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Did I just get screwed over with my Swiss Rail Pass purchase?

I bought my 4-day rail pass about an hour ago (no protection plan) via the Rick Steves' link to Rail Europe. I then see an ad on my Facebook wall a few minutes later that shows a link for Rail Europe, but with a discount offer. I click on it and select the same pass I purchased earlier only to find that the pass on this new link is about $60 cheaper than what I bought earlier. Although, I don't think the discount codes being offered applied to this, so we're talking $60 cheaper without a discount! Did I just get screwed by Rail Europe? I've always stayed away from buying train tickets on here because of their higher fees and all the other forums here say to stay away from this website, so it was a bit of a surprise when Rick's own website linked to Rail Europe for the Swiss Pass. I'm feeling very upset at the moment. Perhaps someone can clear the air for me.

Posted by
16894 posts

1) Prices are subject to change at any time and something going on sale in no way counts as "screwing you over."

2) There is no discount announced for Swiss Travel Passes. If there was a discount advertised on your Facebook page, however, it could have been a special coupon offer tailored to your recent browsing habits.

3) Always possible that you're looking at a different version of the pass, since there are several that sound the same. For instance, $60 is about the price difference between a flexi pass with or without the added Half-Fare feature.

4) Rail Europe is a very reliable and indeed the primary vendor of most European rail products in the USA. There is no other source that we could suggest for USA delivery of a Swiss Travel Pass. These pass prices are set in Switzerland, with little room for price variation due to exchange rates.

Posted by
594 posts

Laura, I'm looking at the same websites. However, the one with a lower price says http://www.raileurope-world.com/ as opposed to a simple raileurope.com. I should have left out the part about the discount because that's not relevant to my whole point. I feel that if I hadn't used the link from the RS website I would have saved money to begin with. I am currently waiting to speak to a representative with Rail Europe about this issue. I don't think it's very fair. I understand prices change without notice, but this situation seems very different to me.

Posted by
594 posts

Oh, to clarify, I purchased a regular 4 day continuous Swiss Pass (not a half pass or any of the others involved).

Posted by
16894 posts

Thanks, Gabriel. Rail Europe World web site cannot be used by residents of USA or Canada, only other countries, and their contact people are based elsewhere, a different division of a worldwide company. It's showing me the price in euros - €204 versus $277 in dollars through our link for 4 consecutive days in 2nd class.

The other thought that occurred to me was that I sometimes see outdated ads/coupons on my own web browsing. Rail Europe was advertising a discount on the consecutive-day, print-at-home version of the Swiss Travel Pass, but it expired maybe a month ago.

FYI, if you're on hold with Rail Europe and they offer to call you back, they will do that.

Posted by
594 posts

Just got off the phone with them and confirmed what you said. This other website is based in India, but I don't recall seeing anything on the website about not being able to sell the passes to US residents. I had entered my address just to see if anything odd would show up, but nothing. I did find it strange that it didn't allow for printing e-tickets and gives no indication on how long it would take to ship the paper tickets to your address. My calculation was off. It was about a $45 difference, but still large enough to prompt me to wonder what was going on. Thanks for your quick feedback.

Posted by
7209 posts

kind of like dealing with autoeurope.com versus autoeurope.eu the latter of which was much much cheaper for me to rent from. I'm probably not entitled to the discounts, but it worked out and nothing bad happened. Yep - I steer WAYYYY clear of RailEurope. You could just as easily have purchased the pass after you arrived in Switzerland.

Posted by
9 posts

I have been getting Swiss Pass info from MySwissAlps.com and they also recommend RailEurope, and say it is cheaper to order train passes ahead of time rather than purchase them in Switzerland. There are different RailEurope websites depending on what country you're ordering from. I have also been getting emails re: their summer discounts- amount depending on how large your order is. You have to order online, not through one of their representative offices in order to get the discount. The variety of Swiss passes is very confusing -- most of the questions on the MySwissAlps.com forum have to do with the passes....

Here's a posting from MySwissAlps.com:
Jul 6, 2015 - 4:52 PM
Hello travelers,
There's a new Rail Europe Summer promotion. They offer a discount of € 10, € 25 or € 60 on all passes and tickets. The discount depends on how much you spend. This promotion expires on August 26, 2015.
Please visit your local website for the coupon codes and conditions:

www.raileurope-world.com (other countries--includes USA)