Comparing Swiss rail passes and how to use them

Comparing Swiss rail passes and how to use them

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vikasICI
vikasICI
13 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 7:49 AM

Hi,

I am trying to do some fare comparisons to decide on a travel pass or half rate card. The half rate card also includes the complimentary family card for accompanied children as far as I know. The ssb.ch website only shows the following options for kids :half rate, junior travel card, grandchildren card and children's co travelcard. Which option do I choose to get the kids tickets free?

I tried with the Junior travelcard and Children's co travelcard and both seem to give the expected discount, but not sure if I am allowed to book with those options since the card I will have will be called Family card. Any ideas if they are the same?

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2018 - 8:05 AM in reply to vikasICI

Hi vikasICI and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Those child cards are different products than the Swiss Family Card and you can disregard them if you are going to get the Swiss Family Card.

The Swiss Family Card can be ordered for free with a Swiss Half Fare Card or indeed any of these Swiss rail system cards (like the Swiss Travel Pass).

The Swiss Family Card is all your children need to travel free with you (children between 6 and 15). Under 6 and they don't need any ticket or rail pass at all. You'll need to buy your own tickets if you have the Swiss Half Fare Card but you don't buy anything extra for the kids.

Last modified on Jan 17, 2018 - 8:07 AM by Lucas
vikasICI
vikasICI
13 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 8:26 AM

Thanks for the reply!

So from what I understand, if we are 2 adults and one kid (8 yr old), then we need to book only 2 tickets. Does this work for all trains or are there exceptions like Jungfrau or any of the scenic trains? Plus, do I book only 2 tickets if travelling from Zurich to Milan or Rome?

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2018 - 10:32 AM in reply to vikasICI

You would need three passes or tickets for your group.

If you buy a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card (for example) you will need to add-on the free Swiss Family Card for the 8 year old.

The child with the SFC will travel free everywhere with you - no tickets needed.

If you use the Swiss Travel Pass for the adults you get almost entirely free travel everywhere in Switzerland but some mountains like Jungfraujoch you still need to buy a ticket for (with 25% discount in that case). With the Swiss Half Fare Card you always have to buy tickets (all at 50% off).

You can read about what the Swiss Travel Pass covers here.

You will need separate tickets for the Italian portion no matter what Swiss rail pass you buy. They only cover travel within Switzerland. You can buy a ticket to cover the Italian portion here.

Last modified on Jan 17, 2018 - 10:38 AM by Lucas
vikasICI
vikasICI
13 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 10:48 AM

If I have the Swiss Half Fare Card for both the adults and I want to book tickets online, then I only need to book two tickets. The kid will not need a ticket, provided I have the SFC.

I can occupy three seats on the train and if the ticket checker asks, then I can show the two tickets along with the half fare card and the SFC. Did I get the details right? Sorry for asking pretty much the same question in a different way, but I just need to be certain.

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2018 - 11:39 AM in reply to vikasICI

Yes, all correct. :)

If you need to buy tickets for yourselves with the Swiss Half Fare discount you can do so online here.
Otherwise you can simply buy tickets at the station before you board the train. My links on my first post will show you how to buy the rail passes online - that can be then emailed to you for printing at home.

Reservations are quite uncommon on Swiss trains (usually not available at all) so buying a ticket ahead of time makes no difference on most routes. Of course reservations are mandatory if you are traveling on any of the panoramic trains.

Last modified on Jan 17, 2018 - 11:40 AM by Lucas
vikasICI
vikasICI
13 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 12:13 PM

Thanks a lot for your help!

Just in case I decide to book a ticket online to avoid the queue at the station, are the tickets valid for a particular train (say 09:00 Zurich to Lucerne) or can I then travel on any train on that route?

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2018 - 12:21 PM in reply to vikasICI

Normally any train that day.

The exceptions are supersaver tickets which you can read about here.

They are marked by a % sign on the Swiss railways timetable and are only valid for the time you buy them for and non-refundable.

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