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Confusion over Swiss train ticket fares

HI all. I've read all the posts here about train travel in Switzerland but still have two questions:
we'll be there in September and October and it looks as if we will need to take trains at least six times. The 15-day nonconsecutive pass (Travel Pass Flex) is NOT available to print at home and appears to only be available by ordering through the mail. I found it priced at CHF469.
But looking up the prices of individual tickets as advised here https://help.myswitzerland.com/hc/en-us/articles/213124229-How-much-will-my-train-ticket-cost-and-can-I-purchase-it-online- it looks as if I could take all six trips for under CHF300.
To further confuse me, I found the ticket stub for a roundtrip train trip I took (ticket purchased in Switzerland, not in advance) two years ago Morges to Wintherthur for CHF 156, which seems much higher than the fares I found online last night.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Posted by
6854 posts

Forget buying that online and having that mailed to you.
You should buy your pass less risky a lot easier when you get there.
You do not save money buying it online. The only train ticket I'd buy online is the Super Saver ones if you have a set travel plan and do not need flexibility since those sell out. And if you have a Half Fard Card you get an extra 50% off those tickets.
Moreover you will get more in person advice on the best pass for you.
What city are you arriving at in Switzerland?

Posted by
672 posts

If you are looking online at www.sbb.ch/en, then the first fare they list assumes you have a half-fare card. So double that price for the "real" fare.

Posted by
8 posts

Jazz+Travels--thanks for advice on buying it onsite. Arriving Zurich.
I also was not sure the half fare card was worth it but it may make sense to arrive, get to the station and then get helpful advice in person!

Posted by
26011 posts

Please specify the six trips so we can make a reasonable response.

If you wound up using www.sbb.ch the first screen assumes you have a Half Fare Card (often an excellent purchase). You have to make sure that the fares you look at are full price. Full price is indicated by "1/1", half price by "1/2".

The full fare ticket one way from Morges to Winterthur (I didn't like the Ibis hotel next to the McDonalds there, FWIW) according to the excellent SBB app is CHF84. A Supersaver is available at CHF58.80. A Saver Day Pass (including the return fare, to be used in one day) is available for CHF 106. A City-Ticket which includes unlimited local transport in either origination or destination city or both in addition to the train trip is CHF91.40 Morges, CHF91.80 Winterthur or CHF99.20 for both ends.

What did you get for your CHF156 which seems much too much for a single trip. First Class? My numbers are 2nd. Round trip? Mine except for the Saver Day Pass are one-way. Maybe it is round-trip. CHF84 full price x 2 = CHF 168 which may be due to inflation?

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks again for helpful responses. Our trips are: Zurich to Lausanne. Then Lausanne to Gryon. Gryon to Morges. Morges to Brig and on to Italy. Couple weeks later, returning to Switzerland and training Geneva to Zurich.

yes the Morges to Winterthur trip two years ago was roundtrip. (And I stayed with a family, so did not use the hotel, but thanks for the tip.)

I'll go back and doublecheck whether I was mistaking half price for full price. But given that a half fare card is CHF 185...I'll need to make sure that the trips pay for themselves!

Posted by
16165 posts

No, the 30 day Half Fare Card is 120 CHF. The one for 185 CHF is for an annual Half Fare Card, mostly for residents, and it renews automatically with your credit card on file unless you cancel in writing.

So if you have more than 240 CHF of full fare tickets, the 30-day Half Fare Card will definitely save money, usually more than a Swiss Travel Pass. Don't forget, it is good for local transport tickets as well.

https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/international-guests/swiss-halffare-card.html

Posted by
8889 posts

Anara, you can buy all Swiss Cards, including the Half Price Card, at Swiss border or airport stations (including Zürich airport) for exactly the same price as on the SBB website. Tickets sold at the station (full price or ½ price), are the same price as on the SBB website. Foreign (non-Swiss) websites may charge more.

The reason the flexi-pass is not available to print at home is fairly obvious, you mark on the ticket your chosen days. With a print-at-home ticket you could print extra copies and get extra days!
With non-flex tickets you specify the dates when you buy, and it is on the print-at-home ticket. No cheating possible.

The tourist 30-day Half Price Card is CHF 120. The annual one is CHF 185 and requires a Swiss address. It automatically renews, they send you a bill each year to your (Swiss) address.

You say "Zurich to Lausanne. Then . . . . Geneva to Zurich.". I guess you mean the station at the airport (called "Zürich Flughafen"), NOT the one in the city centre ("Zürich HB"). If you are looking up train times or buying tickets you need to specify the correct one.

Posted by
16866 posts

If you are considering a flexi pass covering 15 travel days within one month, then you have a lot more costs to compare than just the 6 rail travel days. You'll also be using a day and generally getting good value from the pass for lift coverage or discounts, as well as possible museum entry or in-city transport.

If you weren't, then of course you'd consider a cheaper pass, such as 8 days in a month, though there's only $100 price difference per person for almost twice as much coverage.