May 26, 2010 - 2:29 PM
Hello drtib! I'll try to clear things up a bit:
1) a Swiss Card is very convenient for your inbound and outbound trip, especially if you've ordered it in advance and can start using it rightaway without having to get off at a railway station to purchase it. You're right in supposing that you have to purchase discounted tickets for all the other trips though. Most railway stations have enough counters and waiting lines aren't that long in many cases. There are ticketing machines as well, which in most cases have clear instructions. A pass offering unlimited traveling has the advantage that you're able to get in and out of trains, buses and boats without having to buy tickets;
2) mountain trains always require extra payment, even if you have a rail pass offering free travelling. Most rail passes offer a 50% discount for mountain transportation. One difference is that the Swiss Pass and Swiss Flexi Pass offer a 25% discount for the Jungfrau Railways, whereas the Swiss Card offers 50% discount. On the Swiss Card page
you'll find a link 'Overview of the network on which the Swiss Card is valid'; this will get you to a map showing where the Swiss Card is valid and what amounts of discounts it offers.
3) the inbound and outbound trip for your Swiss Card may be different routes. The destination from which you'll start your trip back to the airport, doesn't have to be the same as the destination you arrived in; it doesn't have to be in the same region either, but it can be anywhere in the country. So yes, you can just travel back to Zurich Airport from Brienz or any other Swiss town.
I hope it's clear to you now!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno