Using Half Fare Card

Using Half Fare Card

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Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2016 - 4:11 AM

Hi,

I have just obtained my Half Fare Card from Rail Europe and am travelling to Switzerland in December 2016. May I ask how I can use this card to buy tickets at half fare in advance online on the SBB website? Or can I use this Half Fare Card only when in Switzerland? Also, would I be able to take advantage of the Super Saver Fares with the Half Fare Card?

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 8, 2016 - 8:11 AM

Hi Kyuhyun,

You can get tickets through the manned desks at the station, ticketing machines (often the simplest quickest option) or online. Please see myswissalps.com/swissh alffarecard/howtouse. The discounted tickets you need are marked "1/2" (half price) on the ticketing machines. You can indeed also buy Super Saver Tickets.

Enjoy your trips!

Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2016 - 8:21 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks for your prompt reply. So I should be able to buy and print out the train tickets online from the SBB website without any problems, correct? If I were to do so, would I need to also 'buy' tickets for my two younger children who will be travelling for free on the Family card or do they simply get on the train with the rest of the party? What about for the Golden Pass Panoramic train or the Jungfraujoch rail?

Last modified on Nov 8, 2016 - 8:43 AM by Kyuhyun
Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 8, 2016 - 10:41 AM in reply to Kyuhyun

Hi Kyuhyun,

Yes, sure you can do so (if you have a printer at hand), or you can use their app (you need to create an account and enter credit card details). I wouldn't recommend to buy way in advance though. Plans can change due to the weather for example, so you'll be most flexible if you buy last minute. Hence the machines.

Your children don't need tickets anywhere, because you have the Swiss Family Card for them.

Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2016 - 1:54 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for all your excellent advice. I'll do as you've suggested. One last question, are there any boat cruises available out of Montreux in December and how do I go about making reservations (if necessary) and which are the most interesting ones to go on?

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 9, 2016 - 8:10 AM in reply to Kyuhyun

You're welcome Kyuhyun!

You'll find lots of details and links (to the timetables too) on the Lake Geneva boat page. Off the top of my head the timetable is very limited in winter. Reservations are not required.

Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2016 - 9:06 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks again Arno. Just a quick follow up question. Aside from Lake Geneva, which other lakes do you think would offer worthwhile cruises to take that run throughout December?

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 9, 2016 - 10:06 AM in reply to Kyuhyun

You can take a look at Lake Thun and Lake Lucerne. In all cases schedules will be limited in winter, so be sure to plan carefully.

Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 28, 2016 - 12:59 AM in reply to Arno

Hi again,

My trip is in 3 weeks' time - arriving in Zurich and then going to Montreux after 3 days followed by Interlaken 2 days later and finally to Luzern before heading back to Zurich to catch a flight back home. Is there any advantage getting the train tickets to Montreux/Interlaken/Luzern before hand or should I simply get them at the station on the day of travel (I will be taking the train to each of those locations in the late morning). And if I were to get them at the station on the day of travel, can I still avail myself of the supersaver tickets or do these have to be purchased in advance? Thanks for your kind input.

Kyuhyun

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 28, 2016 - 6:57 AM in reply to Kyuhyun

Hi Kyuhyun,

The advantage of buying such tickets in advance is that you will save a bit of time, although getting them from the machines is a quick process. You don't need to visit a staffed ticket desk (which tends to take a bit longer) if you print the Swiss Half Fare Card at home (see here).

The price of tickets is the same whenever you buy, although sometimes websites can sell them slightly cheaper due to fluctuating exchange rates. You could take a look at www.happyrail.com/en/s witzerland-by-train (the Swiss Half Fare Card is called "Halbtax 50% " there).

Supersaver tickets need to be purchased in advance: at least a few hours before departure. And they're only valid for one specific train with no option to get off the train along the way. I don't use them a lot, but last them I tried I missed out on it an hour before departure.

Last modified on Nov 28, 2016 - 6:58 AM by Arno
Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun
12 posts
new member
Nov 28, 2016 - 8:42 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks again for your very detailed reply. Can I ask if the trains to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken Ost run on 24/12 (Christmas Eve) and on 25/12 (Christmas Day)?

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 28, 2016 - 1:02 PM in reply to Kyuhyun

Sure, these trains operate all year round, except when there's severe weather. You'll find schedules in the timetable.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Nov 29, 2016 - 1:38 AM in reply to Kyuhyun

Hi Kyihyun -

I think it might not have been stated explicitly, but to be clear, except for few special named routes ( e.g., Glacier Express) reservations are not needed on Swiss trains within Switzerland. If you choose to do a special scenic train, a reservation may be needed, but regular trains also run along the same routes...maybe no panoramic windows...and do not require reservations.

When I travel in Switzerland...usually several times a year...I use a half fare card and buy tickets for the entire journey from the machines, just before I board the first train.

Slowpoke

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