Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) or Swiss Half Fare Card?

Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) or Swiss Half Fare Card?

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Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 26, 2018 - 5:40 PM

Hi,

My family will visit Switzerland on April 30-May3. Though we will arrive late in the evening on April 30 in Lucerne. Our itinerary for now is :

May 1 - Gotthard panorama express then back to Lucerne

may 2- visit mt.titlis. Check out in our hotel off to Zurich then visit Rhine falls

may 3 - flight back home

questions:

1. Which travel pass will save us? STP or half fare card? Also what’s STP flex?

2. Do we need to get the family card? Travellers : me, husband and 10 month old baby

3. Which is more practical? Take the Gotthard panorama express from Lucerne or take train from Lucerne to Andermatt and catch glacier express? Then back to Lucerne ?

4. For May 2 itinerary is it doable? :)

I will appreciate all your suggestions

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 26, 2018 - 9:58 PM in reply to Luxiu0615

1. Don’t worry about Swiss Trave Pass Flex (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpassflex) it is not for you. For such a short visit it is possible no pass is economic but you can use the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out the fares for any trip. When you go to buy a ticket the fare you see on the right hand side of the page will normally be the half-fare price. Double it to get full fare. With A Swiss Travel Pass it is free provided it is shown as free on the Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity). Tell Pass (www.myswissalps.com/te llpass) would give you free access to most things around Lucerne if your travel plans weren’t so ambitious.

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math2. Swiss Family Card is a free add-on to STP or SHFC and covers kids 6 < 16. Your infant will travel free whether you use a pass or not.

3. Both a long day out. Not even sure the timings allow you to combine the two Express trains but you could combine the routes on one or the other with the actual Express.

4. Possibly but I wouldn’t attempt it with an infant. Check the timetable but also consider altitude at Titlis for the little one.

What time do you fly out of Zurich?

Last modified on Mar 26, 2018 - 10:27 PM by rockoyster
Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 26, 2018 - 10:35 PM

Hi rockoyster,

Thank you for your thoughts. Will check on the links you provided. Would you recommend mt.pilatus instead? May 1 trip, that’s one option since taking the Glacier express would be very tiring for us since we are based in Lucerne. Another option would be take the normal train from Lucerne to Andermatt, then catch Glacier express to Zermatt then back to Lucerne by regular train. Which do you think is better for us?

we will be flying out at 12noon. We have to be in the airport 3 hours before the flight right?

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 26, 2018 - 11:13 PM in reply to Luxiu0615

I can't really say which would be better for you. I don't really have any experience of traveling with an infant and the constraints that puts on you. 🤓

You might want to read this www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/altitude-safety-for-babies-in-swiss-alps

You need to be at Zurich Airport 2 hours before your flight so you could easily stay in Lucerne another night and avoid swapping hotels. But that would make a trip to the Rhine Falls a bit more difficult. Swings and roundabouts.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 26, 2018 - 11:23 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

i read that thread, and it seems okay to go up the titlis but not for a long period.

we already booked a hotel in Zurich for a night to lessen the travel time to airport and to visit the city the day before if we still have time. But Rhine Falls is really on top of my list :)

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 27, 2018 - 2:38 AM

Hi,

When purchasing a half fare card, can it be mailed or claim at the airport or train station ot hotel? Because from where we currently live, they don't do house to house mail delivery. And based on my personal experience some of my the letters are missing.

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 3:15 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

You can order Swiss Half Fare Card (if you think hat will work for you) on-line for almost immediate delivery by PDF to print at home. See www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/price.

The minimum real cost of a Swiss Half Fare Card is CHF240 before you save anything. That's CHF120 up front plus CHF120 half-fare tickets. At that point you haven't actually saved anything. The 3-day Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price) at CHF225 is actually cheaper (although it doesn't appear so at first glance) and you don't need to buy tickets. Just hop on board and travel.

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 3:16 AM by rockoyster
Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 27, 2018 - 5:52 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

I'm quite confuse by this "The minimum real cost of a Swiss Half Fare Card is CHF240 before you save anything. That's CHF120 up front plus CHF120 half-fare tickets. At that point you haven't actually saved anything. The 3-day Swiss Travel Pass" can you pls elaborate?

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 6:07 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

I'll try. Leaving aside any excursions which are only discounted with a Swiss Travel Pass (none of which I see on your wish list) every trip you do using the Swiss Travel Pass will be "free". Net outlay CHF225.

