Geneva airport to Zermatt can I reserve seats?

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DaviG
DaviG
4 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2017 - 1:35 PM

I've booked through Raileurope to travel from Geneva to Zermatt in December and specified train times on the booking. When I received the tickets no train times were specified and Raileurope have said all tickets are 'open tickets' and that seats are not reservable. I didn't ask for 'open tickets' but they have said that all Swiss rail tickets are 'open tickets'.

Does anyone know whether it will be possible to reserve seats for the specific train times? I suspect that it may be possible but not until nearer the time.

David G

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2017 - 2:25 PM in reply to DaviG

Hi David, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Reservations are very unusual in Switzerland. They are only compulsory for a few panoramic trains (Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express).

On InterCity trains (e.g. Geneva to Zürich), reservations are possible, but optional.

On InterRegio and Regio trains, such as from Geneva to Zermatt, reservations are not possible, so you can indeed use your tickets on any train that day.

I wouldn't expect you to have the least bit of trouble finding seats, but it might be wise to avoid the morning commuter peak period in Geneva if you are travelling on a work day. The Swiss Timetable will indicate the expected level of occupancy for any given train.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Have a nice trip!

Alpenrose

DaviG
DaviG
4 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2017 - 3:12 PM

Thanks for the reply Alpenrose.

My worry is that I travel in the afternoon of the 23rd December, so it's likely to be very busy so close to Christmas.

Lucas
Lucas
9817 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 8, 2017 - 4:22 PM in reply to DaviG

Hi DaviG

Yes it could be a little busier than normal due to Christmas but as Alpenrose mentions, reservations are not possible.

If you are starting in Geneva, the train probably started the trip just one stop before at the airport- so it will be fairly empty when you board I would think.

As noted, I would avoid the morning commuter trains - the timetable will indicate how busy the train is expected to be - under the capacity column with the figures of people.

Last modified on Nov 8, 2017 - 4:22 PM by Lucas
cam223
cam223
76 posts
active member
Nov 8, 2017 - 5:42 PM

We are going to Zermatt from Paris in late November. We have made seat reservations for all parts of the trip except the leg from Visp to Zermatt--no seats are reserved on that part. We feel better having actual seat reservations confirmed. You can call Rail Europe and get this done for a small fee.

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Nov 8, 2017 - 11:22 PM in reply to DaviG

Hi David,

>> My worry is that I travel in the afternoon of the 23rd December, so it's likely to be very busy so close to Christmas.

Attached is a PDF showing all the departures from Genève to Zermatt in the afternoon and evening of 23 December 2017.

All but two connections are entirely on regional trains, i.e. InterRegio and Regio trains (see the timetable column called Travel with). Reservations are not possible on these trains.

There are two connections on which reservations are possible for part of the way: Connection 5 and Connection 13, which both utilise EuroCity trains heading for Milano Centrale.

Connection 13 offers a EuroCity train all the way to Brig, but is probably too late in the day for you.

Connection 5, departing Genève at 13:39, offers a EuroCity train as far as Sion, but to get to Zermatt in the quickest time, the timetable suggests you change at Sion and travel on non-reservable trains the rest of the way. This at least would get you out of Genève in a reserved seat, but on a train which is likely to be more crowded than the regional trains anyway!

Another option, if you don't mind a 47-minute wait at Brig for a connecting train to Zermatt, would be to take that EuroCity train from Genève at 13:39 and stay on it until Brig. You could then reserve a seat for the whole sector Genève to Brig. You can get this connection to come up by doing an advanced search in the Swiss Timetable and increasing the Duration of transfer time to at least 20 minutes.

You can make your reservation in the SBB Ticket Shop. If it comes up in German, you can change to English via a link at the top of the page.

www.sbb.ch/ticketshop/ b2c/adw.do?1993

Alpenrose

Last modified on Nov 8, 2017 - 11:44 PM by Removed user
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DaviG
DaviG
4 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2017 - 9:14 AM

Many thanks for your replies, all three of you and especially Alpenrose who I can see has spent time on this.

You've been very helpful.

I start my journey from the airport and from what Lucas says that will possibly be where the train starts out from.

Removed user
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0 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2017 - 12:09 PM in reply to DaviG

Yes, all those regional trains start from the airport. The EuroCity trains start from Genève Cornavin.

Hope it goes well for you - let us know how it turns out!

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5216 posts
expert
Nov 9, 2017 - 5:35 PM in reply to DaviG

HiDaviG

Your precautions are understandable, but unneccessary, even if you start from Geneva main station. From the airport, you will have no problem.

How many are in your party. If it is more than 4, I'd make sure to get on the train quickly so you can all sit together, if you wish.

If you looked at the timetable, you'll see two trains per hour from the airport to Zermatt.

For some reason the timetable has chosen not to show me occupancy levels on those trains, but the only time I've ever been on a really crowded Swiss train was during rush hours near main cities.

If you are really concerned, get tickets in first class, or use the techniques Alpenrose offered.

Simplest, get on the train at the airport when it pulls in. ( That station is the end of the line.)

Slowpoke

DaviG
DaviG
4 posts
new member
Nov 10, 2017 - 10:49 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke.

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