Hi from Australia and little confused

  • Removed user
    52345 posts
    5 February 2011 at 19:24:29 #804149


    Me & My wife are planning to visit Switzerland, I am coming for conference and she is on holiday so we both have little different plans, hence little confusion. Hope you can help us.

    Our broad Itiniary is as under:

    ur base will be Basel for 4 days ( arriving to Basel airport directly)

    day one we will be travelling to Jungfraujoch and return

    day two we will be travelling to Geneva and return

    day three we will be travelling to Les Diabelerets and return

    day four we will be leaving Basel and taking base as Bern for the next 3 days

    I will be in conference for 3 days while my wife will be travelling to Lausanne & Zurich.

    Last day we both will be travelling from Bern to Zurich for our flight back to Australia.

    Would sincerly appreciate if you can guide us best option that we can avail between half fare card, swiss pass or swiss flexi pass or any other option you think is the best.

    We are reaching Swiss within next 7 days, hence little urgency.

  • Annika
    7001 posts
    6 February 2011 at 6:12:19 #832265

    Hi Tommy, and welcome to this forum! Based on your plans listed below, an 8 day Swiss Saver Pass is the most economical solution. You’ll be making quite some long and expensive journeys, which are mostly covered by the Swiss Saver Pass. It’s the most convenient way of travelling too, as you don’t have to purchase regular tickets for each trip, but can simply get on and off trains. Your wife can still use the pass during the last three days when travelling by herself.

    Just a tip (I don’t know if your plans are fixed and if you’ve booked accommodation already): travelling times will be shorter, and the trips will be less expensive, if you pick another base for the first 4 days or your stay. Basel is at the very north of the country, and all destinations mentioned for the first part of your stay are situated further southwards. Bern could serve as your destination for the entire week as well, being a closer to Geneva, the Jungfraujoch, and so on. Travelling times and costs can be found through the Swiss timetable.

    Have a great stay in Switzerland!

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    13 February 2011 at 2:47:47 #832266

    Dear Annika,

    Thank you very much for your response. We have researched all possible option and agree with you that Swiss Saver Pass would be most economical. However we need a clarification. Is it necessary that both of us should always travel together when we buy 8 day swiss saver pass ? Since for 3 days my wife will be travelling on her own.

    Do we need to carry our pictures for swiss pass.

    Also can you please clarify, weather Wengen/Grindelwal to Jungfrauch is 50% with half fare card and 25% discount with swiss saver pass.?

    Do they accept Amex at station for buying ticket.

    Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.

    thank you in advance.

    7001 posts
    13 February 2011 at 5:32:52 #832267

    Hello Tommy. No, you don’t have to travel together all the time when using a Swiss Saver Pass. Your wife can use it when travelling by herself. On these days, you can’t profit from the Swiss Saver Pass discounts. So if you need to travel, you have to buy regular full fare tickets. You don’t have to deliver a separate passport photo, but you do have to carry along your valid passport or identity document.

    Yes, the section Wengen-Jungfraujoch-Grindelwald is discounted by 25% with a Swiss Saver Pass and by 50% with a Swiss Half Fare Card.

    I’m not sure which types of (credit) card are accepted when buying your ticket. You can best contact the SBB to ask about payment options.

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    13 February 2011 at 6:54:45 #832268

    Dear Annika,
    Thank you for your prompt response. We have another query, if we want to avail the Glacier Express, for about 4-5 hours only, what is the best scenic route you can advice? i.e what is the best section of the journey on the GE?
    Also will the train be stopping at scienic locations for a photo stop?

    341 posts
    13 February 2011 at 7:22:49 #832269

    Hello Tommy, we took the Glacier Express last fall from St. Moritz to Andermatt and that’s a beautiful part. The train stops from time to time, but only at railway stations. I hope you will enjoy the trip, I know we did and we will do it again for sure! We spent the night in Andermatt and took the Glacier Express back to St. Moritz the next day. I see you will have a Swiss Saver Pass, please note that you will have to make reservations for the Glacier Express and that you will have to pay for those reservations, as you can see here.

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    7 March 2011 at 6:06:27 #832270

    We are a couple from Australia and had been to visit Switzerland in Feb11. We were staying with our friends in Basel for a few days and had asked them to inquire about travel facilities in Switzerland, before we came there.

    Our friends specially went to the city SBB office to get the proper information for us. The best option they found there for us was to use Swiss Pass. Then he asked if there were any special offers for places we could go to which would be interesting for us. He was shown the Jungfrau offer which is valid till April 11 and was told Swiss pass is = GA, so the offer was valid for them and pointed out that with that they would get 10% on Fondue at the Jungfrau Restaurant.

    So we decided to take that offer.

    When we arrived in Switzerland on the 17th February, the same evening our friends took us to Basel SBB Railway station information office to get us an 8 days Swiss Pass with the tickets for Jungfrau which was having the special offer. We purchased the 8 day Swiss Pass and also the additional tickets to go upto Jungfraujoch the next day -to go from Lauterbrunen (CHF48 p.p) and return via Grindelwald (CHF 49.50 p.e)(ticket copies attached). The price we were charged for this additional Jungfrau sector seemed to match with the special offer that our friends had mentioned to us, so we were happy. We were really looking forward for to our Switzerland holidays and were all excited to start our trip to Jungfrau the next day.

