Using the Swiss family card & 1-day travel passes

Using the Swiss family card & 1-day travel passes

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JWKM26
JWKM26
4 posts
new member
Nov 12, 2016 - 1:08 PM

My husband and I will be traveling to Switzerland in Dec with our 6 year old son. We are a little confused between tickets/passes sold on the STS website and the standard tickets sold on the SBB online ticket shop. Would appreciate if we could have clarifications to the following:

1. If my husband and I each buy the half fare card (1-month validity), this alone is considered a STS pass and will enable us to get the Swiss Family card for our son to travel for free regardless of which cabin class, correct?

2. Using this half fare card, we should be able to purchase point to point tickets at half price on the online SBB ticket shop, correct? We tried purchasing tickets online and have seen the field where we can indicate half fare card, and then the price shown will be halved. But when it comes to the child, there is no field that applies to Swiss family card holders, and so the child price indicated is 50% of a full priced adult ticket, instead of for free. Do we simply just buy the tickets for us 2 adults, and my child will not need a ticket at all for his seat?

3. The SBB ticket shop also sells the 1-day travel passes. If we purchased the "multipack of 9 o'clock 1 day travel passes for half fare card" ( presumably we can buy this with the STS half fare card, and using the Swiss family card for free child travel), can the 6 passes in this multipack be shared e.g. 3 passes each used by 2 adults?
And if so, if we wanted to upgrade to First Class for just 1 day, do we buy 2 X upgrade to cover 2 passes (for 2 adults) for that 1 day? And presumably no issues for our child to be on First Class with us with the Swiss Family Card?

4. Are the point to point tickets, the multipack 9 o'clock travel passes for half fare card, STS half fare card, and Swiss family card all printable tickets/passes sent via email?

Would truly appreciate clarifications to the above. Thank you so much!

Arno
Arno
10547 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 12, 2016 - 2:03 PM

Hello JWKM26,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! As for your questions:

1. Yes, correct.

2. You just need tickets for the adults. Your son will travel for free in either 2nd or 1st class and doesn't need a ticket.

3./4. I don't know your itinerary or how long you stay, but buying that many 1-day travelpasses often isn't the most economical option. It would require a lot of traveling each day for such a pass to be cheaper than discounted point to point tickets. Note that such travelpasses won't get you free traveling on most cableways and mountain trains; those are 50% off as normal. It will get you unlimited traveling by regular trains, and buses, boats, urban transport.

A Swiss Half Fare Card plus the multipack you mentioned costs CHF 410 (for 6 days). An 8-day Swiss Travel Pass only costs CHF 363, does not have the 9 o'clock restriction, and also includes many free museums. It's simpler and cheaper, but again, I don't know your exact travel plans.

You can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card (or Swiss Travel Pass) and Swiss Family Card through the SBB tourist webshop at www.swissrailways.com/ en. After filling out your address, they will show the delivery options. Pick "Online Ticket" from the bottom of the list. They will e-mail the passes (no delivery fees), so you can print them at home. This is basically all you need to buy in advance.

As for tickets or 1-day travelpasses: you can buy them online but I don't have a lot of details on that. You can buy them at any station from the staffed desk or ticketing machines, once you are sure you need them: it's recommended to be flexible as the weather may dictate your options.

I hope this helps you out. The included links provide additional details.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno
JWKM26
JWKM26
4 posts
new member
Nov 12, 2016 - 2:50 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks very much, Arno, for the prompt reply.

We will not be traveling by train on consecutive days, and hence even if we do go for the Swiss Travel Pass, we will need to go for the Flexi which is more expensive (we were originally looking at the 3-day Swiss travel pass Flexi) .

Provided my husband and I are able to share the multipack of 6 x 9 o'clock travel passes, it might turn out more economical based on our itinerary (which is about 3 non-consecutive days that we will use the trains). As such, I have been trying to find out if the multipack of 6 passes can be shared between 2 adults for 3 days' travel; and if an upgrade to first class is needed just for 1 day, whether that involves buying 2 x upgrade fares (CHF 38 x 2) for 2 adults for that same day. Will you be able to provide clarifications for this?

Would the first class cabins of the train going up to Zermatt from Brig typically have sufficient seats or do you think seat reservations are necessary?

Thank you!

Arno
Arno
10547 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 12, 2016 - 4:11 PM in reply to JWKM26

Hi JWKM26,

You're welcome! I am quite sure the multipack is anonymous and thus can be shared. Two Swiss Half Fare Cards plus the multipack costs CHF 530. Two 3-day Swiss Travel Passes Flex cost CHF 478, again without the time restriction, and museums included. Of course if you have a one month Swiss Half Fare Card you could use that on other days as well, but if you'll be staying locally (e.g. to ski) you won't make use of that option.

Both options allow you to upgrade to 1st class for specific rides. Typically all trains have sufficient seats, with the exception of rush hour around the bigger cities and when there are peaks of tourists going to/from mountain resorts (mostly on Saturdays and public holidays).

It's all in the details of your trip, so I recommend to do the math to be 100% sure. The Excel sheet will take some time to fill out but it will get you the answer you're looking for.

Last modified on Nov 12, 2016 - 5:28 PM by Annika
JWKM26
JWKM26
4 posts
new member
Nov 13, 2016 - 4:15 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks again, Arno!

1. Do you know if we can buy a class upgrade for a specific route on a particular day, if we were to be using the 3 day Swiss Travel Pass Flexi?

2. I looked through the Class Upgrade section of the SBB Ticket Shop. The details state validity for various passes/tickets, but did not mention the Swiss Travel Passes.

Arno
Arno
10547 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 13, 2016 - 5:58 PM in reply to JWKM26

Hi JWKM26,

1. Yes, you certainly can: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpassflex/ details.

2. The SBB website is primarily for domestic travelers, that's why they don't mention tourist products. You don't need it except for train schedules. You can buy the pass through their tourist web shop I mentioned in my first post, or any of the websites listed here. Class upgrades can be purchased at the station when you need them.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno
JWKM26
JWKM26
4 posts
new member
Nov 16, 2016 - 2:01 PM in reply to Arno

Hi again Arno

We were told by our local travel agent that when purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass Flexi from them, they are required to indicate the first date that we will USE this Pass in order for them to process this. Is this true, even if buying online or at a Swiss train station? Can we not indicate a start date to represent the start of the one-month validity period but decide later which date to start using the Pass?

Also, the price of this Pass (CHF 239 for 3-days Flexi pass) should be the same whether bought online or from a Swiss train station, correct?

Thank you again!

Arno
Arno
10547 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 16, 2016 - 2:19 PM in reply to JWKM26

Hi JWKM26,

Normally you only have to pick the day of the one month period, not the first travel day. Anyway, you don't need a travel agent for a rail pass, you can buy it online. The last link in my previous post shows the options and prices, also of the local train stations. The main advantage of buying online is you'll save time as you can board your first train immediately rather than waiting for a ticket office. Sometimes it's cheaper too but that depends on exchange rates, promotions, etc.

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