Travel Pass Flex, Combi, Half Fare and lift passes

Travel Pass Flex, Combi, Half Fare and lift passes

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Posts: 10. This thread is closed.
JamesPearlEX
JamesPearlEX
5 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2016 - 11:32 PM

Hello,

I'm travelling to Switzerland with one other for two weeks at the beginning of July. We will be flying into Zurich, staying in Zermatt for the first week, Wengen for the second week and then heading back to Zurich to fly home (16 days overall).

We will be doing lots of hiking and would like to use the lifts and mountain railways to allow us to do some hikes further afield and higher up the mountains. Therefore, we were looking at getting a 3 day Peak Pass in Zermatt and a 3 day Jungfrau Travel Pass in Wengen. We will also be visiting Trümmelbach Falls from Wengen.

I am currently trying to figure out which rail pass is most suitable and would like some clarification about the Swiss Travel Pass Flex and Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi. I have seen conflicting statements about whether the Flex can be used to get a discount on the Peak Pass and Jungfrau Travel Pass and whether you must use either of these passes on your Flex travel days. This will affect how many travel days we would need on our Flex pass. Furthermore, does the Flex Combi include the normal half fare card, which would allow you to purchase the discounted Peak and Jungfrau Travel passes if the normal Flex pass did not allow the discount.

At the moment I am leaning towards just getting a half fare card and paying for train journeys as we need them. My calculations seem to show this is the cheapest option and the information regarding the use Flex and Flex combi passes along with the lift passes is quite confusing.

Many thanks,

James

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 18, 2016 - 10:04 AM

Hello James,

Thanks for joining MySwissAlps! Let's see if I can help you out:

  • the Jungfrau Travel Pass is not discounted for Swiss Travel Pass Flex (Combi) holders, only for Swiss Travel Pass or regular Swiss Half Fare Card holders. Please see www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrautravelpass/price;
  • the official price information of the Zermatt Peak Pass doesn't mention any reduction for Swiss Travel System pass holders, but it does list a series of discounted fares: http://www.matterhornp aradise.ch/en/summer/t ickets-tariffs-summer/peak-pass. I'm not able to find out to whom these discounted prices apply. They're probably meant for holder of Switzerland's widely used Halbtax (a 50% reduction pass for Swiss citizens), and the same discount could apply to the holders of the Swiss Half Fare Card and/or other Swiss Travel System Passes. I suggest you contact Zermatt Tourism if you want to make sure;
  • the Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi includes a Swiss Half Fare Card, but that's only valid between the first and last few travel day of your Swiss Travel Pass Flex. So in that sense, it's not the exact same as the 1 month Swiss Half Fare Card. Please find explanation at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex/howt ouse.

In quite some cases the Swiss Travel Pass Flex (Combi) doesn't prove to be the cheapest option. It could be for you, if you need a couple of days with long and thus expensive train transfers. Which pass works out best for your specific itinerary depends on the details of your plans. You seem to have found a way to calculate your options already. Just to make sure, here's our guide on how to calculate travel costs, including a downloadable and adaptable Excel sheet: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass. The Swiss Half Fare Card may be the easier option indeed, especially if you don't intend to explore larger areas and if you plan to stick to the Wengen and Zermatt regions. The 15 day Swiss Travel Pass could be worth your consideration if you do plan to make longer train journeys too and if you like the freedom of ticketless traveling throughout the country.

Last modified on Jun 19, 2016 - 12:54 AM by Arno
JamesPearlEX
JamesPearlEX
5 posts
new member
Jun 18, 2016 - 8:54 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the help and information. I think I will probably just go for the standard Half Face Card as it's the easiest option.

At the bottom of the tariffs page for the Peak Pass (www.matterhornparadise .ch/en/summer/tickets-tariffs-summer/peak-pass) it says that discounts apply to 'Half-fare, GA and Swiss Travel Pass valid (summer only).' Does 'Half-fare' not refer to the Half Fare Card or does it refer to the Halbtax that you mentioned? I have also emailed Zermatt Tourism for clarification.