    The next day we started early in the morning (about 5am) from home.
    The trip till Interlaken was OK. After getting into the train from Lauterbrunen to Jungfrau (via Kleine Scheidigg), it was just a big shock when the ticket conductor told us that the Jungfrau ticket was not valid. We just could not believe what he was saying as we had rightly bought the tickets from the SBB information counter at Basel station together with their Swiss Pass. At Wengen one of us had to get down to see the Wengen station office, but as they were unaware of this special offer we were told that we will get the proper information at Kleine Scheidegg,

    At Kleine Scheidegg we were both asked to get down and not allowed to go further unless we paid the extra sum of about CHF 28/- each. We could not believe this was happening to us in Switzerland. Out of mere disbelief & shock we called our friends at Basel on their Mobile. For them it was also unbelievable so they asked us to give the phone to the officer concerned at the station so that they could convey in German about the special offer. When our friends tried to explain to the lady officer that it’s not right for them to say that our tickets were invalid, when we have purchased the additional jungfraujoch mountain tickets alongwith our Swiss Pass from a valid SBB counter at Basel station, she said she would do what she can. The lady officer then spoke to the Kleine Scheidegg station officer, about our problem and he refused to accept our explaination nor to speak to our local Basel friends (who were trying their best to explain in German) and said we would have to pay additional CHF 28.50 per person or forget going up to Jungfraujoch. This was really very very rude and we (as swiss tourists) definitely did not expect that kind of behaviour.
    Now this was getting a bit too much on our first day of using our 8 days Swiss Pass. We were angry and very disappointed. All our tickets were issued by SBB ticket office and not by any Tom, Dick or Harry and in spite of that, we were given a hard time and made to pay the additional difference, even though our local friends from Basel tried to explain to them the situation. Even if there was no specials, the fact that the tickets were issued by SBB for a certain price, meant that SBB was responsible for wrong charging and it is no fault of ours, if SBB charged incorrectly.
    Besides, in all this hassel, we missed our connection from Kliene Schiedegg to Jungfraujoch and had to wait for one hour. This was certainly not a good way to start our holidays.
    The joy and excitement we had in the morning had faded and our trip was spoilt.
    Later at the Jungfrau restaurant when we asked if we could avail of their 10% discount offer on Fondue, as was told to us by our local Basel friends, the answer given was if they were to give discounts then they will have to close down the restaurant.

    You can imagine the frustration and disappointment we were with Swiss Tourism, whom we thought till then, were a friendly and very efficient organisation. We feel that though the mistake for issuing an under priced ticket (by SBB) was SBB’s, we were not only penalised for the difference in amount, but inconvenienced as to time and emotional drain.
    In view of the above, we request you to kindly give us some compensation for all the trouble we have had to go through.
    Thanks SBB for ruining our swiss holidays!

    PS: Our local friends contact details can be provided if required, for more information.

    15042 posts
    7 March 2011 at 15:09:49 #832271

    Hi Tommy,

    I can definitely imagine your frustration and disappointment. This is certainly not a good way to start your holidays! Regardless of who’s right about the ticket price, it seems that some railway officials did not exactly respond as helpful and polite as you may expect them to. I know how personnel can sometimes react in popular and busy tourist locations, but of course there’s no excuse for that.

    Now, about the tickets: I didn’t know that special offer, but probably this is the one you are talking about right? I don’t see the ticket copies you said you attached to this post.

    From what I understand from your post, a couple of things went wrong here:
    1) The Jungfrau Railways grant a 50% discount to holders of various passes, including the GA (for other readers: that’s a “General Abo” providing unlimited traveling to Swiss residents). The Jungfrau Railways grant a 25% discount to holders of a Swiss Pass. You can verify that on the map we link to from the Swiss Pass page. The discounts go into effect from Wengen or Grindelwald. You can travel for free to either of these villages.
    2) The tickets you eventually purchased cost 48.00 + 49.50 = CHF 97.50 per person. This amount is not listed for the special offer. They list a price of CHF 94.80 for GA-holders (which is not valid for Swiss Pass holders). So I wonder if you actually got the special offer, or just discounted tickets for the ride, and not including the cheese fondue discount. Discounted tickets (50% off) for the legs you mentioned would cost 48.20 (Lauterbrunnen – Jungfraujoch) and 49.00 (Jungfraujoch – Grindelwald). These prices are listed on the Jungfrau website.

    The tickets that should have been issued along with your Swiss Pass are tickets Wengen – Jungfraujoch – Grindelwald with a 25% discount. The price for those, according to my best knowledge, is CHF 126 per person. I don’t know whether the special offer can be combined with the Swiss Pass at all.

    Like you said: you did in fact get an underpriced ticket. I wasn’t there when those tickets were purchased, so I don’t know how that could happen. I feel sorry for you that this is what happened, as it obviously caused a lot of confusion, which may have drawn the attention away from a magificent location such as the Jungfrau. That’s the last thing you want on such an excursion.

    Regarding compensation: You wrote “we request you to kindly give us some compensation”. Are you addressing this to us? You may not be aware that this website is not owned by the SBB, the Swiss National Tourist Office or the Jungfrau Railways in any way. We’re a website made by tourists such as myself for tourists such as you. I can only recommend to contact the SBB Customer Service through their contact form or by writing a letter.

    Thanks for sharing your story! We like to hear about anyones experience, whether it is good or (unfortunately) bad. I hope you were able to enjoy the rest of your holidays, and that, inspite of this problem on the first day, your Swiss Pass has offered value for your money after completing all your 8 days of traveling. I also hope my answer helped a bit to explain what probably happened and what you can do now.

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