Swiss Travel Pass with bookings from Venice?

Swiss Travel Pass with bookings from Venice?

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chuckfinley
chuckfinley
6 posts
new member
May 28, 2018 - 12:07 AM

We have purchased our Swiss Travel Passes and Family Cards for our trip in July. We wanted to pre-buy our train tickets from Venice to Luzern. I've poured over all the tips about traveling into switzerland on this site and about seat reservations. But I'm still a bit lost. I've found a good option on the SBB time table, connecting in Milan and Arth-Goldau, but it requires a reservation from Milan to Arth-Goldau. I can't figure out how to indicate that we have a swiss travel pass when booking the tickets on SBB - the only discounts it gives me an option for are the half-fare, the jr. half fare and the G1/2. This website mentions there is sometimes a passholder option - but I didn't see one for this train. Since it requires a seat reservation I thought I'd need to book all the way through, but should I just book from Venice to Chiasso? Do I then need get a seat reservation from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau separately - will that give me a STP option for that portion? I'm just struggling because the SBB booking site has me second guessing and I'm struggling with how to book the train vs. making a seat reservation. Would it be better to book Venice to Chiasso on the Italian Rail site if I need to book that portion separately? Thanks in advance for any walk-throughs or guidance you can give.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3581 posts
expert
May 28, 2018 - 3:40 AM in reply to chuckfinley

Have you read www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy?

You basically need a ticket and a reservation fro Venice to Chiasso then you just stay on the train and keep going to your destination. You don;t need a reservation or a ticket from the Swiss border as you will be covered by your Swiss Travel Pass.

That's the fail-safe option.

I also believe that if you book your entire trip through the SBB timetable you can nominate the GA 2cl reduction, to get the correct price for a Swiss Travel Pass holder, because it is the equivalent of the Swiss Travel Pass.

Lucas
Lucas
6375 posts
expert &
moderator
May 28, 2018 - 10:02 AM

The first option of buying tickets to Chiasso is the best one.

The GA travel pass reduction gives holders of the GA in Switzerland some discounts on international travel as well (which the Swiss Travel Pass does not entitle you to).

Last modified on May 28, 2018 - 5:51 PM by Arno
chuckfinley
chuckfinley
6 posts
new member
May 29, 2018 - 1:37 AM

Thank you both for the reply. I did read the www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy page and that page is what caused me to believe that I needed a seat reservation from Chiasso to Arth-Galdoa, because it talked about needing a seat reservation on incoming trains, even with the STP. And I couldn't figure out how to get a seat reservation with the STP. So perhaps it could use a little tweaking to make clearer?

Lucas, so even though the train on the SBB timetable says "reservations compulsory" I only need a tickets and a seat reservation to Chiasso? I don't need a seat reservation from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau? That is the part that still has me a little worried.

Continued Thanks!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2257 posts
top member
May 29, 2018 - 3:42 AM in reply to chuckfinley

>> even though the train on the SBB timetable says "reservations compulsory" I only need a tickets and a seat reservation to Chiasso? I don't need a seat reservation from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau? That is the part that still has me a little worried.

In the absence of any details of the date and time of your train, I have used the SBB timetable and picked a connection at random for mid-July:

  • Venezia S. Lucia to Luzern, departing Venezia S. Lucia at 8:20 on 12 July 2018.
  • For the sector Milano Centrale to Arth-Goldau, it shows both "Reservations compulsory" and "Reservations possible" on EuroCity 16.
  • It shows the train departing Milano Centrale at 11:25 and arriving in Chiasso at 12:10, then departing Chiasso at 12:15, arriving in Arth-Goldau at 14:09.

If you do a search for the trip on EuroCity 16 from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau at 12:15, it will show "Reservations possible" for Chiasso to Arth Goldau, not "Reservations compulsory".

Of course, as reservations are possible, that means someone else could reserve your seat from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau if you haven't reserved it yourself, and you would have to move to another seat.

As you are travelling in July, and the train will probably be crowded, I would be inclined to make a reservation on the SBB site for the sector Chiasso to Arth-Goldau. It will almost certainly be a different seat from that you reserved from Milano Centrale to Chiasso, but at least you will have a definite seat to move to if someone turns up at Chiasso with a reservation for the seat you have been occupying from Milano. However, note that any seat you reserve from Chiasso to Arth-Goldau will be released for anyone to sit in 20 minutes after leaving Chiasso if you are not occupying it.

