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Seat reservations with 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass

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tharrit
tharrit
4 posts
new member
Nov 6, 2019 - 3:30 AM

I am buying a Swiss Travel Pass - 15 day continuous - 2nd class. Can I reserve seats by paying a small additional amount? I am afraid I am in busy season, and 2nd class will be full.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8828 posts
expert
Nov 6, 2019 - 5:23 AM in reply to tharrit

Hi Tharrit and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Seat reservations are extremely rare and largely unnecessary on Swiss trains. They are not possible on many trains.

See www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/reservations.

Just avoid peak business hours and you’ll be fine.

If you absolutely feel you must make a reservation then you can do so here.

Ildiko
Ildiko
818 posts
top member &
moderator
Nov 6, 2019 - 6:18 AM

Hi Tharrit,

just as Rockoyster said, there is no need to reserve your seats on the Swiss trains. If you are worried about finding seats will be difficult, have a look at the timetable: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable, use the advanced one. It shows the occupancy rate on the selected route with small red and black figures: 3 red figures means "very high occupancy expected". But even in this case you will find probably a seat after a while.

You can buy your Swiss Travel Pass at www.myswissalps.com//s wisstravelpass/price.

Last modified on Nov 7, 2019 - 8:41 PM by Ildiko
pvonk
pvonk
256 posts
top member
Nov 6, 2019 - 7:58 PM in reply to tharrit

“I am afraid I am in busy season,”

November is not busy season, so you don’t need reservation on most trains.

tharrit
tharrit
4 posts
new member
Nov 6, 2019 - 10:28 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for the quick replies. I was not clear on dates- sorry. I am traveling the 2nd week of August, and landing in Zurich at 11am, then taking a train to Bern, and on to Lauterbrennan. Would probably be looking for a train at noon, on Saturday from Zürich-which to me seems very busy. I will check the reservation link and see if the train qualifies. Thanks again.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8828 posts
expert
Nov 6, 2019 - 10:56 PM in reply to tharrit

There are direct trains Inter-City trains from Zurich Airport to Bern. Reservations are possible. I very much doubt you would find them packed.

By far the best way to check timetables, find fares* and buy tickets on-line if required is using the SBB Mobile app (bit.ly/2ICIUHi). In the unlikely event you don’t have a device capable of running the app then you can use the timetable on the SBB website (bit.ly/2HH1U7B). If you are not familiar with using the timetable it will pay to first read the instructions at www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

* The SBB website shows half-fare prices by default, the mobile app allows you to nominate whether to show full or half-fares (by editing the passenger details in settings) and is also smart enough to offer you the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass) if that offers the best fare. The app also show a platform map (at least at the larger stations) to help you make conections.

The SBB app indicates whether reservations are possible on any particular train and shows expected passenger loadings as per Ildiko's post.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7242 posts
expert
Nov 7, 2019 - 9:56 AM in reply to tharrit

Hi Tharrit - I completely agree with Rockoyster, as my experience over many years has been that the only really crowded ( hard to find a seat) trains are those going into the large cities during the morning commuter rush. Afternoon outbounds, too, but they seem to be less crowded, possibly because the commutes are being spread out over a longer time frame as people leave work at different times, or do a bit of shopping before they head for home.

Even if the train from the airport is crowded, many people will get off at the stop in Zürich main station, and you can likely move to a different seat.

How many are traveling in your party? If you have several people, you may find that you can not all sit together. One person will have no trouble, even on a Saturday in August. If you want to assure your self of a car that is definitely not full, you can take that trip in first class, by buying a first class ticket, or by paying a surcharge before boarding if you are using a second class Swiss Travel Pass. I would not bother, but it is an option. More expensive than a reservation, though.

I just checked a train meting your description, the 1218 on Aigust 8th, and was surprised to find that occupancy rate was not displayed. Odd. So, I used the advanced search capabillity.

In the advanced search, you can choose to display trains that do not have high occupancy, or allow the display of trains that have high occupancy. I tried both, and got the same trains at 1218. So, that train will not have high occupancy, as far as I can tell. It might be worth a check a few weeks before you travel, if you are really worried.

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
8828 posts
expert
Nov 7, 2019 - 8:31 PM in reply to tharrit

Another thought Tharrit . . .

If you make seat reservations you could well be the only person on the train who has one. Instead of just finding a vacant seat you will have to search for a specific carriage and seat. The Inter-City trains can be quite long.

In eight weeks travelling through Switzerland (over the past 3 years) I have never seen a seat reservation sign above a seat in a regular train.

tharrit
tharrit
4 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2019 - 11:22 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for the insight and experience you all are sharing- amazing! I will not worry about a reservation!

1960man
1960man
2547 posts
top member
Nov 8, 2019 - 12:02 AM in reply to tharrit

I think you have been given enough information already but just to add; I have travelled on trains in Switzerland in August almost every year of the 59 years I have been alive on this planet. I have never ever in all those 59 years needed to reserve a seat on any train in Switzerland.

The structure of the passenger train network in Switzerland (and other central European countries) is fundamentally different to passenger trains in some other parts of the world where in some cases there might be only one train a day between two major cities. In Switzerland main lines generally have at least one train per hour throughout the day - and as much as half hourly in some places.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8828 posts
expert
Nov 8, 2019 - 2:12 AM in reply to tharrit

Also, Tharrit, if you are travelling with a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass but want to travel 1st Class on any particular trip you can buy a Class upgrade at any SBB station or using the SBB Mobile App or here bit.ly/2rZEIXh. You need to buy a route specific upgrade.

If you buy on line you need to nominate a Half-fare Card reduction to get the correct price (using either website of SBB app). An upgrade will cost half the difference between 1st and 2nd class full-fares.

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