May 19, 2010 - 2:55 PM
Thanks for posting your pass. I can understand your confusion. Several rail pass distibutors issue different variations of the same passes. The Swiss Card
as explained on this website is the "standard" version as it is sold in Switzerland and to people in Europe. It includes a free return trip from the border or airport to any Swiss town, plus a 50% discount on further trips during your stay. It does not require validation by railway personnel; you can validate it yourself by entering the dates of the inbound and outbound trips. The SBB is selling this version as well, so that's why IMNiles got that answer from them. However, he apparently received a slightly different version that requires a validation stamp. You received yet another, more customized, version.
It's hard for us (or the SBB) to know exactly which version people received, so I'm glad you managed to post your pass here. This is what I make of it:
- The pass includes 5 free travel days for trains, buses and boats. Trains, buses and boats included can be found on the map we link to on the page of the standard Swiss Card.
- The pass also includes a free trip up the Titlis and the Jungfrau on any of those free travel days.
- The pass includes 50% discounts on further trips, besides those 5 travel days. However, you will only be using the pass for 5 days, so that's not relevant for you.
I'm not completely sure of two things:
- Whether the Swiss Travel System Family Card is already included. If not, you can get it for free by presenting your Swiss Card to a railway official when you are validating it. Once you have the Swiss Travel System Family Card, the children travel along for free on all trips, including the Titlis and Jungfrau.
- Whether this Swiss Card consists of an inbound and outbound trip plus 5 free travel days (option 1), OR: just 5 free travel days (option 2). I assume option 2 is correct, but I'm not sure since you can fill out 7 days in total. Either way, it will be enough to complete all of your traveling, but in case of option 1, it would include more than you actually need, and that may be of influence on the price you paid.
Assuming it includes 5 days of free traveling in total, this is how you can use those days:
- Day 1/May 22: Zürich Airport - Zürich main station
- Day 2/May 23: Zürich main station - Lucerne
- Day 3/May 24: Lucerne - Titlis - Lucerne - Interlaken
- Day 4/May 25: Interlaken - Jungfrau - Interlaken
- Day 5/May 26: Interlaken - Basel (your ticket to Paris probably starts in Basel, as the trip Interlaken - Basel can be completed using the Swiss Card).
As for your other questions:
Question 2) You will be traveling in Switzerland on 5 days. The free trips up the Titlis and Jungfrau only include transportation from the valley station. Getting there requires traveling as well (e.g. you need to travel from Lucerne to Engelberg, where the cable car to the Titlis starts. Your travel agent probably concluded that 5 days of traveling would require 5 days of free traveling on your Swiss Card. Whether that's the most economical option depends on what you paid for it.
Question 3) You can have your Swiss Card validated at the rail station of Zürich Airport, so that you can start using it immediately.
As you see, I'm not 100% sure on all details, as I have not seen this variation of the Swiss Card before. When validating it, I would suggest to ask the railway official whether my assumptions are correct, and get the free Swiss Travel System Family Card if it is not already included.
It's indeed a bit complicated, but I'm sure your trip will be beautiful! Let me know if you have any further questions.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno