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.