10 June 2010 at 12:06:45 #803883
Please help me, I’ve only now realized that I can’t buy the Half-Fare Card in my country! I need the Card on June 23, as soon as I arrive in Geneva Airport! And I’ve read that Half-Fare Cards can’t be purchased inside Switzerland!! What do I do now??!!!
OlgaParticipant341 posts10 June 2010 at 14:17:40 #831465
Hello drtib, Half Fare cards can be purchased in Switzerland. You can also order it online on the Swiss Half Fare card page. Depending on where you live, there are several delevery options. You will find more information on the mentioned page. In many the cases the Pass will arrive in time.
I hope this answers your question.
Olga10 June 2010 at 14:41:23 #831466
Thank you, Olga. But how do I know if they’ll sell it at Geneva Airport?OlgaParticipant341 posts10 June 2010 at 15:03:15 #831467
I’m pretty sure that you can purchase your Swiss Half Fare card at the railway station at Geneva Airport. To be sure you can contact the Swiss Federal Railways. Have you already checked if ordering online, as I suggested, may solve something?
Olga10 June 2010 at 15:15:12 #831468
Thanks. No, they only sell online for certain countries.10 June 2010 at 15:49:11 #831469
Hi drtib. The Swiss Half Fare Card is sold to almost any country. Just visit the page Olga mentioned and click “other countries”. Shipping costs apply though.11 June 2010 at 0:20:52 #831470
Yes, they sell to almost any country by snail mail, with a 10-day processing time after they receive my application form by snail mail, which would be a few days from now. I’d get the Card right after my trip to Switzerland.11 June 2010 at 1:15:20 #831471
Hi drtib. The railway station at the airport will be able to sell you the card. Enjoy your stay!
For the other readers of this post: you do not have to send an application form through snail mail. If you order as explained above, you can complete your order online. Delivery takes up to 7 working days, depending on the country.11 June 2010 at 1:48:44 #831472
In their website they say delivery takes up to 10 days if it’s within Switzerland, and longer abroad. The only countries that can buy online are Germany and very few others. The rest have to send a form by snail mail, with a passport photo.11 June 2010 at 2:08:00 #831473
It seems that we are talking about different ordering options here 🙂 Are you referring to the website of the SBB? That’s not the ordering option we recommended above. You can just go to the Swiss Half Fare card page and click “other countries”. Fill out the form, and you will eventually reach a page where you can fill out your address. It accepts almost any country. You can immediately complete your order and payment there, and you do not have to send anything through snail mail. There will probably be better ways to order in the future, but for now, this is the best option I know in order to get this particular pass in advance.11 June 2010 at 2:14:52 #831474
Yes, I filled out the form, then it gave me the snail mail address I have to send the form to, and they demand attaching a passport photo, so it can’t be done online. And processing takes at least 10 days, they say, once they receive the form by snail mail.11 June 2010 at 2:20:45 #831475
Ok, I see. Thanks for clearing that up. In which country do you live? Then I’ll contact Switzerland Travel Centre to see why it works this way. For now, you can best stick to purchasing the Swiss Half Fare Card at the railway station of the airport. Enjoy your traveling!
I just realised that I recently used the form as well (see attachment), for a Swiss Half Fare Card order to The Netherlands. There was no snail mail required there, so it must be particular countries only that require people to send an application form. Perhaps non-European countries. Anyway, I’ll look into it.11 June 2010 at 16:53:01 #831476
Thanks a million, Arno! You guys are great!
We’re in Israel, and we all have the same problem, it’s not sold here. Only the Swiss Pass is sold here.29 June 2010 at 14:55:45 #831477
How was your trip? I checked with Switzerland Travel Centre in the mean time. They do not require you to sent anything through regular mail. Please note that Switzerland Travel Centre and the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) are different companies and different websites. If you use this ordering link on our Swiss Half Fare Card page, you’ll get to the Switzerland Travel Centre ordering that allows you to complete the order online. You may have somehow ended up on the SBB website or another website and used a different ordering system.
I hope you enjoyed Switzerland!29 June 2010 at 18:03:24 #831478
Thank you, Arno. That’s indeed what happened. Your info has been invaluable to me!
I returned yesterday. I had the best time. The Bernese Oberland is picture-perfect, like entering a fantasy world of beauty, only it’s for real.
Swiss trains are a dream come true too. The Half Fare card (which I ended up purchasing with no problem at the Geneva airport train station)turned out a lot more comfortable for me than I had anticipated, because I’m such an obsessive organizer that, on the first morning, I just handed my itinerary print-out to the wonderfully nice assistant at the Tourist Office and she gave me all the tickets I needed according to my itinerary, so I never had to wait in line to purchase tickets during my stay. She even took the initiative to sell me tickets via different ways, so I’d get varying landscapes instead of riding twice the same route!
Another wet dream: when you arrive in Switzerland, wherever you are, you go into the nearest train station, however small, and say “take all this luggage from me, I don’t want to see it again till X day at Y time in Z place”, the whole transaction takes about half a minute, and then your luggage appears, waiting for you when you arrive at the designated city and place at the designated time. They were even so nice as to call the Zurich Airport train station from the Interlaken one, to tell them not to lock my luggage for the night because I was arriving later than the luggage storage room would be open. So they opened the storage room especially for me when I arrived. I did a lot of shopping, so twice I went to the train station and sent off heavy baggage to wait for me at Zurich airport. This means your first and last train days are part of the tourism fun, because you’re actually traveling with no bags. If you consider how much you save on taxis, how grateful your back is, and how much you enjoy, the price is nothing.
In short, the Swiss travel system is proof of how effective humans can be if they put their minds to it.