tirano into Varenna, Lake Como, Italy. 5. Varenna to Stressa. 6. Stressa to Lauterbrunnen. 7. Lauterbrunnen to Geneva airport. Raileurope quoted me appx. $1500 for 2 first class including reservations on Glacier Exp and Italian trains. It included a 4 day swiss pass.

According to my calculations it would be much cheaper to buy a half-fare travel card - apps $1,000 for both - even first class.

Can anyone help?

Thank you
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 27, 2013 - 3:04 AM
Hello kathleenmarie! I don't know the details of RailEurope's quote, and I'm not sure which sources you used for your calculations. The most reliable one is the Swiss timetable. I calculated several options based on the full-fare prices provided there, looking at the Swiss trips you listed. According to my calculations, a 5 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass would be the best solution. It provides 5 days of free traveling, to be used for trips 1, 2, 3, 6 (valid up from Domodossola) and 7. You don't need to buy any further tickets for these journeys; additional tickets are only required for the Italian (legs of your) trips.

Slightly more expensive, and less convenient in your case, is the Swiss Card. It would provide a free trip from Geneva Airport to Zermatt and from Lauterbrunnen to Geneva Airport, plus a 50% discount on your further trips in Switzerland. These would require you to buy additional discounted tickets. The Swiss Half Fare Card would be more expensive than both the Swiss Card and the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass.

I know it can be quite confusing, but I hope this helps.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
kathleenmarie
kathleenmarie
3 posts
new member
Feb 27, 2013 - 12:03 PM
Thank you. I re-did my calculations and did find I can buy a 5 day pass for the price of a 4 day pass now. Do you know how long that will be offered? It appears to be cheapest to buy actually in Switzerland. But I would like to book my seat reservations on the Glacier Express and the Golden Pass soon, so I guess I need to buy my Swiss Pass now?

One more question, on the seat reservations of the Glacier Express I noticed 4 seats at one table, then they have smaller tables of just 2. We are going May 12th. Would they put 2 other people at that table of 4? That happened to us on an Alaskan train and it was terrible...staring at strangers for 8 hours and bumping legs is not fun.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 27, 2013 - 2:32 PM
Hi kathleenmarie. Details on this 4+1 offer can be found here and here. As you can see, it's not valid for traveling in May. In all, I think a 5 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass makes most sense. Currently a local purchase is cheaper in your case indeed. However, that's based on today's currencies and these may change. An online purchase allows you to pay in USD; a local purchase has to be made in CHF and I don't know what the converted price in dollars would be at the moment of purchase. Online offers and bonuses may come up well before May, so you could wait a while, keep an eye on this forum and see whether prices change.

You don't have to physically own your passes yet in order to make seat reservations. Yes, the seats opposite yours may be reserved for other Glacier Express travelers. It's a popular train, so they often can't leave seats empty.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
kathleenmarie
kathleenmarie
3 posts
new member
Mar 3, 2013 - 2:25 AM
Thank you Annika. It appears I can purchase a Swiss Flexi Saver Pass (first class) for 3 days at $401 each. 4 days at $485 each.
Wouldn't it be better for me to buy the 3 day pass? I would use #1 travel day from Geneva to Zermatt. #2 travel day from Zermatt to St. Moritz. #3 travel day Lauterbrunnen to Geneva. My other 2 days of travel are St. Moritz to Tirano ($56), and Domodossola to Lauterbrunnen ($113). Rather than pay for one or two more days on a Swiss Pass, can't I just get a 3 day pass and then can't I take those trips at 50% off?
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2013 - 1:08 AM
Hi kathleenmarie,

Yes, your calculations seem to be ok, assuming you'll just be making the transfers you mentioned on the travel days. If you, for example, decide to do a boat trip after your arrival in Lauterbrunnen (from Domodossola), that would be included for free on a Swiss Saver Flexi Pass travel day, but you need to pay for it separately with a Swiss Half Fare Card. Just make sure you arrange for that half priced ticket from Domodossola beforehand, as I'm not sure if they sell such tickets in Domodossola. You can get it from a Swiss station on one of your first days. You can find the 3-day pass here and all further details and purchase options here.

These listings of hotels near the rail stations and airport may also be of interest:
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno

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