How does the Swiss Transfer Ticket work?
A Swiss Transfer Ticket allows a convenient inbound and outbound transfer: you do not need any other ticket and can just board with your Swiss Transfer Ticket.
This is mostly a thing of the past. In almost all cases, the Swiss Transfer Ticket is ready for traveling once you printed it (or received it via regular mail). You can verify that by checking if all information (start date, passenger names and passport numbers) is already printed on it, and there's nothing left to fill out.
In rare cases, one of the validation (or: activation) processes below applies:
- You can validate the ticket yourself. This is the case if there is no area on the ticket that requires a stamp from the Swiss Railways, and if the start date of the ticket is already printed on it. You will need to fill out a few details: usually the name and passport number of the traveler, and the country of residence;
- Your ticket needs to be validated by railway personnel. This is the case if there is an area that requires a stamp from the Swiss Railways, and if the start date of the ticket is not filled out yet. You can have the ticket validated at a staffed Swiss station or by personnel on board international trains bound for Switzerland.
Swiss Transfer Ticket travel days
Once your Swiss Transfer Ticket is valid, you can use it for the two free transfers.
- The first day allows a free transfer from any Swiss airport or border rail station to any Swiss town (see here for details);
- The last day allows a free transfer from any Swiss town to any Swiss airport or border rail station. So your point of entry and point of departure and the towns to travel to/from do not need to be the same;
- The free transfers need to be completed on either the first or the last day. You have to use the route as suggested by the timetable. This is the quickest route. You can also use the route that would be the cheapest if regular tickets had to be purchased. This is the shortest route. Those prices can be found in the timetable too. The number of train changes does not matter;
- The last day may not be later than one month after the first day. The Swiss Transfer Ticket expires after the last day;
- The first day is not necessarily your actual arrival date in Switzerland, and the last day is not necessarily your actual departure date from Switzerland. So you can arrive at Zurich airport and use your Swiss Transfer Ticket the next day, for example.
The time of validation is not relevant. There's no difference between validating it on July 15 at 8:00 AM or July 15 at 7:00 PM. July 15 still counts as your first day of traveling, and the pass is basically valid from 0:00 that day. In this example, the last day of the Swiss Transfer Ticket can be at August 14 at the latest. The first and last day, which allow the free transfers, end on 5:00 AM of the following day, so that allows you to complete late night trips, even after midnight. In this example, the last day ends on August 15, 5:00 AM.
You do not need further tickets. You can just start traveling with your Swiss Transfer Ticket.
There are a few cable cars that allow free traveling on the first and last day if you need them to get from/to your destination. In such cases you may need to get a ticket as access gates require a specific ticket type. You can get a free ticket upon presenting your Swiss Transfer Ticket.
Discounts on additional trips
If you want to make trips apart from the inbound and outbound transfers included in the Swiss Transfer Ticket, you will have to purchase a regular ticket. A Swiss Half Fare Card might be useful in this case.
You do not need seat reservations for 99% of all trains and buses in Switzerland. You can just board with your Swiss Transfer Ticket. Exceptions are some international trains and some panoramic trains like the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. If you need, or want, seat reservations, you need to arrange for them separately. Seat reservations are not included in the Swiss Transfer Ticket.
About train seat reservations
About bus seat reservations
On board the train
Once you're on board, you will need to present your Swiss Transfer Ticket to ticket controllers upon request. The controller may want to check your passport as well, to make sure you're the owner of the presented ticket.