Cash only at Swiss rail station?

Cash only at Swiss rail station?

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Debra
Debra
140 posts
active member
Jun 2, 2018 - 3:18 AM

Reading all the problems people are having with Happy Rail lately, Ii decided to get the Swiss Travel Pass Flex at the airport rail station. The myswissaalps website under the "prices and where to buy" says: "Payment in Swiss francs. Payment in other currencies is often possible,

but usually a high exchange rate applies. Cash payments only in Swiss

francs and sometimes EUR. " Does this mean they won't take a credit card to buy the pass at the station? Seems wrong.

Arno
Arno
10952 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 2, 2018 - 4:04 AM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra,

I wouldn't worry about the issues you heard about. All the retailers listed on www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex/pric e, including Happyrail, are very trustworthy. Hundreds of people buy through them without issues. With such numbers there are always a few problems, but in the end those are often easy to solve: people forget to check their spam folder for an e-mail, or filled out the wrong start date. Things like that get solved.

In all, printing your pass at home is still the simplest and slightly cheaper option, although in your case the Flex pass is only available for physical shipping. That will change in the foreseeable future. Shipping is free though, via most retailers. Just make sure there's enough time to receive it.

The comment you read about payment means that eventually you'll pay in CHF (base price) even if the terminal is capable to show a different currency. The exchange rate is not a good one usually. But this is common everywhere, not just at train stations. They do take cards. I found it best to pay in CHF and let my bank do the conversion. They often also take cash EUR, but that's an expensive way to pay.

Last modified on Jun 2, 2018 - 10:14 AM by Arno
1960man
1960man
474 posts
top member
Jun 2, 2018 - 11:38 PM

I don't understand why people book through 'HappyRail' when all the passes and tickets one could want are available direct from SBB.ch

You can most certainly pay by debit/credit card in Swiss station travel centres and ticket offices. It is usually quick and painless

Ankit jain21
Ankit jain21
47 posts
active member
Jun 2, 2018 - 11:48 PM

2days back i bought 2 STP from happyrail and i got the passes in 15min over email.

I highly recommend happyrail. Awesome service.

Debra
Debra
140 posts
active member
Jun 3, 2018 - 2:46 AM in reply to 1960man

SBB website wanted to charge me 20chf extra from their site when I went to check out, 15chf if I wanted to pick it up at an airport location. Happy rail had free delivery and was a couple chf cheaper. Probably best to buy at the station. Facebook page from HappyRail has lots of complaints as well of what I hae been reading here, so I didn't want any hassle. Last year I bought a regular Swiss Travel Pass from RailEurope when they had their extra day promo and it was a very easy transaction; they don't offer the flex though.

Arno
Arno
10952 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 3, 2018 - 7:16 AM

Hi everyone,

@Debra: I understand your concerns. Perhaps I won't be able to take them away, but I don't worry about Happyrail or any of the other points of sale we list on our website. We list them there because we trust them for our visitors. I have a broader picture of things of course, so I know that lots of people buy through various online retailers and only a few have issues. It's almost impossible to prevent issues with hundreds if not thousands of orders. People make mistakes, both on the retailer end as well as customers, credit card transactions occasionally get refused, physical shipping can sometimes be a challenge. Complaints are much more likely to be ventilated than praise. All retailers get complaints, whether it is Happyrail, RailEurope, Trainline, SBB (online or ticket desk) or anyone else; I haven't found an exception yet.

As for Happyrail: they're a relatively new company but founded by a specialized train travel agency with 16 years of experience under their belt. No need to worry about them, but of course they make mistakes like everyone else. I know they're working on various improvements.

By the way: Rail Europe does offer the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. If you click to the link I gave you, you will see them listed. From there you'll end up on their page www.raileurope.com/pas s/swiss-pass-5934. They are promoting their 1st class Swiss Travel Pass there (would that be interesting for you?), so you need to un-tick the box "My travel dates are between 05/15/2018 and 06/30/2018" to see the "X days within one month" passes become available.

Of course you can also buy your passes at a staffed station, so that is listed on our pages with purchase options too. Be sure to go there during opening hours with all passengers and all passports.

In the end, all that matters is the beautiful train trips. Have a good time and enjoy them!

@1960man: I think there is a place for multiple retailers like every other product. I can buy a Samsung TV directly from Samsung or from countless physical and online shops. They all have their pros and cons. Likewise with plane tickets, which can be bought from the airline or many other sites. In this case Happyrail offers a wide range of products for other countries too, good prices in general and quick delivery. For some that might be a reason to buy there, while others prefer SBB or one of the others. SBB has a very good (new) web shop for all tourist passes at https://shop.switzerla ndtravelcentre.com/#/e n/home. Nothing wrong with that option either. If one had to pick an "official" place to buy passes then that would be the place. However, Swiss Travel System passes are designed by Swiss Travel System AG on behalf of nearly all transport companies in Switzerland, which is not just SBB. They are the biggest though.

@Ankit: glad to hear it all worked fine for you, enjoy your trip!

Last modified on Jun 3, 2018 - 7:20 AM by Arno
Debra
Debra
140 posts
active member
Jun 4, 2018 - 11:42 PM

The "contact us" email link on the happy rail site doesn't work (has not since last week since I started trying) so I continue to be skeptical...when I started to put purchase info in the pop up keeps closing, plus I don't know ow it wants the date of birth entered dd/mm/yyyy or mm/dd/yyyy. Anyway, when I am having this much trouble making a purchase it's usually a sign...

Last modified on Jun 4, 2018 - 11:44 PM by Debra
Lucas
Lucas
8142 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2018 - 6:02 AM in reply to Debra

Fair enough Debra. I haven't heard of those issues from others but it sounds like fate is telling you not buy online this time. :)

FYI in Europe it is always dd/mm/yyyy

Last modified on Jun 5, 2018 - 6:02 AM by Lucas
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2018 - 6:54 AM in reply to Lucas

>> FYI in Europe it is always dd/mm/yyyy

Just to throw a spanner in the works, the Jungfrau reservation site uses the US date format on their English-language page! On their German- and French-language pages, they use the dd/mm/yyyy format though. However, thankfully you can pick the date from a calendar, which makes things clearer.

www.jungfrau.ch/shop/e n/bergbahn/reservation /

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jun 5, 2018 - 6:57 AM by Removed user
Lucas
Lucas
8142 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2018 - 10:22 AM in reply to Removed user

Ha. natürlich!

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