Unusual questions about Swiss passes

Unusual questions about Swiss passes

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drtib
drtib
13 posts
new member
May 26, 2010 - 1:46 PM
This info is nowhere to be found:

1. How convenient is, say, a Swiss Card, from the point of view of time and waiting in line at the station counter, if each trip is half price and then you have to stand in line to pay the other half?

2. If certain high train rides (such as the Jungfrau region) require paying an extra 50% or 25% for the usual passes, what's the discount when you hold a half-price card, i.e. the Swiss Card?

3. If your pass includes a free return ticket to and from airport, do you have to get on and off the trains in the same city, or just the same region? Eg: can I ride from Zurich airport to Interlaken and go back to Zurich airport from Brienz? Or do I have to go back to Interlaken to take the train?
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
May 26, 2010 - 2:29 PM
Hello drtib! I'll try to clear things up a bit:

1) a Swiss Card is very convenient for your inbound and outbound trip, especially if you've ordered it in advance and can start using it rightaway without having to get off at a railway station to purchase it. You're right in supposing that you have to purchase discounted tickets for all the other trips though. Most railway stations have enough counters and waiting lines aren't that long in many cases. There are ticketing machines as well, which in most cases have clear instructions. A pass offering unlimited traveling has the advantage that you're able to get in and out of trains, buses and boats without having to buy tickets;

2) mountain trains always require extra payment, even if you have a rail pass offering free travelling. Most rail passes offer a 50% discount for mountain transportation. One difference is that the Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexi Pass offer a 25% discount for the Jungfrau Railways, whereas the Swiss Card offers 50% discount. On the Swiss Card page you'll find a link 'Overview of the network on which the Swiss Card is valid'; this will get you to a map showing where the Swiss Card is valid and what amounts of discounts it offers.

3) the inbound and outbound trip for your Swiss Card may be different routes. The destination from which you'll start your trip back to the airport, doesn't have to be the same as the destination you arrived in; it doesn't have to be in the same region either, but it can be anywhere in the country. So yes, you can just travel back to Zurich Airport from Brienz or any other Swiss town.

I hope it's clear to you now!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
drtib
drtib
13 posts
new member
May 27, 2010 - 12:27 AM
Thanks, that's very informative and good news for me.

The synoptic map you mention has a legend only in German, so it's not possible to understand about the Jungfrau trains area.

In Germany, except Frankfurt, ticket machines are only in German, which made buying tickets very hard for me. Is that the case also for the BO?
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
May 27, 2010 - 2:35 AM
You're welcome! The synoptic map linked from this page actually has an English legend at the bottom.

Many newer ticketing machines have a touch screen allowing you to choose your preferred language, including English. You may encounter older machines as well. I think most of them are pretty clear, but you can always ask the railway personnel at the station or train conductor. More information and an online demo of the machines with touch screen can be found on the SBB website.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
drtib
drtib
13 posts
new member
May 27, 2010 - 11:44 AM
Wow, you reveal the best-kept secrets!!! Thanks, I should've seen that before I went to Germany. I even had to ride the underground without paying on my first trip, because no one could help me buy the ticket, they didn't know English and the machine was only in German, and the place was isolated. A woman was so kind as to tell me with her hands to ride with her on the train because she had a card valid for two. And she totally refused to take my money. Then we just laughed and smiled to each other the whole ride, the only universal language... :-) The ticket-machines in German have been my worst fear about traveling since then.
drtib
drtib
13 posts
new member
May 27, 2010 - 11:51 AM
1. On the synoptic map, it doesn't say anything about Swiss Card discount in areas marked with the red 1 inside the circle.

2. Are there any discounts with a Swiss Card on scenic trains? I'd like to take the Golden Pass scenic train to Interlaken.
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
May 28, 2010 - 9:03 AM
Hi drtib!

1) The red 1 inside the circle applies to the Swiss Pass and the Swiss Flexi Pass only: they offer a 25% discount on the Jungfraujoch trip from Wengen or Grindelwald. This doesn't go for the Swiss Card, which offers a 50% discount on this route, just as it does on almost all other train, bus and boat routes. That's why you can't find information on this number 1 for the Swiss Card;

2) Yes, the Swiss Card is valid for scenic trains, such as the Golden Pass, as well. You do have to pay a small fee for seat reservation though.

I hope you're less worried about the language problem now! Especially in tourist areas, the Swiss railway personnel will be able to help you out in English if necessary.
drtib
drtib
13 posts
new member
May 28, 2010 - 2:07 PM
Thank you, Annika! Some people were saying that there's no pass that will give more than 25% for the JF, and I've found one!!

One more amazing thing I've found is that you can send your suitcase at the start and get it at the end or even in your hotel room!!! How awesome is that!!!

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