With a Swiss Half Fare Card you spend CHF120 but every ticket you buy you pay half the full fare price. So if you then buy tickets totalling CHF 240 at full-fare prices you "save" CHF120 by getting them at half-fare. BUT that saving only cancels out your initial CHF120 outlay for the SHFC. Net outlay CHF240 and further tickets 50% off as opposed to free with STP.

If you bought no other tickets after that you could just have easily not bought the SHFC and bought full-fare tickets.

If you buy tickets that don't even reach the magic CHF240 full-fare prices then your investment in the SHFC was a waste.

The Swiss Travel Pass also has the advantage that you can just hop on any train and go wherever you like without the need to buy a ticket. With the SHFC you need to buy tickets for every journey.

The Swiss Half Fare Card comes into it's own if and when you can use it for an entire month.

Does that help?

Last modified on Mar 27, 2018 - 6:11 AM by rockoyster
Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 27, 2018 - 6:24 AM

Hi rockoyster,

I got your point. Thanks for explaining further. So this is the itinerary I made. we will just get the Paris-Basel train ticket. From Basel to rest of the Switzerland trip I'm planning to use the STP or SHFC. That's for day 1.

Day 2. From Lucern we will take the Gotthard Panorama Express and will just catch train from Lugano back to Lucern. If we can go back to Lucern early we may do some afternoon or night stroll around the place.

Day 3. check out to our hotel, leave luggage in the hotel. Take Mt. Titlis back to hotel to get the luggage then off to Zurich. Check in then visit Rhine Falls and the rest of the place.

day 4. flight back home

for that itinerary, what is your suggestion? for now I'm leaning towards SHFC. But that's not yet final. Pls help me decide.

Thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2018 - 6:47 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

I haven't done the sums but I would be inclined to get a 3-day Swiss Travel Pass even though I'd still have to pay 50% for Titlis (from Engelberg). I'm not saying it would save you money but it would be jolly convenient.

The Gotthard Panorama Express (www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress) does not arrive in Lugano until 16:38 so you aren't going to get back to Luzern until evening. You can always follow the same route on regular boats/trains if that timing does not suit.

You will need a reservation on the GPE train but not the boat.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:15 AM

Hi rockoyster,

We decided to get the Swiss Travel Pass :) For the Gotthard trip, once we reach Lugano can we just catch regular train to Lucerne? will it be faster?

Thanks!

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:18 AM

Hi,

Is Gotthard Panorama Express covered with Swiss Travel Pass? Do we just need a reservation for it?

Thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:44 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

Yes GPE is covered by STP but you need a reservation for the train section Flüelen to Lugano. CHF 24 from memory. Reservations are not possible on the boat leg just hop on at Lucerne departing 11:12. You can make train reservations at goo.gl/vfV4wK. You need Flüelen to Lugano via Göschenen departing Flüelen at 14:10.

Just check the SBB timetable to return to Lucerne it will default to the fastest route via the 57Km long Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:48 AM

Hi rockoyster,

you're a star! thank you for these informations. what activity do you suggest we can do in Lugano? :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2018 - 6:07 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

Are you planning to stay overnight in Lugano? If not you won't have time to do very much at all unless you plan a very late return to Lucerne.

If you are staying overnight then see what I got up to at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-reluctant-travellers-swiss-adventure-part-5.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 31, 2018 - 4:21 AM

Hi rockoyster,

Thank you for the link, we plan to go back to Luzern the same day after the Gotthard trip.

for the mt.titlis is it necessary to purchase ticket ahead of time? online? will there be a difference if we will buy on site?

Thanks

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2018 - 5:21 AM in reply to Luxiu0615

No need to book for Titlis. Just buy tickets when you get to Engelberg.

You'll want to check the weather (www.titlis.ch/en/live/ weather) and webcam (www.titlis.ch/en/live/ webcams) before you leave Lucerne. Just in case.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 31, 2018 - 10:58 AM

Hi rockoyster,

thank you so much for this.

Luxiu0615
Luxiu0615
30 posts
active member
Mar 31, 2018 - 11:04 AM

Hi.

we plan to take the Gotthard panorama express, from Lucerne to Lugano. My question is, is there a ride going back to Lucerne where we can try riding a cogwheel or funicular?

thanks

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