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seat reservation on the trains

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new member
May 4, 2014 - 3:59 AM

Hi there,

I have purchased Swiss Passes for my family holiday in Europe this coming June.There are several queries that I have with regards to the seat reservation on the trains as follows:

1. I understand that seat reservations are compulsory for TGV (international traffic). My family and I will be travelling between France and Switzerland this coming June but we were wondering how is it possible for us to do the seat reservations. There will be seven of us travelling together. Is there a website whereby we can submit our seat reservations via the internet? Or are we required to reserve the seats physically at the train station upon our arrival in Paris? (as we are pretty worried that the trains we intend to travel on are fully reserved, which might cause unfavourable changes in our travel plans)

2. For the trains within our travel in Switzerland, I've noticed there are various trains such as ICE, EC, IR, IC etc, which compulsory seat reservations have not been stated in the website. Would it mean that we could just hop onto any of the abovementioned trains at the time of our convenience irregardless whether the train is fully reserved? (as I have encountered in other countries within Europe, whereby boarding is allowed on a fully reserved train so long that there is standing space)

3. I have also came across several feedbacks on the internet with regards to the train tickets to Jungfraujoch. Is it true that ticket bookings in advance are not recommended as the weather on the mountain top might not be favourable on the day itself? Also, I have read a feedback on the internet stating that two options for the purchase of Jungfraujoch tickets: i. 25% discount on Jungfraujoch tickets with Swiss Pass and; ii. 50% discount with the Swiss Half Fare Card. But how does the Half Fare Card works? Is the 50% only applicable to the cardholder? Or is it applicable to the purchase of tickets for the spouse/whole family? Our group consists of one couple which are both senior citizens, and also a family of five (with two sons below age of 25 and daughter turning 26 this year)

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you very much for your assistance!

16017 posts
expert &
May 4, 2014 - 6:14 AM

Hi yitheng,

Please see my answers below. Just let me know if any questions remain:

1./2. Please see www.myswissalps.com/train/reservations.

3. Getting a fixed date ticket in advance is not recommended as one never knows what the weather for the day will be. You should only get such tickets if you want to up in any case, but I would say it's a waste of money if the Jungfraujoch is covered in clouds.

For details on what's included in passes and how much discount you get, you can visit our respective pass page and download the network map, e.g. here for the Swiss Pass. The percentages you mentioned are correct, but you don't need to look into the Swiss Half Fare Card as you already have a Swiss Pass. But for the record: everyone needs his own Swiss Half Fare Card in order to get the 50% discount.

The difference between 25% off and 50% off seems a lot, but if one assumes Interlaken as the starting point, the difference is only CHF 23.45 per person, because the Swiss Pass will get you free traveling until Wengen and 25% off beyond, while the Swiss Half Fare Card provides 50% off all the way.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:55 PM by Arno


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