Transfer ticket vs Half fare card

Transfer ticket vs Half fare card

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Jan 10, 2013 - 1:50 PM
Hello,
We are family of 3 adults (Dad, Mom, 3 yr old baby and senior Grandma) and travelling from Zurich to Zermatt on Feb 17th morning to ski then go back to Zurich Airport on Feb 20th. I still get confused on which Rail pass to get. Transfer ticket or Half fare card or Point to Point tickets? If Half fare card gets you on any train or bus, isn't it the same as Transfer Ticket except it's a lot less. Any of these passes get discount on ski lift tickets?
Thank you for your clarification.
Yani
Arno
Arno
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Jan 10, 2013 - 2:04 PM
Hi Yani,

Swiss Transfer Tickets would be best. It includes the round trip for free and you need no further tickets. A Swiss Half Fare Card would require you to get an additional ticket for half the price; that's more expensive in total. Another option to consider is the Swiss Card. It also includes the free round trip, but in addition you get a 50% discount on trips during your stay. That includes the big lifts around Zermatt, but not the smaller ski lifts. Please click the links I provided for all details, prices, resellers, and maps of the covered network.

I suppose you've already booked your hotel, but if not, please see here.

Have fun!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
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Jan 10, 2013 - 2:42 PM
Thank you for the quick response. Will the Transfer ticket allow us to get into the Glacier Express without an additional fee?
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Jan 10, 2013 - 2:55 PM
I understand that you can only buy the Transfer Ticket outside of Switzerland. We will be in Venice and Innsbruck prior to going to Zurich. Do you think I can buy the Transfer Ticket from either of these train stations?
Arno
Arno
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Jan 10, 2013 - 3:21 PM
Hi Yani,

The Glacier Express requires a (paid) seat reservation, regardless of what pass or ticket you're using. But the Glacier Express is not the train you would want to take when traveling from Zurich to Zermatt anyway. I would doubt whether you could get the Swiss Transfer Ticket at these stations. Resellers are listed on the Swiss Transfer Ticket page, so it would be easiest to pick one there. Be sure to select your country of residence and number of travelers to get the best list of purchased options.
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Jan 10, 2013 - 4:15 PM
We can catch the Glacier Express in Zermatt. So just pay the reservation fee when we get to Zermatt? You know how much? Thanks again.
Yani
Annika
Annika
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Jan 11, 2013 - 9:25 AM
Hi Yani! Did you check the Swiss Transfer Ticket page Arno referred to? It explains exactly how the pass works. You'll only get a free trip from Zurich to Zermatt and back, and nothing else. The trips have to be completed using the most directe route, as indicated by the timetable. The Glacier Express only makes up a small leg of the route you're allowed to use; up to Visp I think. The rest of the Glacier Express if way off the route you're allowed to take. So yes, you could use your Swiss Transfer Ticket for a short leg in a Glacier Express train, but the same trip can also be made in a regular regional train without additional reservation costs.

If you want to do the entire Glacier Express trip as an additional experience during your holidays, and/or if you intend to use public transportation (apart from ski lifts) during your stay, you may look into other passes. The Glacier Express is rather expensive, so you could use discounts there. You may consider the Swiss Card (offering the same benefits as the Swiss Transfer Ticket plus a 50% discount on trips during your stay) or a 3 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass (free rides for Zurich-Zermatt and back and on one other day, e.g. for the Glacier Express, plus 50% discounts on the remaining days). Seat reservations have to be paid regardless of which type of pass you use. You'll find the appropriate links at the seat reservation page.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
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Jan 11, 2013 - 10:54 AM
This is really helpful. Thank you both.
Yani
smkelly22
smkelly22
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Feb 4, 2013 - 1:05 PM
Hey Yanival,
I have researched this extensively as we are spending a week in Zermatt arriving Feb. 22. (our 6th ski trip to Zermatt in the past 10 years). Here is what you do. YES, the Swiss Transfer Ticket is what you want, it will save you approx. $175 (us) over a regular ticket w/ a half fare card. Purchase if from SBB.CH, here is the link as it is very hard to find on their website (this is the official Swiss Rail Site. http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/holidays--short-breaks-in-switzerland/swisstravelsystem/swisstravelsystem-buchung.html

COST: 180 Euro for adults, 90 Euro for Children (1st class). Add $15.00 Euro for delivery charge (total not per ticket). Also here is what is important, ALL travelers must travel at the same time. Once you start your train travel, you must complete your one-way journey on the same day via the most direct route. And yes, it does include all the way from Zurich to Zermatt (via VISP) where you will board the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway that delivers you to Zermatt. The other train that departs Zermatt up to the top of the ski mountain is the Gornergrat, (it is not covered under the transfer ticket) when you buy your ski lift tickets, you can use the Gornergrat as well as the ski lifts. I previously mentioned the $15.00 delivery charge...YOU MUST BUY THIS TICKET BEFORE YOU GO TO SWITZERLAND, it can not be purchased once you are there as this ticket is ONLY for tourists (non Swiss Citizens). I am electing to pay the $15.00 delivery fee and pick my tickets up at the Zurich Airport Rail Office and not have them mailed to me, mailing was more expensive, select the airport delivery option when purchasing. All Travelers must be present with Passport when you pick up the tickets as they will be validated with your passport number and have the date your trip starts noted. I hope this helps.
Arno
Arno
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Feb 4, 2013 - 1:52 PM
Thanks for sharing your experiences smkelly22! The link is actually also on the Swiss Transfer Ticket page: just click the Swissrailways.com option to end up at the same page. Besides collecting at the airport they also offer delivery to any Swiss address for about $6.50 (CHF 6.00), which can be convenient for people staying the night in a Zurich hotel before continue traveling.

Enjoy your stay!

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