How does the Swiss Travel Pass Flex work?
You choose the travel days yourself. On these days, you can travel as much as you like and you do not need regular tickets. Just board and enjoy the ride. You need to buy a discounted ticket in case of cable cars and most other mountain transport.
Pass validation (delivery via e-mail)
This not required. You don't even receive a pass, you will only receive a purchase receipt with these details for each traveler:
- Reference number;
- First name;
- Last name;
- Birth date.
You need these details to get day tickets for each day you want to travel.
Pass validation (delivery via post)
This is mostly a thing of the past. In almost all cases, the Swiss Travel Pass Flex is ready for traveling when you receive it. 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 pass yourself. This is the case if there is no area on the pass that requires a stamp from the Swiss Railways, and if the start date of the pass 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 your passport;
- Your pass 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 pass is not filled out yet. You can have the pass validated at a staffed Swiss station or by personnel on board international trains bound for Switzerland.
Definition of a travel day
The start time of a travel day is not relevant. There's no difference between July 15 at 8:00 AM or July 15 at 7:00 PM. July 15 still counts as a full travel day, and the pass is basically valid from 0:00 that day. Say that your pass is valid from July 15, it will expire August 14 at the latest. Travel days end on 5:00 AM of the following day, so that allows you to complete late night trips, even after midnight. In this example, validity of the pass ends on August 15, 5:00 AM, if you would choose August 14 as the last travel day.
If you have a 4-day pass that is valid from July 15, you could use the travel days on July 15, July 18, August 2 and August 14, for example. But you could also choose consecutive days like August 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Selecting your travel days (delivery via e-mail)
This is how you pick a travel day:
- Log into the website https://activateyourpass.com using the details on your purchase receipt;
- Select a date from the calendar;
- Select one of the below options to get a day ticket:
- Print ticket: this will download a PDF document with your ticket. We recommend this option because you can store the document on your phone (or tablet) just like any other PDF document, and show it on request. This works even when you are offline. You can print the document, but that's not required.
- Add to wallet: this adds the ticket to a wallet app. This normally also works when offline.
- Show ticket: this shows the ticket but does not store it anywhere.
- Present the day ticket to the staff when requested.
Obtain your day ticket before you start traveling, not when you're already on board. You can cancel day tickets until the day before it is valid. We recommend to obtain your day tickets on the prior evening or the morning of traveling. That way you minimize the chance that your travel plans change.
If you do not have internet access while traveling, then be sure to obtain your day ticket before you leave your accommodation, so you can log on via the Wifi there.
Selecting your travel days (delivery via post)
Once your Swiss Travel Pass Flex is valid, you can use it for free traveling. The days may be consecutive or non-consecutive as long as they're used up within a month. The start date of the pass does not have to be your first travel day, it just marks the start of the one month period. You simply need to write down the date of the next day in the designated area on the pass. Do so before you start traveling, not when you're already on board.
There are two types of trips:
- Trips on routes that allow free traveling. On a travel day, you can just board any train, bus, boat, etc. on such routes. You do not need a regular ticket like other travelers;
- Trips on routes that allow discounted traveling. This applies to transportation into the mountains. You need to arrange for a discounted ticket. You can do so online or at the ticket office of the cable car. Present your pass or day ticket to make sure you'll get the discount.
There are a few cable cars that allow free traveling. In such cases you may need to get a ticket as access gates require a specific ticket type. You can get a free ticket as a Swiss Travel Pass Flex holder.
Traveling on other days
If you want to travel on any of the days in between the travel days, you will have to purchase a regular ticket. There are no discounts on such days. The Swiss Family Card is not valid either, so children from 6 to 15 would need a ticket, or a Junior travelcard.
To get around this limitation, it could be worth it to buy an additional Swiss Half Fare Card.
You do not need seat reservations for 99% of all trains and buses in Switzerland. You can just board and enjoy the ride. Exceptions are some international trains and a few 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 pass.
About train seat reservations
About bus seat reservations
On board the train
Once you're on board, you will need to present your Swiss Travel Pass Flex or day ticket to ticket controllers upon request. The controller may want to check your passport as well. This must be the passport you filled out while purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass Flex.
Traveling beyond the area covered by the pass
You may have planned a trip not completely covered by the pass. You can check the map to find which part of your trip is covered. You will have to buy a ticket for the part of the trip that is not covered.
Example: you intend to travel from Milan to Interlaken. As you can see on the map, Domodossola - Interlaken is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. So you need to buy a ticket Milan - Domodossola. You don't need to get off the train in Domodossola. You have paid for the entire trip by the ticket and pass, so you can stay seated.