Tips for travelers from India. This is about my experiences regards Visa and Travel agents, which should help you.
To get your visa, don't go thru a travel agent. They will charge you a lot of money for a process that you can easily do yourself.
The application details are available in the website of vfsglobal - they handle the processing for many countries. The list of docs required are clearly spelt out, and they have a call center who will clarify details if you have any questions. There were only 2 aspects that were unclear :
1. The submission requires photo of certain specs which wasn't clearly specified. I can’t remember what it was, but they have the service of taking your mug shot as per specs, at the application center (at least in B’lore they do so)
2. They were unclear, actually misleading, about the requirement of a ‘booking reservation that’s not actually a ticket’. In the end I took a chance and booked a confirmed ticket, and submitted that for the visa app.
At www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price there’s a reference to www.raileurope.co.in, which in turn gives you a list of agents you can buy tickets and excursions from. I tried (or rather was forced to try) 3 of those.
· I went thru www.swisstours.com. Poor service - despite giving them 3 chances, they did poor work.
· So tried Thomas Cook. I had already bought the SwissTravelPass thro Swisstours, and the flight tickets online. So only had the excursions to buy. They weren’t interested – the business was too small, I was told! And their escalation / governance mechanisms, non-existent.
· I shifted to Traveltours – and these guys were ok.
But really, none of these guys make the mark. If it wasn’t for the Internet, and folks like Arno & Annika, we’d get so little for the precious time & money that we spend. Doing it ourselves, with these resources, is always the best bet
I looked up the site referred above, www.raileurope.co.in, to buy the Glacier Pass reservation, and found the price was much higher than the CHF33 its otherwise supposed to be. When I asked them, they had no idea why. So do look around for the best prices – it pays!