Swiss Pass options

Swiss Pass options

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Posts: 5. This thread is closed.
mikefrank
mikefrank
15 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2014 - 2:28 PM

If we have 21 members in our group and we want to purchase Swiss Passes for each, do we all have to validate the pass at the same time? Do we also have to travel together at all times?
We would have 3 families of 5 (2 adults, 2 children under 16, and one that is 16), each family would travel together all the time, but not necessarily all three families together.
We would also have 3 couples that would also travel together (husband and wife), but all couples may not travel together at all times.
It looks like we should purchase the saver pass for each group (family and couples), and get the family card too. If we do this, would EVERYONE have to validate and travel together at all times? We would like the flexibility for each family/couple to validate and travel separate. We will ALL be traveling on the same 8 days that the pass is valid.
Is there any cost benefit to validate and travel together as a group of 21, if so we may choose to take that route.
I can find several websites that sell these passes, are there any precautions as to where to purchase?
Thanks.

Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 9, 2014 - 5:07 PM in reply to mikefrank

Hi mikefrank, welcome to MySwissAlps,

If I understand your group composition correctly, this would be your shopping list:

  • 3x 8-day Swiss Saver Pass for 2 adults, plus 3x Swiss Family Card for 2 children each;
  • 3x 8-day Swiss Saver Pass for 2 adults (the couples);
  • 3x 8-day Swiss Youth Pass for the 16 year olds. This is cheaper than adding them to the Saver Pass. Also they can travel independent from the others, they may appreciate that :-)

This way, all couples and families have their own pass and do not depend on the others.

There are indeed many websites selling the passes. I don't know all of them. The ones we trust are listed in the price section of the Swiss Pass page. The two main options for you are the webshop of the Swiss Railways and the US website of Rail Europe. The Swiss Railways shop does not easily allow to specify the number of adults you want on each Swiss Saver Pass. If you order through them, just add a pass for 12 adults to the cart and tell them in the Notes field that you want to receive 6 Swiss Saver Passes and 3 Swiss Family Cards. That won't be a problem. An advantage of ordering there is that you can validate the passes yourself (writing down traveler names and passport numbers), so there's no need to spend time on that in Switzerland, you can board the train immediately.

The Rail Europe site allows you to specify the travelers for each pass, so you will get the appropriate number of passes there as well. You can even place separate orders for each pass if you like; shipping is free anyway. Their passes need to be validated at a manned Swiss rail station. There's no need to do that with 21 people together. It just matters that all travelers for the one pass being validated are present.

Apart from passes there are group rates for groups of 10 and more, but that will get you a discount of about 20% on the regular fares. It's an option for one or two trips, but when traveling around a pass offers more savings and convenience.

A final note: also check the promotions section. There currently is this promo that offers a discount on 1st class passes, but it depends on when you travel whether you qualify for that.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:55 PM by Arno
mikefrank
mikefrank
15 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2014 - 7:20 PM in reply to Arno
Thank you for the information. Do you know if this is still available, it's on the Promotions section? I didn't find anything on it.

Discount of up to € 200 on rail passes or tickets
Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 10, 2014 - 4:41 AM
Yes, it is available for US residents, so be sure to select the US as your country on the promotions page. Or just click the promo link in my previous post.
Arno
Arno
7720 posts
expert &
moderator
May 21, 2014 - 8:58 AM in reply to Arno

Hi mikefrank,

I'm not sure if you purchased your Swiss Passes yet, but if not, make sure you read our post about the new promotion that saves you $50. See here for details: www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-pass/index.html.

Enjoy your trip!

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