Can’t book Glacier Express after October 13

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MikeH
MikeH
9 posts
new member
Aug 29, 2019 - 11:36 AM

I believe that seat reservations for the Glacier Express are possible 3 months in advance. Why is the website (www.glacierexpress.ch/ en/ ) currently only allowing seat reservations up until 13 October 2019 ? That's only one and a half months in advance...

Ildiko
Ildiko
240 posts
active member &
moderator
Aug 29, 2019 - 12:00 PM in reply to MikeH

Hi MikeH,

the train operates daily until 13 October 2019. Then again from 15 December 2019 to 8 May 2020. You can book seats 3 months ahead of time. What is your date? Have you tried to book it here: www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/packages?

Last modified on Aug 29, 2019 - 12:04 PM by Ildiko
MikeH
MikeH
9 posts
new member
Aug 29, 2019 - 12:03 PM

My booking date will be 20th December. Will I be able to book seats in the panorama coach for this travel date via www.glacierexpress.ch/ en/ on the 20th September 2019? Then 2 months in advance I should be able to try and book Saver Day Pass Tickets (@ € 52pp) on the SBB mobile app for the same day and time of travel, correct?

Ildiko
Ildiko
240 posts
active member &
moderator
Aug 29, 2019 - 12:20 PM in reply to MikeH

Do you mean under the "panorama coach" the Excellence Class?

The Saver Day Pass can be purchased between 60 and 1 day(s) before your travel date. Some retailers offer pre-booking more than 60 days in advance, please see here: www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass/price

Last modified on Aug 29, 2019 - 12:23 PM by Ildiko
MikeH
MikeH
9 posts
new member
Aug 29, 2019 - 12:32 PM

No, not excellence class. Happy with standard 2nd class coach.

Ildiko
Ildiko
240 posts
active member &
moderator
Aug 29, 2019 - 7:37 PM in reply to MikeH

All coaches are panoramic in Glacier Express. The only special part of the train is the Excellence Class: www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress.

In mid-October they will release a new timetable, it will be valid from mid-December. Once the new data is processed, the regular period of 3 booking months ahead will be available again.

The retailers listed at www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/packages do allow bookings for your travel date already, please check it.

1960man
1960man
2047 posts
top member
Aug 29, 2019 - 10:51 PM

The 3rd party retailers can offer tickets because the schedule is already essentially known (although as already stated not officially 100% confirmed by the Swiss timetabling authorities and then put on the European rail computers in October)

There will be one Glacier Express each way daily on 20 December so demand is likely to be high as it is near Christmas and the winter GEX normally runs with only 5 coaches

MikeH
MikeH
9 posts
new member
Aug 30, 2019 - 9:17 AM

Okay, so given the likely demand, what is the exact earliest date that I can book a seat reservation for the Glacier Express on 20th December (here: shop.glacierexpress. ch /gex_en/specials/daytrips/glacier-express) ?

Which third parties allow an earlier seat reservation guarantee? (while still allowing me to buy a Saver Day Pass later to cover the actual ticket price)

Annika
Annika
6002 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 30, 2019 - 10:10 AM in reply to MikeH

Hi MikeH,

I can't predict at what exact date bookings via the Glacier Express website will be available, but I guess it should be soon after the new timetable release by mid-October. As far as I know, all retailers at the list given by Ildiko (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/packages) allow booking now. The Saver Day Pass can be bought completely indepent from your booking (www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass/price). You can pre-order now through this link to secure it for the lowest possible price: https://www.happyrail. com/en/pass/europe/swi tzerland/swiss-saver-day-pass. As long as you have both your seat reservation and ticket/Saver Day Pass while traveling, you'll be fine.

MikeH
MikeH
9 posts
new member
Aug 30, 2019 - 10:50 AM

I looked at that link for securing the Saver Day Pass in advance and you pay a hefty premium! They charge CHF105 for a Saver Pass that normally costs CHF57!

Annika
Annika
6002 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 30, 2019 - 3:22 PM

Yes, but that price difference will be refunded once they issue the actual pass, so in the end you don't pay anything extra. The pre-booking procedure is explained under the Happyrail reseller information at www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass/price.

Last modified on Aug 30, 2019 - 3:22 PM by Annika
Kandis
Kandis
9 posts
new member
Sep 2, 2019 - 5:22 PM in reply to Ildiko

I’m so disappointed to hear that the Glacier express isn’t running the days we are in Switzerland. Can you recommend any other Trains that do something similar? I’m heartbroken.

JaneEB
JaneEB
84 posts
active member
Sep 2, 2019 - 6:14 PM in reply to Kandis

Hi Kandis

Even if the Glacier Express is not running you can still catch the regular trains that travel the same route.

You have the added bonus of not having to pay to reserve seats and are able to break your journey if you wish and catch a later train.

You still have a good view of the scenery from the large windows on the regular trains and can swap seats from one side of the train to the other if you think the view from the other side is more scenic.

Hope you find this is of some consulation.

Jane



Last modified on Sep 2, 2019 - 6:16 PM by JaneEB
1960man
1960man
2047 posts
top member
Sep 3, 2019 - 12:14 AM in reply to Kandis

The Glacier Express (GEX) is extremely well marketed, such that ordinary trains on the same route get 'missed' by many tourists

In practice the GEX is just an ‘exclusive’ set of trains on a normal railway route with plenty of other normal - non supplement , reservation-free trains on it.

If you are already holidaying in the Swiss Alps you won't necessarily see anything more spectacular from the Glacier Express that you would not have already seen on other jaunts.

To understand the above, it is worth taking a moment to understand the Glacier Express and its history:

It was created (as one train each way daily) with the notion that well-healed travellers taking long holidays in Switzerland in the ‘Belle Epoque’ era (1930s) would stay in Zermatt and then also go and stay in the other fashionable resort of the time, St Moritz. The train was named (mainly) after the Rhone Glacier which has now melted so much that you don’t see it from the train and in any case the train runs under the Rhone Glacier in a base tunnel which replaced the Furka mountain section in 1982.

A summary of things to bear in mind about the Glacier Express:

1) Although the whole journey is in the mountains, a lot of it is in valleys - where you get some good views of bubbling rivers but not all the time - there are some mundane sections.

2) in truth there are only 4 really spectacular sections - in order West to East: the loops around Grengiols and Fiesch; Andermatt - Oberalppass - Disentis; Ruinaulta (Rheinschucht aka Rhein gorge); Albula north ramp loops and spirals Tiefencastel - Filisur - Preda

3) The trip is a long one - tourists can frequently be seen sleeping rather than watching the view and missing the spectacular bits anyway!

4) the same railway lines can be travelled using ordinary local trains which are no slower in practice due to the single track infrastructure

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