Travel to Swiss in April with Swiss Half Fare Card

Travel to Swiss in April with Swiss Half Fare Card

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YeeTeng
YeeTeng
5 posts
new member
Jan 31, 2016 - 3:15 PM

Hi Arno & Annika,

As I am travel from Milan to Interlaken on 24/4 as you said I need to purchase to train ticket from Milan Centrale to Domodossola in order to reserve a seat. I am checking pricing now and will proceed. I have compared the likely transportation usage during my entire trip, it seems purchasing Swiss Half Fare Card is the most cost effective solution to me, even though I need to purchase ticket at each station. Here are few further questions I have.

1) From Domodossola to Interlaken (via Berg/VISP-Lotschberg-Spiez) using SBB, do I needto purchase ticket in advance when I travel in Swiss or I can purchase the ticket on the spot?

2) I plan to visit Harder Kulm on the same date I arrive in Interlaken since it is not far. After checking the website www.jungfrau.ch/en/som mer/tourismus/ausflugs ziele/harder-kulm/erlebnisse/ , I saw the opening date is on 23-Apr, but at the same time I saw www.jungfrau.ch/en/som mer/tourism/destinatio ns/harder-kulm/tickets-travel/ mentioned only will open on 25-Apr. Could you please advise me which is correct? I also noticed the opening offers return ticket cost same as single.

3) For the boat trip to Thun from Interlaken, I plan to go on 25-Apr because it is Monday and I saw Monday has special discounted price. :) My question is, because I hope to get out of boat upon reaching Spiez to visit the small town for few hours before get on to the next boat (or next few) again to continue the lake tour to Thun, is the 1-day ticket applicable to my plan?

4) If I purchase Swiss Half Fare card now, how's the "1 month validity" works? Is it counted from the day I purchase or from the first day I use from Domodossola to Interlaken? Since I plan to stay in Grindelwald, is the railway trip from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch has 50% discount by using Swiss Half Fare card?

Thanks and have a nice day!.

Regards,

Yee Teng

Arno
Arno
7725 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 31, 2016 - 3:46 PM

Hi Yee Teng, thanks for your first post here!

1) You don't need to buy tickets in advance, but in this case an online purchase is the best option. If you don't, you need to get off the train in Domodossola and wait for the next train. So it's better to have a ticket and stay seated. I'm not even sure if they sell half fare tickets in Domodossola. They do in Brig.

2) This year it opens April 23.

3) I'm not sure which 1-day ticket you're referring to. Normally you'd just buy a boat ticket from Interlaken to Thun. Whether you get off along the way and proceed on the next boat does not matter. The ticket is valid for the day. I don't know about discounts on Mondays, but note that discounts cannot always be combined, so I'm not sure if you get that discount on top of the 50% discount with the Swiss Half Fare Card.

4) You'll be asked the first travel date, so that's April 24 in your case. It will be valid to May 23. You will also be asked delivery options. Pick "Online Ticket" in order to print it at home. Please see www.swissrailways.com/ en.

Everything covered in the Swiss Half Fare Card can be found here.

Have a nice day too!

Last modified on Jan 31, 2016 - 3:47 PM by Arno
YeeTeng
YeeTeng
5 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2016 - 4:04 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for your inputs.

1) In that case, I will purchase the train ticket from Milan Centrale to Brig (via Domodossola) so I can stay seated until Brig. I will get off the train at Brig to purchase half fare tickets to Interlaken.

3) The 1-day ticket I am referring this website www.bls.ch/e/schifffah rt/fahrplan-preise.php do you know what is the difference between 1/2 and 1/1? The special discount on Monday I am referring to this website www.bls.ch/e/schifffah rt/fahrplan-spartipps.php but I think you are right they are not combined as the discounted price for Swiss half fare card is exactly 50% of the original price.

4) OK, in that case, I will start purchase this card but the first travel date I will mention April 24. The key saving i have between Swiss half fare card and Swiss travel pass is Swiss half fare card has 50% discount from Grindelwald to Jungfrau but Swiss travel pass only offers 25%.

