Jul 21, 2010 - 3:38 AM
You can purchase your tickets through the SBB website
. Fill out Geneva Airport as your departure station, Locarno as your arrival station and Lauterbrunnen as your via-station. Be sure to fill out the right travel date as well. The timetable well then come up with several connections. Pick one and click 'Fare/Buy'. This will get you into an ordering procedure in which you have to enter some other dates on your travel route as well. The ticket will be valid during the date you've filled out. This doesn't prevent you from making stops on the way, for example in Lauterbrunnen. Only if you want to make seat reservations (which isn't necessary in your case), you'll have to stick to one particular train. But without seat reservations you simply have to complete your trip on the date you've entered and it's no problem to get out at Lauterbrunnen for a couple of hours and then continue your trip. You can have your ticket sent to your home address by regular mail (which can be quite expensive), or pick it up at the railway station of Geneva Airport, which may be most convenient.
Of course you can also arrange for your ticket in Switzerland at the Geneva Airport railway station. It can be done rather quickly at a ticket counter and the personnel will help you out getting the right ticket. If you mention you want to head for Locarno via Lauterbrunnen, this will be no problem. If you plan quite some time between your arrival at Geneva Airport and your departure to Lauterbrunnen, purchasing your ticket at the spot should fit into this scheme.
The Swiss Half Fare Card is valid during 1 month. I'm not sure when you're leaving and when you're returning to Switzerland, but if more than one month has gone by, your Swiss Half Fare Card won't be valid anymore. If the trip from Geneva Airport to Locarno via Lauterbrunnen is the only one you'll be making in Switzerland before the film festival, the costs would be CHF 126.00 and this would mean that you're best off with regular train tickets, instead of a Swiss rail pass. Even if a trip from Locarno to Zurich Airport would be included (costs: CHF 61.00), the Swiss Half Fare Card wouldn't be cost effective. This would only be the case if you'd return to Switzerland within one month and make some further trips there (or if, as Wandermann supposed, you'd return to Geneva Airport).
A little note on your luggage: you can store it in Lauterbrunnen, or hand it over at the Geneva railway station and pick it up at the Locarno railway station the same evening, using the Fast Baggage Service
of the SBB.
Good luck on your further preparations!