Advice on Eurail small print-too good to be true?

Advice on Eurail small print-too good to be true?

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 8
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
TrainFan
TrainFan
11 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2018 - 1:23 PM

Hello again,

We had originally planned to purchase a Swiss Flex Pass for 4 days of non-consecutive travel. We would then pay for individual tickets for two other days. However, with Eurail's promotion, it seems that we could get 5 days of unlimited travel within two months for $525 less ($1440 vs $874 for first class). The strange thing is that this pass would cover both France and Switzerland, but they are not offereing a one-country rail pass to Switzerland (just the 20% off deal for consecutive days only, which doesn't work for us).

So, I'm worried that this pass is too good to be true? The small print says that the pass does not cover all routes in Switzerland. Notably, some routes are 25% to 50% reduced:

BET: 25%. Bergbahnen Engelberg -Trübsee - Kleintitilis

BGF: 25%. Bergbahnen Grindelwald – First

BLM: 25%. Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen – Mürren

BOB : 25%. Berner Oberland - Bahnen: Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald / Lauterbrunnen

BOB-spb: 25%. Schynige Platte Bahn

HB :25%. Harderbahn

LSMS-lsms: 25%. Stechelberg - Schilthorn

JB: 25%. Jungfraubahn: Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch

PB : 50%. Pilatusbahn sowie: VBL, Verkehrsbetriebe Luzern (Linie 1 Luzern Bahnhof – Kriens Zentrum)

RB :50%. Rigi - Bahnen: Arth - Goldau - Rigi Kulm / Vitznau - Rigi Kulm

SMF-lsm: 25%. Stöckalp - Melchsee – Frutt

SthB :25%. Stanserhorn - Bahn

WAB :25%. Wengernalpbahn: Grindelwald

What I am concerned about are the trains from Interlakken to Grindelwald. When I searched this route on SBB's site, it does not tell me if I'm using a BOB train, for example. We are staying in Grindelwald, so do 'normal' trains go there? Or just BOB trains?

Thanks again for your help. We had thought we had this all settled, but a savings of $525 is amazing, plus we get the 5 days that we need! But of course, we are not sure if it's too good to be true....

Arno
Arno
10348 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2018 - 2:06 PM

Hi TrainFan,

The 1st class 5-day Eurail Select Pass for France and Switzerland costs $337 per person with the promotion you mentioned: www.raileurope.com/pas s/eurail-select-pass-2-countries-8039. The 1st class 4-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex costs $540 per person: www.raileurope.com/pas s/swiss-pass-5934. In both cases you can get a discount with the promo code if you reach the minimum order amount, which I think you will: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/100-off-swiss-travel-pass-other-passestickets.

The 1st class 8-day Swiss Travel Pass costs about $552 with the 20% off promotion: www.raileurope.com/pas s/swiss-pass-5934. That would cover you all 5 days.

As for what Eurail covers versus Swiss Travel Pass (Flex): you can forget about train company names, that's not relevant. It is only about routes. You can download the maps from the below pages and see which routes are free, or discounted, or not covered at all for each pass:

The difference between Eurail and the other passes is that Eurail only covers main train lines and boats and offers discounts on a few cable cars & cogwheel trains. The other passes also include urban transport in towns, museums entrance and many more cable car discounts. But it depends on your plans whether this is an actual advantage. Please see the above maps. Interlaken to Grindelwald for example, is 25% discounted with Eurail, but free (no ticket needed) with the others.

I read in your other thread that you will be traveling from March 17 (departure on the 16th?). Is that still the case? Note that Eurail and Swiss Travel Passes need to be shipped to you. It might be a bit late for that, but please check the above links for details. I think they offer free shipping in 2-3 business days and overnight shipping for a fee.

The Swiss Travel Pass can be printed at home. During weekdays you'll receive the e-mail the same or the next day.

Last modified on Mar 13, 2018 - 2:12 PM by Arno
TrainFan
TrainFan
11 posts
new member
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:01 PM

Hello Arno,

Thank you so much for your reply. The numbers I included above are in Canadian dollars for two people (if you were wondering where we got our numbers).

We have been in Germany since the beginning of March, so there is some solace in knowing that we could not have taken advantage of this amazing Eurail deal as it began after we left Canada. We had always planned to pick up our 4 day flex pass at the train station in Switzerland, but we see now that a special Saver Day Pass is available, so if we purchase those tickets in advance, plus the Half Fare Card (both available from SBB), we can save $233. It's not as good as saving $525, but we'll take it :) I'm assuming these tickets are available as printable .pdfs as they are from SBB.

Thank you once again for your help. The service you offer here is invaluable.

Arno
Arno
10348 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:53 PM in reply to TrainFan

You're welcome! Glad to hear you found an option that suits your needs. The Swiss Half Fare Card can be printed at home via the SBB tourist web shop at www.swissrailways.com/ en or any other retailer: www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/price. Allow a business day for the e-mail to arrive, but often it is much quicker than that. Tickets can be printed at home as well via SBB or several others.

Enjoy your trips!

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:50 AM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
3367 posts
expert
Mar 14, 2018 - 8:00 PM in reply to TrainFan

Hello TrainFan,

If you are just going to rely on Saver Day Passes with a Swiss Half Fare Card be aware that it is not always possible to get the SDP at the best price. You have to get them in a window of opportunity. Normally 30 - 10 days out from travel. Even then lowest price may not be guaranteed.

Also at best prices difference between half-fare price and full is CHF23. You need 6 SDPs to save CHF13. Although SHFC has added advantage of discounts on mountain routes.

Just saying . . . .

Arno
Arno
10348 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2018 - 9:29 PM

Rockoyster is right. The Saver Day Pass normally is for occasional trips planned well in advance. But alternatively there's the 1-day travelpass without these limitations: www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass. That is, if you need day passes at all. With a Swiss Half Fare Card you need to travel a lot on one day to make this worth it over discounted point to point tickets.

Last modified on Mar 14, 2018 - 9:30 PM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
3367 posts
expert
Mar 14, 2018 - 9:45 PM in reply to rockoyster

Fun Fact (not mentioned in fine print)

Whilst the price of a Swiss Half-Fare Card is CHF120 the minimum spend is actually CHF240 before you start to save anything.

That’s the initial CHF120 PLUS CHF120 half fare tickets. After that you save.

🤓

TrainFan
TrainFan
11 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 8:25 AM

For us, using the Saver Day Pass saved us $200 over using the 4 day Flex Pass. We used a combination of point-to-point tickets and 3 Saver Day Passes. The Saver Day Passes also allow for flexibility whereas using the discounted point-to-point tickets do not. So, it was better for us this way.

More about Swiss trains and rail passes

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2018