Thanks again!.Regards, Yee Teng

Arno
Arno
7725 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 2, 2016 - 4:36 PM in reply to YeeTeng

Hi Yee Teng,

3) Ok, I see. Those are 1-day tickets for the boats. 1/2 means half the normal fare (which is 1/1). You are entitled to these half fares if you have a Swiss Half Fare Card. But if you just do one trip from Interlaken to Thun, a regular discounted ticket is cheaper (CHF 21.50) than a discounted 1-day ticket (CHF 34).

Glad to help!

Arno

YeeTeng
YeeTeng
5 posts
new member
Feb 11, 2016 - 2:06 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

I logon to www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy and tried almost all the train agency webpages. However, after I started to purchase the ticket, the process cannot continue in the midst, not sure it is because the ticket is yet to be available at this moment? I tried to book from Milan to Spiez, travel date on 24-Apr-16 (so i could remain seated in the direct train and I somehow found no fare difference between Milan to Brig vs Milan to Spiez). Anyhow, I just quote an example that I just experienced couple minutes ago, I tried to purchase the train ticket at the RailEurope website, at the "Shopping Cart", the message of "The fare you selected cannot be confirmed with the train operator at this moment. Please select another fare or proceed to check out to save your booking. We will contact you shortly to complete the booking." shown in the webpage. Normally how soon does the ticket will be available? Just want to be clear of the problem I am facing, so I could plan better. Thanks for your help again!

Regards, Yee Teng

Arno
Arno
7725 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 11, 2016 - 9:17 AM in reply to YeeTeng

Hi Yee Teng,

I assume the problem is that you need a ticket that is discounted for the Swiss leg only. The websites you tried probably do not offer a Swiss Half Fare Card discount. You may have selected a different pass, which would explain no price difference to Brig vs Spiez. But that's not correct if you plan to use the Swiss Half Fare Card.

If you take a train that requires a change in Brig, I'd recommend to buy a ticket from Milan to Brig. The sites you tried should sell those. Then buy a discounted ticket to Interlaken in Brig. If you have time, I'd recommend this option, as it allows you to take the local train to Spiez via Goppenstein and Kandersteg. Much better views than the quicker trains!

If you prefer a direct train, you can try sbb.ch to get a ticket from Milan to Interlaken with a discount for the Swiss leg. They only offer a discount for the 1-year Swiss Half Fare Card for Swiss citizens, but that should work fine in this case.

Last modified on Feb 11, 2016 - 9:18 AM by Arno
YeeTeng
YeeTeng
5 posts
new member
Feb 18, 2016 - 4:23 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry for my late response to you. I appreciate your recommendation but I somehow cannot find the route from Milan to Brig. I checked with the staff and was told the ticket wasn't available. Since I need to book the ticket immediately as I will be out of my home country for a business trip soon I go ahead and purchased a direct train from Milan to Spiez.

regarding the Swiss half card, I would like to seek your advice. I purchased the card via SBB website and indicated the start date is 24/4. In the confirmation email I received I was informed the e-print will only sent to me at least 7working days before my travel date. Just in case, because I will be in Europe from 13/4, not sure if I could easily find a way to print out my ticket. Do you know the SBB email address I could contact? I would like to request SBB to help expediting the delivery if possible.

Thank you!

regards, Yee Teng :)

Arno
Arno
7725 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2016 - 4:56 PM in reply to YeeTeng

Hi Yee Teng,

Did you buy the Swiss Half Fare Card through their official webshop at www.swissrailways.com?

YeeTeng
YeeTeng
5 posts
new member
Feb 18, 2016 - 11:02 PM

Hi Arno,

Yes I follow the instructions in the website you shared. The confirmation email I received is from

STC Switzerland Travel Centre AG
Binzstrasse 38, P.O. Box
CH-8045 Zurich

Hope I did not make any mistake. :(

Arno
Arno
7725 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 19, 2016 - 7:46 AM

Hi Yee Teng,

Sounds good! Contact details are here. I'm sure it will be fine, they get requests like this more often.

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