Class upgrade for 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass

Class upgrade for 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass

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rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 2, 2017 - 5:37 AM

Hi Guys,

Thanks to the fantastic store on information on this site and the patient assistance from the MySwissAlps moderators my wife and I have finally settled on an itinerary for our 3-week trip to Switzerland in May/Jun.

I am now doing the math on the cost effectiveness of various passes.

I am leaning towards a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass (Flex). Not because it saves us lots of money but because it is going to be convenient not having to buy individual tickets at a station (apart from issue with class upgrades explained below).

We will mainly travel 2nd Class but have reservations in 1st class on the Glacier, Bernina and Gotthard Panorama trains.

I believe that with a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass the upgrade 2nd to 1st is half of the price difference between 1st and 2nd class.Everything I have read seems to confirm this is so. Great - I have factored that into my itinerary spread sheet. But then I read on this thread

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/how-to-buy-a-class-upgrade-in-the-sbb-mobile-app that:

Important: this procedure does NOT apply to Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) holders. They can buy upgrades and only pay half the difference between 2nd and 1st class, but this has to be purchased from a staffed service desk.”

Question 1: Why is this so? Having done almost all my bookings on-line AND choosing the STP for convenience rather than outright cost savings I would prefer not to have to go queue at a ticket counter to get the three upgrades I need. The above warning implies that a similar restriction does not apply to the continuous STP.

If I look at the SBB Mobile App I can buy the correct, half-price route-specific class upgrade, by nominating that I have a half-fare card (see attached image for Gotthard Panorama). I assume I can do the same thing on the on-line SBB ticket shop and print off the upgrade ticket to carry with me.

Question 2: If I buy this upgrade and show it to the on-board ticket inspector along with my STP (Flex) suitably validated for the appropriate day is there any reason why the upgrade would not be accepted?

Question 3: If I am forced to buy the class upgrades from a station can I buy all three at once or can I only buy them on the actual day of travel if using an STP (Flex)?

Hope you can help clarify for me.

Please login to see the attached documents
Lucas
Lucas
7085 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 2, 2017 - 8:57 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

1) Alpenrose meant the Swiss Travel Pass AND Swiss Travel Pass Flex when he put the flex in brackets.

Mostly, the reason for this is the website is geared towards Swiss locals not towards tourist passes unfortunately. Even the Swiss half fare travelcard isn't the same thing as the tourist focused Swiss Half Fare Card that you may buy (though they are extremely similar).

2) I checked on SBB.ch and it looks like the price is indeed correct if one chooses the "Half-Fare travelcard". I am not sure though if it is wise to buy an upgrade for a pass one does not have. Even if the price is the same. I wouldn't do it myself. The Swiss can be pretty strict ;-)

3) Yes. At any staffed ticket window at any office - whenever you see an empty window or small line duck in and buy them.

I hope that clears it up!

Lucas

rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 2, 2017 - 10:45 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. One trip to the ticket window won't be so bad. ;-)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2017 - 3:04 AM

Hi Lucas,

You wrote . . . "Mostly, the reason for this is the website is geared towards Swiss locals not towards tourist passes unfortunately. Even the Swiss half fare travelcard isn't the same thing as the tourist focused Swiss Half Fare Card that you may buy (though they are extremely similar)."

I may end up getting a STP Flex for the big travel days and a Swiss Half Fare Card for the balance of our 3 weeks. Looking at buying tickets from the SBB Ticket shop or SBB Mobile app there is no option in the pricing for the Swiss Half Fare Card. I had assumed I could just select Half-fare Travel Card (see attached and all would be good.

Your comments above have me worried that this might not be "legal".

And if it is OK then the inability to buy a route specific class upgrade via the same method seems even more illogical.

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2017 - 3:23 AM

Sorry - one more question. When I was looking at various passes a week or so back I worked out I could get a Swiss Half Fare Card delivered electronically. At shop.swissrailways.com this is still true. There is an option to select electronic delivery. But there is no such option to get a Swiss Travel Pass Flex delivered electronically. Is there any way of doing this or must I pay 25CHF to get it snail mailed?

Lucas
Lucas
7085 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2017 - 7:41 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster!

The Swiss half fare Travelcard is for locals only - so don't buy that. You wouldn't be able to actually as they need passport, Swiss ID and a photo to set it up initially.

You can use the SBB website, through our timetable page, to just find the price you will pay with the Swiss Half Fare Card by selecting (as you did in the screenshot, the half fare travel card).

Yes, it is a very good idea to get both the Swiss Travel Pass Flex and Swiss Half Fare Card.

You can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card online and have it emailed to you yes.
But, no unfortunately you can't get the Swiss Travel Pass Flex emailed for print at home - I have no idea why. Switzerland is...a unique country. haha.
You can get it shipped within 1 to 3 business days at some re-sellers we work with however (see link above).

Lucas

Last modified on Apr 3, 2017 - 7:42 AM by Lucas
rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 4, 2017 - 7:08 AM

Hi Lucas,

Following on from the above exchange I emailed the SBB Ticket Shop as follows:

" I will be visiting Switzerland from Australia in May/June this year and will use a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass Flex while in your country. On some journeys I plan to purchase a route specific class upgrade. Can I purchase the upgrade, using the half-fare rate, via the SBB Mobile App? The app makes no reference to the Swiss Travel Pass. Your advice is appreciated."

I got the following response:

"Thank you for your query. Yes, with the Swiss Travel Pass you can purchase the half-fare rate class upgrade. Visit the following page for more information about the Swiss Travel Pass:
www.myswitzerland.com/ en-ch/billette.html
I wish you a nice day."

I have now decided to just go ahead and get a 15 day STP Flex as that will cover most of the days we are in Switzerland. The convenience of not having to buy individual tickets won me over along with reading the Tips in Chandraks excellent trip report at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/aug-and-sept-2016-9-day-trip-report.

Hang the expense and fingers crossed. ;-)

Lucas
Lucas
7085 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2017 - 8:18 AM in reply to rockoyster

Well well!

Awesome to hear this - keep that email on you when you are on the train ;) and do let us know how your trip goes!

Lucas

rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2017 - 12:30 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

The information on your site at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex/pric e states that you can select on-line delivery for the Swiss Travel Pass at www.swissrailways.com. This is true for the continuous-days pass but not for the flex. Maybe the information could be updated to make it clear that the Flex Pass is not available for on-line delivery? Presumably that is to stop people printing out multiple copies and filling in different validity dates?

Annika
Annika
4949 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2017 - 6:54 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster!

Thanks for your input! The Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Travel Pass Flex are different products. We don't mean the Swiss Travel Pass Flex too when we write "Swiss Travel Pass". We only list the products that can be printed at home under the "Print at home" option at our price pages: Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and Swiss Transfer Ticket. The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is not mentioned there, as it not available as an e-ticket yet. Indeed this has to do with multiple dates that have to be filled out by the traveler on the spot. I hope this pass too will soon be available in a print at home form.

I hope it's all clear now!

Last modified on Apr 7, 2017 - 6:55 AM by Annika

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