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Swiss Travel Pass - route upgrade to first class


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Posts: 12 
Vivteosk
Vivteosk
6 posts
new member
Sep 20, 2022 - 8:11 AM

Hi

Can I check if it is possible to buy a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass and just do a route upgrade to first class for:

1. Interlaken Express from Lucerne to Interlaken

2. Bernina Express

Any idea what is the cost for each upgrade and whether its more cost effective to just buy the first class?

What does the first class entail - is it only for express trains or all trains and cruises?

Appreciate your advice on this.

Thanks

Vivien

Danielsan
Danielsan
294 posts
top member
Sep 20, 2022 - 12:31 PM in reply to Vivteosk

Hi Vivien,

. Welcome to MySwissAlps.

When I went 4 years ago, I purchased the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass, 2nd class. I did upgrade to 1st class for the Glacier Express only. The cost was one-half of the difference between 1st and 2nd class seat reservation. I only did that because it was basically a whole day of traveling and thought it may be nice and comfortable. The day before I was on the Bernina Exp (bus from Lugano, train to St Moritz via Tirano). Basically there was no difference other than the seating configuration (2 and 2, as versus 2 and 1 in 1st class). I'm not sure how long you're going for, or when, but I was very happy with 2nd class for the whole trip. I was there in September and it wasn't quite as crowded as in the summer months, and, too, because of the seat reservations on the "Express" lines/routes. I wouldn't be too concerned about the ride Lucerne/Interlaken, as I'm not sure it would even be worth the effort to try since it doesn't require any seat reservations anyway.

As far as what it entails, I believe there is only a difference in classes on the trains and boats, but not on the buses. Some other folks may have differences of opinions and desires, but I would recommend the 2nd class personally, having traveled on all of the ''Express'' train routes (I did the "Grand Train Tour" of Switzerland). Obviously it's your choice to make. I enclosed a picture of the Grand Train routes if you have any interest in it. You can see more info by going to Grand Tour Of Switzerland on your phone or computer. Plus there is a ton of info on this site as well. I hope this helps you in some way and I hope that you have a great trip.

Regards,

Danielsan

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1960man
1960man
4168 posts
expert
Sep 20, 2022 - 10:11 PM in reply to Vivteosk

Personally I think 'piecemeal' upgrades for one or two journeys are pointless. If you can afford the First class pass I suggest you go for that. I always find travelling first class on Swiss trains more relaxed than 2nd.

First class can be nice on boats and main line trains

Ildiko
Ildiko
2391 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 21, 2022 - 5:54 AM in reply to Vivteosk

Hi Vivien,

you can read about the differences between 1st and 2nd class here: www.myswissalps.com/train/practical/2nd1stclass.

I usually take the 2nd class.

Ildiko

suitcase
suitcase
3 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2022 - 8:58 PM

Hello all,

An incredible site with invaluable information to help plan my trip to Switzerland! Just a couple of questions regarding the class upgrade on Bernina Express

I have a STP 2nd class and would like to upgrade to 1st class. Do I reserve a seat in first class?

How, when and where do I pay the upgrade difference? And finally

Do I need to actually purchase a ticket for Bernina, or do I just walk on and into my reserved seat?

Thanking you in advance,

Louise

Anna
Anna
3752 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2022 - 4:55 AM in reply to suitcase

Hi Louise,

Yes, if you wish to travel in 1st Class on the Bernina Express, you need to book a 1st Class seat.

With a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass, all you need is to pay the upgrade which is the difference between a 1st and 2nd class ticket. You can do this at the train station before your trip.

Regards,

Anna

Trainliner
Trainliner
72 posts
active member
Sep 26, 2022 - 5:52 AM in reply to Anna

Anna, it's even less:

To travel in 1st class with a 2nd class STP/STPF, passengers must pay half of the difference between the standard fares for the route.

Anna
Anna
3752 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2022 - 11:45 AM in reply to Trainliner

Hi Trainliner,

Thanks for the clarification.

Anna

suitcase
suitcase
3 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2022 - 12:24 PM

Thanks Anna and Trainliner for your speedy responses.

Just a bit unsure of the actual ticket purchase. Do I need to actually purchase a first class ticket (on the Bernina Express website) and pay difference at railroad station or not purchase a ticket , show up and just pay difference at the railroad?

Also, can I pay the difference at any railroad station or SBB prior to boarding date?

Thanking in advance, Louise

Anna
Anna
3752 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2022 - 12:37 PM in reply to suitcase

Hi Louise,

There's no need to purchase a ticket if you have a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass.

Just show up early at the train station and pay the difference at the counter. Be sure to show your Swiss Travel Pass before making payment.

Regards,

Anna

Vivteosk
Vivteosk
6 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2022 - 12:49 PM in reply to Danielsan

Thanks Daniel for the detailed explanation and the map. This info is very useful to help me make a decision. Decided that I will take skip the upgrade to 1st class then. Thanks much.

Vivteosk
Vivteosk
6 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2022 - 12:53 PM in reply to Ildiko

Thanks lidiko for sharing the link to the page showing the difference between 1st and 2nd class.

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