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2017 Swiss Travel Pass -- a new surcharge of $126 for cable cars, etc?

Hi, Rick and friends, I am traveling to Switzerland's Berner Oberland in June, flying to Geneva
and then taking trains, boats, and lifts. I understand that I have to get my Swiss Travel Pass
online before I go. What is the actual cost? Your website has a click-through
link to RailEurope, $427 for my 8-day flexi-pass within 1 month.
Q 1 -- Is there really an $18 charge on top of that for "s/h" when I'm printing it here?
Q2 -- You say, "-- Berner Oberland: All trains and lifts up to Mürren/Wengen/Grindelwald are covered,
then 50% off lifts above Mürren and 25% off lifts and trains above Wengen and Grindelwald"
BUT RailEurope wants me to pay another $126 on top of $427 (or $445 if s/h)
in order to get any discounts on lifts above Murren & Wengen.
Confusing! Any clarity there?
Kay

Posted by
20297 posts

You can buy the Swiss Travel Pass at most major Swiss train stations and cost 376 CHF for an 8-day 2nd class pass. You don't have to deal with Rail Europe.

Posted by
7209 posts

Where did you see that RE wants an additional $126 for discounts about Wengen and Grindelwald? I think you may be reading incorrectly.

No - you do NOT have to purchase Swiss Travel Pass before arriving in Switzerland. You can buy them at any rail counter in Switzerland including inside the airport.

One of the STP's benefits is the discount on the higher private mountain railways...it doesn't cost extra to get the discount.

Posted by
3145 posts

I just went through the bookimgprocess ( no payment) and did not see anything about an extra $126 to use the cablecar/train above Mürren or Wengen. Maybe that is an estimate of the amount you would pay you decide to take the Jungfrauntrain to the top? it sound close, given that you oly get a 25% discount there. But it is not added to the cost of your Swiss Pass---youpaynit there if you decide to take that trip.

Posted by
3145 posts

And given the current exchange rate, you are way better off buying it in Switzerland. $427 is the equivalent of 430 CHF---way more than the 376 CHF quoted above for that pass.

Posted by
1 posts

I am also traveling to Switzerland end of June to early July and plan to use the Swiss pass. Will seat reservations be a problem for the main routes connecting major attractions? I was worried that if I buy the pass in switzerland than the trains may be full

Posted by
1443 posts

I am also traveling to Switzerland end of June to early July and plan
to use the Swiss pass. Will seat reservations be a problem for the
main routes connecting major attractions? I was worried that if I buy
the pass in switzerland than the trains may be full.

No worries. The trains won't be full.

Posted by
16894 posts

Hi, Kay. With a print-at-home pass, the handling fee for your whole order is $7.95, not $18. You would see that before checking out. However, the flexi style of pass is not available as an e-ticket; it must be shipped to you at home by UPS or else buy it in a Swiss train station.

If you are choosing the flexi-style of Swiss Travel Pass, then you need to read the part that says the lift discounts (and all other coverage) apply only on the same 8 counted travel days. Rail Europe might be suggesting the purchase of a Half-Fare Card to use in between those days for $126. If your travel fits into 15 consecutive days, then that pass for $472 would give you more coverage.

Posted by
8889 posts

Will seat reservations be a problem for the main routes connecting major attractions? I was worried that if I buy the pass in switzerland than the trains may be full

schosita, it is not necessary to reserve sets on Swiss trains, and rarely possible. This is not a service for tourists connecting "major attractions", rail is the backbone transport system for the whole country. The trains are never "full" to the extent you cannot get on, in most cases they have 50-75% of the seats taken.
With a pass, you just turn up at the station and get the next train going where you want to go.

Posted by
292 posts

It is my understanding, though, that if you want to take any of the scenic trains, like the Glacier Express, then a reservation is required. Are those seats so readily available during tourist season?

Posted by
16894 posts

It doesn't sound like the OP is planning on the Glacier Express, but yes, the named-train departures on that route do require reservations and can sell out. Regular, non-reserved trains also serve the same route, departing separately, usually with an extra connection or two. Other marketed scenic trains only require a reservation in the panorama/observation cars, but not in regular cars.