The old-format SBB timetable (which is still online at the link below) is much more specific about the requirement for reservations (see attached screenshot), but the new-format timetable unfortunately lacks this level of detail.

fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/qu ery.exe/en?showAdvancedInput=1

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 29, 2018 - 4:15 AM by Alpenrose666
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chuckfinley
chuckfinley
6 posts
new member
May 29, 2018 - 4:27 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

That is helpful thanks. We are traveling on 3 July and I was looking at either the 10:50 or 12:20 departure from Venezia S. Lucia. The early departure would be the RegioExpress 25520 from Milan to Lugano, then the IC 21 from Lugano to Luzern. These both seem to be reservation optional. The 12:20 departure, has Milan to Arth-Goldau train as the EC20 and Arth-Goldau to Luzern is the IR 26. The SBB timetable for the EC20, says "reservation compulsory." If you think one train would be a better experience than the other, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Our group is three adults, a 9 y.o. and a 6 y.o.

We're fine with buying a seat reservation for each section of the trip, and your suggestion to get one from Chiasso to Luzern since the train will likely be busy is very helpful. So, regardless of which train we pick I'd like to get seat reservations - But that leads me back to my second original question - because I'm not seeing how to buy just a seat reservation on the SBB ticket shop, since I already have a travel pass. Would one of the other sites myswissalps pages link to - like RailEurope or ACPRail be easier to use to purchase a seat reservation? Or am I just missing something?

Again, many thanks for your patience and help!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3581 posts
expert
May 29, 2018 - 5:00 AM in reply to chuckfinley

I still maintain you can book the entire trip (including reservations) through SBB and claim the GA 2cl discount to get the correct price. But the jury still seems to be out on that theory as Lucas suggests GA and Swiss Travel Pass are not equivalent. My argument is that GA offers extra discount with France and Germany but NOT Italy. But we don't want you playing guinea pig, so . . . .

. . . leaving that aside you can make reservations for the Swiss trains at bit.ly/2HHB2Ev.

Last modified on May 29, 2018 - 5:20 AM by rockoyster
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2257 posts
top member
May 29, 2018 - 5:56 AM in reply to chuckfinley

>> We are traveling on 3 July and I was looking at either the 10:50 or 12:20 departure from Venezia S. Lucia ... If you think one train would be a better experience than the other, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Our group is three adults, a 9 y.o. and a 6 y.o.

Both trains go through the Gotthard-Basistunnel; both have two transfers, those in Switzerland being straightforward, from one side of the platform to the other at either Lugano or Arth-Goldau.

The advantage of the 12:20 departure is that journey time is half an hour less, a greater part of the journey is reservable, and the EuroCity trains have a slightly greater level of amenity/comfort. As you are 5 people travelling together in high season, the reservation issue is important in my opinion, to increase your chances of getting seated together and getting some window seats.

The only advantage of the 10:50 departure that I can see is that it stops at Flüelen, so if you wanted to go the rest of the way by boat to Luzern, you could do that. That would add another 2 hours to your journey time, but on a beautiful day on the lake, you may not notice that! Not sure about the children though ... although the boat would be a change of pace/experience from the train, and there is plenty of opportunity to walk around on the boat. (No access to the upper deck without a first-class ticket though.)

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 29, 2018 - 6:05 AM by Alpenrose666
Lucas
Lucas
6375 posts
expert &
moderator
May 29, 2018 - 6:11 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for the reminder Rockoyster...it ticked something in my brain.

GA Discounts are applicable to Germany and Austria and not Italy (or France I believe) in less you found that somewhere else?

So for the Italian trip I would take the change on purchase on the GA discount. :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3581 posts
expert
May 29, 2018 - 6:18 AM in reply to Lucas

Sorry Lucas, I meant Germany and Austria. To quote "If you have a GA travelcard and buy your ticket in Switzerland, you will receive a 15% discount on routes abroad. If you book your journey at least three days before departure and it includes a weekend, you will receive an additional 15% discount on your journey to the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Denmark with the supersaver return ticket on routes abroad. Please make sure that you bring your international discount card with you and present it together with your GA travelcard on your SwissPass to the train crew on the German/Austrian routes."

So theoretically claiming GA discount for Swiss leg of bookings to/from Italy and France should work fine for Swiss Travel Pass holders. Is that the conclusion?

Lucas
Lucas
6375 posts
expert &
moderator
May 29, 2018 - 6:30 AM in reply to rockoyster

I conclude that as well . :)

The 3 German countries (DACH in German or unfortunately GAS in English) always tend to work closely together and give each other discounts etc.

German solidarity I suppose ;)

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