Is the 'Print at home' Half Fare Card exactly the same as the one you would receive if delivered by post? I.e. they both qualify for the same discounts, etc.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 1:02 AM

Hi James,

They most probably refer to both. The print at home version is exactly the same thing. From the UK, you can order it through www.swisstravelsystem. co.uk. Pick "Online Ticket" when they ask for a delivery option. Physical delivery is free as well by the way.

JamesPearlEX
JamesPearlEX
5 posts
new member
Jun 19, 2016 - 11:19 AM

Zermatt Tourism replied to me and confirmed that the Swiss Half Fare Card qualifies for the discounted Peak Pass prices.

I will probably opt for physical delivery as I imagine the card you receive in the post will be of better quality than the piece of paper used to print it off myself.

Thanks for all your help!

Last modified on Jun 19, 2016 - 11:19 AM by JamesPearlEX
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 7:13 PM

Hi James,

Thanks for getting back to us! Good to hear that Zermatt Tourism confirmed the Swiss Half Fare Card discount for the Peak Pass.

As for whether to get an e-ticket or a physical Swiss Half Fare Card: physical rail passes too aren't more than pieces of (thick) paper, often sent in a plastic sleeve. So yes, its quality will be a bit better than a pass printed by yourself on regular paper, but the advantage of an e-ticket is that you can print a new version any time in case you loose or damage the one you were traveling with. In your case it doesn't matter price wise, as both the e-ticket option and physical delivery to the UK are for free if you order through the link Arno mentioned.

Enjoy your stay in Switzerland!

JamesPearlEX
JamesPearlEX
5 posts
new member
Jun 19, 2016 - 7:24 PM

Do you know the size and shape of the Half Fare Card? I got different results when searching it. Some seem to be credit card size and others are bigger.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2016 - 7:36 PM

Hi James,

They're much larger than a credit card. About 20x8 cm or so.

JamesPearlEX
JamesPearlEX
5 posts
new member
Jun 20, 2016 - 3:04 PM

I am going to order the online pass and print a few copies in case one gets damaged or lost.

I have a couple of questions about the regional lift passes and thought I would ask here rather than starting a new thread. I can't decide whether I should get the Jungfrau Pass or Bernese Oberland Pass for the period when we will be based in Wengen. The Bernese Oberland Pass obviously covers a much larger area but only costs slightly more. The Bernese Oberland Pass provides a 50% discount on the cable car from Mürren to Schilthorn, whereas the Jungfrau Pass does not include a discount. However, the Half Fare Card also provides a discount. The Jungfrau Pass does not provide any discount for the bus to Stechelberg, whereas this is free with the Bernese Oberland Pass. The only advantage with the Jungfrau Pass is that it provides a 50% discount to Jungfraujoch whereas the Bernese Oberland Pass provides a 25% discount. I will do some sums to try and work out which would be better with the journeys I was thinking of doing but any input would be appreciated.

Finally, I will only be getting a 5 day pass at most (for the Peak Pass in Zermatt and Bernese/Jungfrau Pass in Wengen). Therefore, as we will be in each location for 7 days, would it be best to buy them from a station when we are there, so we can arrange it around the weather, or should I buy them in advance?

Thanks again for your help!

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 20, 2016 - 6:20 PM

Hi James,

In most cases buying two passes doesn't pay off. The Swiss Half Fare Card already provides a 50% discount on nearly all trips, so you'll have to make extensive use of local transportation in order to actually profit from an additional Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland or Jungfrau Travel Pass. You've done a good job comparing the main differences, but the only way to find out which (if any) fits your plans indeed is to make calculations based on a detailed list of plans for your stay in Wengen.

The regional passes can be purchased locally if you'd like to be flexible with your travel dates. The Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland can also be obtained online (free shipping to the UK), just as the Jungfrau Travel Pass (free shipping as well). An overview of retailers is available through the links I inserted.

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